Chuck Zimmerman

Guest Speakers in PR Class Rock

1. How has agriculture communication/journalism changed over the course of Chuck’s career?

Chuck Zimmerman graduated with a degree in journalism and went to work for a major broadcasting company, Brownfield Network. At that time radio was one of the best ways to get information in the agriculture community, however now years later there are many different media outlets and radio isn’t the only way to share information. Nine years ago Chuck and his wife Cindy left the Brownfield company with a plan that to some then and even know think is crazy! They left to start a business that focuses on relaying information through social media and networking. Their business is called Ag Wired and is one of the most widely know sources to get farm reports, interviews,  and coverage over AGRICULTURAL conventions.

The journalism and communication world has changed drastically! Now because of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the Vine and other social media channels people are able to and want information NOW, or WHILE it is happening. This is instant coverage, and this is why Zimmerman’s Ag Wired is so successful. They are able to get reports out and interviews recorded and put online before some newspapers have even started their editing process.

2. How did he embrace those changes to create a new ag business?

Zimmerman embraced this new social world because he saw an opportunity that others weren’t willing to take the risk for. His business has 4 main web publications, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a YouTube Channel and a Flicker.

Not only has he made his company successful but as another way to generate revenue Zimmerman helps teach companies and business how to become relevant online as well. He shows them the reasons why they need to be there (online).

3. Looking into the future, do you see the role of agriculture communications/journalism changing or staying the same. If so, what changes do you anticipate?

I see it changing for sure! Everything has to change at some point, this is how our country keeps moving forward, we embrace changes and we become more efficient. The biggest change I see coming IS the presence of agricultural companies and business online. This industry is under constant attack and scrutiny. Farmers  have to be online to stay up with legislation and news, political leaders in the agriculture world need to be online to see the issues and to learn about the people and agricultural companies and businesses need to be online so that they can show their support and can reach their customers.

 

Thanks Chuck Zimmerman for making time to speak to our agricultural public relations class!

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