We’re back in the swing of things at ZimmComm World Headquarters. Actually, make that in post-Agri-Marketing Conference recovery mode. Cindy and I have a number of interviews to share with you this week from the conference and I’ll get started in this week’s program.
I sat down with Lynn Henderson, AgriMarketing Magazine, toward the end of the conference and talked about changes we’ve seen in agricultural marketing agencies. You’ll hear some names you may remember and some you may not depending on how long you’ve been involved the industry. This conversation is part of an on-going series that we plan to do periodically on different subjects. Do you have a topic you’d like to see us cover? If so, please let us know or post in comments.
Besides looking at some of the trends in agricultural marketing agencies over the years we also review some of the winners of the Best of NAMA who let their “plume fill the room” last week. We also go over the list of student marketing competition winners.
Paradowski Creative is the new agency of record for Monsanto’s ongoing America’s Farmers advocacy campaign. The integrated marketing communications campaign includes a variety of elements, such as national advertising, online communications, public relations and a key engagement program called “Farm Mom of the Year.”
The addition of this Monsanto advocacy campaign continues the long-standing relationship between the two groups. Paradowski has worked with Monsanto for 20-plus years on creative projects across various departments at Monsanto. Most recently, Paradowski has produced award-winning advertising for the company’s Sustainable Agriculture campaign as well as the company’s St. Louis Grown campaign.
Here are a couple of farm kids doing good in the big city. Leigh Ann Cleaver and Kelly Schwalbe of BCS Communications (our sponsor) attended National Ag Day Activities and we visited about what’s new with the agency.
BCS Communications supports National Ag Day because it’s “second nature to us” says Kelly. Additionally, most of their clients are involved in agriculture and that includes companies like John Deere and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. The big news though comes from Leigh Ann who says they’re celebrating their 10 year anniversary! Happy anniversary.
Congratulations to Mark Gale and Marcy Tessmann! They have both just received significant promotions at Charleston|Orwig.
Mark Gale has been promoted to chief executive officer of the Wisconsin-based communications consultancy firm. Marcy Tessmann has been promoted to president. Lyle Orwig remains as chairman and will continue to be an active and central figure in the agency’s day-to-day operations and long-range business planning.
“Much of the success we’ve experienced over the last several years is largely attributable to Mark and Marcy’s leadership and vision,” said Orwig. “Their unwavering focus on client service and delivering results-driven strategic communications platforms has fostered a culture of engagement, collaboration and success at Charleston|Orwig.”
Gale and Tessmann share responsibility with Orwig for leading the agency’s two complementary practice areas, Reputation Management and Integrated Marketing.
“We are fortunate to have a group of very talented and dedicated team members throughout the agency,” says Orwig. “Under the leadership of Mark and Marcy, we’re well positioned for continued growth while helping our agricultural and food system clients achieve their business goals.”
2012 was a good year for Swanson Russell. The agency turned 50 and for the first time surpassed $100 million in capitalized billings.
Capitalized billings are an industry standard used by agencies as a uniform means of comparing agencies that offer a variety of services. “In our industry, becoming a $100 million agency is a significant milestone,” said Dave Hansen, partner and chief executive officer of Swanson Russell. “It has been a stated goal of ours and we are very excited to announce this achievement. One hundred million is certainly a milestone that elevates our status on a national level.”
I sat down for a conversation with Dave during Commodity Classic to learn more about what is working for the agency. He has been with Swanson Russell for twenty three of their fifty years. There are four key areas of focus for the agency, Agriculture; Turf/Ornamental; Hunting/Fishing and Health Care. He says making employees number one is very important and this has helped the agency retain great team members longer than most. The digital world has transformed many of the inside job definitions of agency employees and he says they’ve been seeing a significant increase in the use of digital media. Dave says they are trying to create more internal collaboration which has been accomplished in part by re-designing their offices to have much more “wide open space” so it’s easier for collaboration to take place.
It’s time to get your registration completed for the 2013 Agri-Marketing Conference that takes place April 17-19 in Kansas City, MO. Save some $’s and do it now.
The ZimmComm team will be there with a Connection Point booth to share what’s new in our world. Hope you stop by and say hi. Share this message with your friends in the industry. Let’s make this the best conference ever!
Here are some of the Great Insights You’ll Find at the Agri-Marketing Conference!
Discover the three pillars of social engagement and how to measure their effectiveness.
Assess your organization’s web content and get strategic about your online presence.
Take a look at the new, more integrated role of PR, and hear what the future holds from experienced panelists.
Harvest PR & Marketing, Inc., is pleased to announce the recent addition of industry veteran Eric Davis as account director, and the promotion of Adriane Marten to digital and social media manager.
