Interesting Lunch Questions

Chuck Zimmerman

At lunch today the discussion centered around blogging of course and how this might become useful in the agricultural communications world since there isn’t much of it yet.

I’m going to write about a couple of the questions that were raised since I think they are of widespread interest. For example, it’s going to be somewhat challenging but I’m going to have to address the NAFB (National Association of Farm Broadcasters). I’ve been a member since about 1985 and still am but they’re facing some challenges. This should make for some interesting posts and I hope comments!

First, however, I’d like to challenge communications professionals to think about distributing information in a very new way. Blog it! Especially as it relates to you member organizations who hold big conventions and trade shows.

I’ll be attending the 2005 Cattle Industry Convention in San Antonio and plan to provide plenty of posts going and coming. Especially since I just got my Dell AXIM pda a great little wireless lan card that I tested out tonight. I’ll be looking for those wi-fi hotspots!

Media

Example of a Talking News Release

Chuck Zimmerman

This is an example of a TNR we just distributed. You’ll notice that it contains a link to a fully-produced story that’s already voiced for the reporter to include in his/her newscast. They can also edit out the sound bites if they want.

Another format we regularly produce is a release with files links for sound bites only. This way the reporter writes their own story and has sound bites to insert into their newscast.

Contact me for other examples: chuck@zimmcomm.biz


Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service
601 Business Loop 70 West
Columbia, MO 65203
http://agebb.missouri.edu/mass

Contact: Gene Danekas, Director of Statistics
573-876-0950, Gene_Danekas@nass.usda.gov

ARMS Survey To Benefit
All Missourians

This is the second in a series of 5 reports which will be distributed every two weeks during the term of this survey.

Click Here For Audio Report: MO NASS ARMS Report 2 (1:27)

The linked audio will automatically download when you click on it. It contains a fully produced story to use in your programming or you may choose to voice yourself and edit out the sound bites. Please contact ZimmComm at talkingnewsrelease@zimmcomm.biz if you have any problems.

Columbia, MO, January 24, 2005: The Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service recently sent an important survey to some 1100 farmers and ranchers in the state. Cindy Zimmerman reports.

When the surveys are returned they will help to reveal a picture of the economic health of the state’s ag industry and provide important data on production practices and resource use. American Farm Bureau chief economist Bob Young, former co-director for the University of Missouri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, says the Agricultural Resource Management Survey provides vital information on many levels.

“I’ve looked at this from the legislative side, the trade association side, the academic side and I couldn’t have done my job in any of those positions without this information in hand.”

The ARMS data is used for a wide variety of purposes, such as determining farm program loans and government payments, monitoring the benefits of farm bill programs, and evaluating economic challenges facing farmers and ranchers. Missouri Farm Bureau Federation president Charlie Kruse says the data also benefits farmers and ranchers on the state level.

“We use this information to make points about the importance of agriculture to Missouri, about the diversity of agriculture in our state, and also in our dealings with policy makers, whether they are legislators in the state capitol or members of our state congressional delegation, it’s so important to have the right information.”

Missouri agricultural producers who are chosen to participate in the survey are strongly urged to complete and return their forms as soon as possible.

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This Talking News Release is being distributed by ZimmComm, http://zimmcomm.biz/ . Please provide to the appropriate reporter or editor at your organization or to others who will be interested in the content. If you do not wish to receive future Talking News Releases, please contact Chuck Zimmerman at talkingnewsrelease@zimmcomm.biz or by telephone at 573-896-5842 or mail at 1600 Skyview Dr., Holts Summit, MO 65043. Talking News Releases are produced and distributed by ZimmComm, a private marketing and communications company. Please feel free to submit your ideas or suggestions for how we may improve our service. Thanks!

Audio, Talking News Release

2fer Offer

Chuck Zimmerman

I know this is commercial but we are in business for a reason you know and we promise to post meaningful information so you’ll want to visit often to see and hear what we have to say. We’ll begin posting audio soon by the way.

So, for our wonderful current clients and all of you out there who have been contemplating it, here’s the deal.

Place an order for Talking News Releases on or before February 28, 2005 and we’ll give you two for the price of one. You can distribute the releases anytime prior to the end of the year but we need your order. If you want us to do more than two (we hope you do!) the additional releases will be regular rate but qualify for a quantity discount. Make sense?

Just email me at chuck@zimmcomm.biz or call 573-896-5842.

And just so you also get some useful information while you’re here. You might read this interesting post about sending releases to reporters and finding out if they’ve “used” it.

http://www.charlesarthur.com/blog/index.php?=258

Hope you’re having a great day!

Talking News Release

Talking News Releases Go Mobile

Chuck Zimmerman

In the coming months we’ll need to be on the road to places like the Cattle Industry Convention, Commodity Classic or NRECA Convention. We’ll still bring you news and information from the world of Talking News Releases since we can post by email or even mobile phone! In fact, this post is a first by email.< ?xml:namespace prefix = o />

Look in your inbox for a special offer coming out this week from ZimmComm!

Talking News Release

MBIC Turns TNR’s Into Weekly Radio Programs!

