AgNewsWire vs. AgWired

Chuck Zimmerman

This post has been a while in the making. Why a while? Because ZimmComm New Media, LLC pioneered something called many names like new media, social media, social network, blogs, podcasts and we’ve been developing and changing them in many ways over the last 13+ years. I think we can now more easily define our services.

Late last year for the first time I have been asked what the difference is between these two brands/services. It has forced me to put a lot of thought into the answer and as a result, you’ve already seen some changes we’ve made this year and some “re-branding.”

Before describing the differences let me define what ZimmComm itself is. ZimmComm New Media is a digital content production company. That content is in the form of photos, videos, audio, graphics. Increasingly we are also tapped to manage social media for a client or create digital content for their social media efforts. So, we’re a production company. Plain and simple. And we focus solely on agriculture in all its forms.

Let’s start with AgNewsWire:

Background: We started this service first to distribute client news releases to journalists that include media content, primarily audio. Most of the audio was recorded by phone with whoever was quoted in the release. There was no term like multi-media release or ANR, at the time. As former farm broadcasters, we knew the immense frustration of getting a release and not being able to get a company representative on the phone to record a sound bite for our shows. We sought to solve that issue and it has been a mainstay service of ours ever since although we distribute text-only releases too.

Evolution: Companies started asking us to attend their events to create digital content for them which could be used for a variety of purposes including news releases, e-newsletters, website content and internal distribution for staff who could not attend or company presentations. So we became even more involved with our clients as a result.

Today: AgNewsWire is the virtual ag newsroom for all journalists. All the content we produce for public facing purposes is made available to all media people of all types for free and with no restrictions for use. When a company hires us to attend an event we create a post/page just for their content and dub it their virtual newsroom. We promote the availability of the content to the journalists we have on a list (well over 2,000) and they can use the link to that virtual newsroom in all their communications efforts too.

Now let’s move on to AgWired:

Background: This WordPress blog was started to be our company website and was not initially called AgWired. I quickly realized that it was a digital publishing platform for news and information where I could use all kinds of media. For the first two years, I was the only editor and did not accept sponsors or advertisers of any kind. But the requests were coming in so I moved in that direction and suddenly ZimmComm owned a media channel which today has a huge digital footprint.

Evolution: My focus on AgWired has always been agricultural marketing first and foremost. That has evolved to include more news on a wider variety of niche topics like precision, energy, animal ag, row crop and more. We got permission and were even encouraged to publish interviews and stories from the events we were attending and pretty soon our client agreements became a mix of AgNewsWire/AgWired with multiple components. I used to joke that we were public relations and media. But we always strive to be completely transparent about that.

Today: AgWired has become a media channel brand recognized around the world. We have featured thousands of interviews with the leadership of agribusiness companies but also those farmers who are helping lead their commodity organizations and many in the regulatory and farm policy arena. Our expertise is in all areas of ag after 37 years in the industry and the Golden ZimmComm Microphone is well known and trusted. AgWired sells advertising that is in the form of website banners, sponsored posts, sponsored social media posts, sponsored coverage of events.

I hope this helps. ZimmComm has performed project work as well as long-term contract work for most of the major agricultural companies and farm groups in the United States. We intend to continue doing so as we evolve and stay at the forefront of this ongoing massive change in technology and all that is happening in the industry. Please let us know how we can help you!

Media, Public Relations