As account director for Harvest, Davis will be instrumental in managing key food and agriculture accounts, guiding strategy and developing new business for the agency. His food category experience includes product launch, education, policy and advocacy campaigns for organizations, such as National Cooperative Grocers Association, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Food and Society Fellows, Organic Valley and Organic Trade Association.
Harvest also promoted Adriane Marten from account coordinator to digital and social media manager. Since joining the agency in February 2012, Marten has spearheaded numerous digital and social campaigns for food and farm clientele, including U.S. Apple Association, National Watermelon Promotion Board, Farm Journal Foundation and Willamette Egg Farms.
In her new role, Marten will continue to focus on enhancing and integrating strategic content across multi channels to support key communications objectives.
Before we get to results and a new poll we’d like to thank Rhea + Kaiser for being the inaugural sponsor of our ZimmPoll two years ago! We started a trend as we soon saw a number of other entities begin regular online polling!
Now let’s welcome and say thanks to our new ZimmPoll sponsor, New Holland Agriculture. We’ll be working closely with New Holland to develop timely and industry pertinent questions throughout 2013. Please feel free to chime in with your ideas and participate when you can. So, let’s get started.
Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, ”How would you rate 2012? 1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent”
Our poll results: Thirty percent said 3; twenty six percent said 4; seventeen percent said 5; seventeen said 1; eleven percent said 2. By the looks of our poll most of you thought 2012 was a pretty good year. Hopefully, you will feel the same about 2013.
Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, ” How do you feel about the fiscal cliff compromise?” Most early industry comments we’ve seen express disappointment since we only have a temporary extension of the farm bill among other things. What do you think?
Here’s a Merry Christmas from Prosperity Ag & Energy Resources.
Wishing you every happiness this holiday season and throughout the coming year! Thank you for your support. We look forward to another prosperous year in 2013!
Lessing-Flynn announces that Claire Celsi has joined the company as Director of Public Relations.
This newly created position was added due to the steady growth and expansion of the agency. Celsi previously owned and operated her business, The Public Relations Project, LLC, which she founded in 2009.
With category experience in agriculture, biofuels, construction, economic development, financial services, higher education, manufacturing, telecommunications and tourism, Celsi brings immediate value to current Lessing-Flynn clients. In addition, her extensive network of contacts in the community will help to create new opportunities for the firm.
“The timing is perfect to bring someone with Claire’s experience in public relations and marketing to Lessing-Flynn,” said Tom Flynn, President of the company. “Our clients are looking for new ways to tell their stories through both traditional and new media and Claire has been a leader in this – both locally and nationally.”
The Des Moines native is passionate about social media, trying recipes out of fancy-schmancy cooking magazines, and enjoys spending time with her husband, Jim, her children and Trixie the Wonderdog.
Looking for some holiday recipes? How about these 12 Recipes of Christmas (and all the holidays being celebrated this season) from CHARLESTON|ORWIG?
“Here’s to the Fig in your pudding, the Cream in your coffee, the Mint in your candy cane, the Sugar in your cookie, the Honey on your ham, the Spice in your pumpkin pie, the Fruit in your cake and the Happy in your Holiday. May your holidays be full of great food, family and sharing with others.”
The holiday season has officially begun. How do I know? Because the annual BCS Communications Holiday Party has taken place. For all I know, it’s still going on!
Here are the partners, (l-r) Illinois Blasdel, Leigh Ann Cleaver and Kelly Schwalbe. They know how to have a party. If you couldn’t attend then as you just might guess, I took some photos to share. Speaking of share, Cher made an appearance and not only posed with party goers, she sang a couple of songs with the band and partnered up on one with Kelly (Sonny) Schwalbe. Yeah, it was funny.
The Lacek Group has a full team assembled for the Dupont Pioneer account. Here they are in the Minneapolis office. Pictured from the left, Myrna Krueger, Kristina Entzminger, Jesse Riebe, Kim Le, Evan Davies, Melissa Norby, Amy Herman, Cole Thompson. Second row: Pete Abell, Jim Adler, Vinny Matassa, Amy Karls, Tricia Severson, Steve Pederson, Kristina Fenner. Third Row: Melissa Huset, Rachel Rabaey, David Carson, Jim Jarvis, Greg Goranson, David Yussen, Jay Walsh. Fourth Row: Elizabeth Kern, Mark Francel. Not pictured, Alan Bell, Amber Heinrich, Elizabeth Holum, Rosa Gatzios, Jay Larson and Randy Olson.
The DuPont Pioneer team at The Lacek Group consists of more than 25 people who possess a wide variety of talents in traditional and digital media. The Lacek Group was retained earlier in 2012 by DuPont Pioneer to handle the company’s full spectrum of marketing communications for the U.S. This includes advertising, digital communications, trade media relations and custom publishing.