Chuck Zimmerman

Talking News Releases (TNR’s) can take lots of different forms. The Missouri Beef Industry Council has us distribute a weekly TNR to Missouri radio reporters. Instead of a news release with sound bites we produce a fully self-contained interview called “The MBIC Report.” In this picture Chuck is interviewing Steve Taylor, Executive Director of the Missouri Beef Industry Council, about the upcoming Cattle Industry Annual Convention & Trade Show in San Antonio, TX. An emailed description of the interview is sent, along with an embedded link to the audio file that is streamed on our website that can air “live” or reporters can edit out the sound bites they want. This helps the MBIC communicate how it’s using cattlemen’s investment in the Beef Checkoff and provides the reporters with immediate audio they can use to make their reports sound better. Everyone wins! Posted by Hello

Ag Group, Talking News Release

Why Should You Blog?

Chuck Zimmerman

We’re amazed by the number of PR people who aren’t familiar with blogging, especially when it comes to agribusiness. It’s also amazing that ag-related blogs are kind of hard to find. This will change and now’s the time to get a jump start on using this great form of communication.

Here’s a piece of a series of articles on why you should consider a blog for your business or client that was posted on Bob Cargill’s blog. He works for Yellowfin Direct Marketing. You can find the posts at http://www.afinekettleoffish.blogspot.com/.

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Why Advertising, Marketing and PR Pros Should Blog (Part One)

Most advertising, marketing and public relations professionals know a blog when they see one, but when it comes to actually using this relatively new, self-publishing platform, there are still many skeptics and naysayers among us. This time next year, however, those people will likely have come to their senses. In 2005, I dare say you would have to be either misinformed or just plain obstinate to not at least consider adding a blog to your business plan. Here are ten reasons why:
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Happy blogging!

Blogging

Site Feed Available

Chuck Zimmerman

Now you can keep up with the latest posts on Talking News Releases.com! If you have a news reader program you should be able to subscribe to our site feed. At the top of the page you’ll see a link to our feed. Just subscribe and then you’ll get a short piece of each new post, along with a link to it on the blog. It’s simple. And since it’s not email you don’t have to worry about things like spam or unwanted emails showing up in your inbox!

If you don’t have a news reader program go to this link to learn more: News Readers

Many of them are free and very easy to use.

Let us know what you think and we hope we can be of service.

Blogging

Does Anyone Use My News Releases?

Chuck Zimmerman

This is the question everyone would like to know the answer to. If it were only easy!

Radio is such an immediate medium and reporters have multiple daily deadlines that it’s very difficult to obtain direct feedback on the use of releases sent to them. We’ve tried emailed survey forms with little result. As reporters ourselves we know how difficult it is to provide good feedback. Often a story may be used multiple times or held for future use.

There’s no cost-effective “clipping service” for radio. You can pay a lot of money to have a particular station monitored but what if your release is being sent to thousands of radio reporters?

ZimmComm is in the process of installing a new distribution software/email system which will in the future allow us to provide you with more feedback on who opens your emailed releases and downloads the audio files. With that information we’ll also be able to do more direct follow up with the reporters we send to on your behalf! We estimate about 2 months before the new system is in place.

In the meantime we continue to send releases for very happy clients who obtain sufficient anecdotal feedback on release usage that they believe in the value of this added method of getting PR value for the releases they produce!

So far this week we’ve sent releases to over 1,500 reporters in 31 states for several clients!

We’re exploring the idea of offering you RSS feeds of your releases. More to come on this new and very logical way of getting even more mileage from your release.

Talking News Release

Value-added with Spring Radio

Chuck Zimmerman

VALUE-ADDED – adj : being or pertaining to something added to a product to increase its value or price; “software supplied by a value-added distributor”; “a value-added tax.”

So how does this apply to radio?

As you do your spring planning, think about including Talking News Releases in your media mix for added value!

Most companies and agencies are looking for added value when it comes to buying radio these days. Often that comes in the form of feature programming and news stories for the client on the station or network. Talking News Releases are the way to provide a consistent message to all your target markets, without tying up the time of one or more spokespeople doing interviews with a number of different broadcasters.

We’ll do the interviews with your spokespeople, then provide the stations and networks in your buy with complete stories, sound bites with copy, and/or long form interviews. The audio can also be regionalized for different audiences with different messages.

Audio, Talking News Release

Radio In A PR Plan

Chuck Zimmerman

This blog is being designed to provide public relations professionals with a resource to learn more about using radio in their plans. Radio is the often overlooked medium and there’s good reason for that. You’ve got so many radio stations and formats that it can be overwhelming to think that you can figure out how to reach reporters and others who work at these facilities.

Through our on-going series of postings we hope to show the effectiveness of radio and creative ideas for getting information about your products and services to your clients or members.

The ZimmComm team (Chuck & Cindy) have spent over 20 years each working in the business and are using that experience to refine their Talking News Release service. This service is currently the only one of its kind.

We hope you’ll find the information coming in future postings to be very helpful in learning more about the radio medium and how to use and justify using it.

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Talking News Release