“We are pleased to have an opportunity to build a talented team from the ground up,” says Evan Davies, partner and group account director. “We’ve added great talent at all levels and are excited to support the DuPont Pioneer commitment to putting the right product on the right acre.”
Photo Caption: The DuPont Pioneer team at The Lacek Group includes:
Paulsen Marketing has updated their thought paper, “Digital Media’s Evolution and Impact on Telling Agriculture’s Story.” You’ll now find some new insights into how the digital communications age is affecting the agribusiness world.
Digital media has been a game-changer for ag communicators to deliver content to audiences. Paulsen public relations spoke with prominent ag communicators who shared insight about how digital media has transformed the way news is gathered, delivered and how agriculture’s story is told.
Their dialogue in this Thought Paper describes key trends and behind-the-scenes secrets that marketers and PR professionals can use to reach media and consumers of content with effective and interactive messages.
We’ll share inside information about the way ag journalists are using new digital tools and explore how mobile technology will influence the future of digital.
Here’s an example of some of the information you’ll find in the paper regarding the growth of mobile technology.
According to a recent survey conducted by Prosper Mobile Insights, half of smartphone and tablet users (51.1%) say they now check their email using only their mobile device. Overall, 7 in 10 smartphone or tablet users (69.3%) conduct at least one web-based activity solely with their device:
• 45.3% admit to mobile-only Internet searches.
• 42.3% connect with friends on Facebook sans stationary computers or other Internet-capable devices.
• 29.6% say they conduct all their online banking on a mobile device.
I got to chime in with some thoughts on mobile as did some other folks and you can find all of those insights in the full paper available from the Paulsen website.
The company that has been mainly responsible for our ability to cover World Dairy Expo on World Dairy Diary.com year after year is Charleston|Orwig. This integrated marketing and reputation management agency has quite a few clients in the dairy business, including our marquee sponsor, New Holland. I spoke with Charleston|Orwig’s Mike Opperman, Sr. Director, Strategy and Planning, (left on the show lot with his client) to learn how the agency is doing and found out that they have a unique project going on here at Expo.
Charleston|Orwig announces that every step its employees take during this week’s World Dairy Expo will be for a good cause. The company will donate a penny for every step taken by each of its employees to Farmers Feeding the World. Given the massive scale of the week-long event and the dedication of its employees, the company anticipates a sizeable donation.
Every member of the Charleston|Orwig team will wear a pedometer to record how much he or she walks throughout the five days. The companies working with Charleston|Orwig at World Dairy Expo also are invited to participate in “hoofing it” or to match the donation.
Here’s a heads up for the 2013 Agri-Marketing Conference. It will be held once again in Kansas City, MO. We’re going to be “Forging New Frontiers” from April 17 to April 19 at the Sheraton Crown Center.
To get a little bit of a preview of what the committee is doing I visited with Scott McClure, Brighton Agency, during the NAMA Fall Conference. Scott is Chair of the conference committee and says they’ve been working on the program identifying key speakers, etc. The surveys from this year’s conference are being used to make sure attendee feedback is taken into consideration. He says the challenge is to build on the excellent conference this year.
Digital Media. It’s a wonderful thing don’t you think? I know the ZimmComm team does! How is it affecting how agriculture’s story is being told? That’s a question being dealt with in Paulsen Marketing’s latest thought paper, “Digital Media’s Evolution and Impact on Telling Agriculture’s Story.” To find an answer to this question, Paulsen interviewed prominent ag journalists and I was happy to be included in this distinguished group.
If you’re a PR professional or marketer hoping to place stories, it’s important to understand what journalists and their audiences look for. It also helps to know about the benefits and the challenges of digital media.
The change from mass communications to masses of communicators creates new opportunities for journalists and their audiences. People can easily access a wide variety of information from a wide variety of sources.
Some ag journalists use digital media to form partnerships with their audiences.
“It’s made it easier in how it keeps me connected and grounded to the folks that I serve,” said Jeff Caldwell, multimedia editor, Successful Farming. “It’s a lot easier to become friends almost with some of the guys we seek information from regularly.”
Key take-aways from the study include:
All media is social
Opportunities to collect information, collaborate and connect are abundant
Anticipating what the audience wants – plus where and when – is a competitive necessity
Welcome Amy Herman and Melissa Norby (below) to the Dupont Pioneer public relations team.
The Ogilvy public relations team is up and running from The Lacek Group office in Minneapolis. Amy Herman and Melissa Norby will serve as the main agency contacts alongside Jerry Harrington with all DuPont Pioneer agricultural trade media contacts and inquiries.
For all you ag journalist out there who are attending next week’s Ag Media Summit. You can find Amy and Melissa there They will also be at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, IA. They are looking forward to connecting with you.