GoE Gone

Chuck Zimmerman

GoE GuysIt looks like the GoE Summer Roadtrip is over (at least for this year). I’ve been following them on their blog (have you?). They took a lot of pictures which you can see on their photo album.

What do you think of this use of a blog in a marketing campaign? Post your comments. Come on now. That’s what the blog thing is all about you know.

I wonder how you measure the success of this campaign. Are more people buying ethanol blended gas in North Dakota? Is it how many stories got published about the campaign? These guys not only personally interacted with people throughout the state but online through their blog. If I can find out any statistics I’ll pass them along.

I think it was a great idea and pretty well executed. I would have like to have seen more consistent posting on their blog though. There were some big gaps of inactivity for example. This is due to just conducting a few multi-day trips but for subscribers it meant we could almost forget about it before anything new comes along. They took a lot of pictures and should have featured them on the blog. I liked their humorous writing style including the typos which really didn’t bother me considering who was writing (although no typos is always better).

On the GoE website there’s a link to “GoE Guys In The News” that only shows their press release. I know they had news coverage and links to it would be appropriate and expected here.

It is a good looking promotion overall though. I’ll see what else I can find out and report.

Ag Group, Blogging, Government

Interactive Leader For Swanson Russell

Chuck Zimmerman

Swanson Russell AssociatesMore and more agencies are building an interactive team and with good reason. Here at ZimmComm that’s me so far. However, we do have people like Eric we can go to when needed.

Swanson Russell Associates (SRA), Nebraska’s largest marketing communications firm, has hired Eric Gautschi as interactive supervisor for its Lincoln and Omaha offices.

Gautschi will lead SRA’s interactive team in helping clients design and develop Web sites, develop e-mail marketing campaigns and conduct online surveys and research.

For more information contact Renee Sprengeler.


ZimmCast Features IFAJ Congress Organizer

Chuck Zimmerman

ZimmCast 30The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Congress 2005 is getting closer. In this week’s ZimmCast I interview one of the organizers. He’s Markus Rediger, Agricultural Information Center, from Switzerland. I met Markus at the Ag Media Summit and he clued me in on what we have to look forward to and why he thinks any ag journalist should consider attending.

You can listen to the ZimmCast here Download MP3 File (2.5MB) The ZimmCast is our weekly podcast which you can subscribe to using the link in our sidebar.

While I was visiting the Agricultural Information Center website I found links to a few of the television commercials they had produced targeting consumers and showing them how food gets to their town from the farm. As the site says “As a result of the whole campaign we want consumers to feel that – Swiss Farmers welcome them.” You can see the spots here.

Pioneer Hi-BredAgWired reports on IFAJ Congress 2005 are sponsored by Pioneer Hi-Bred.

Audio, IFAJ, Podcasts, ZimmCast

End Of The BBS

Chuck Zimmerman

Blog Business SummitIt’s the end of the day, the last session. The main thing I got out of the “metrics” session had to do with registering you blog on search engines, using “keywords” in posts and keeping an eye on how you’re doing. One place to look at how your website (or blog) is doing is Marketleap. It has some neat online tools for seeing how your site is doing, especially in comparison to other sites and for keywords!

This last session on strategy and policy for corporate blogging is certainly relevant for companies that are considering creating a blog or blogs. I’m going to point you to the Blog Business Summit website for more information.

This has definitely been a great opportunity to learn more about the blogosphere and most importantly talk with others who are using blogs as a business tool. Glad I came and will be doing the long travel home thing tomorrow.


Gimme My Metrics

Chuck Zimmerman

Blog Business SummitI didn’t realize that we weren’t really supposed to take pictures of the presenters and post them without asking permission (whoops). I only know this because they have a big screen slide that was up with this instruction between sessions. So I gave myself permission to post my own picture.

I’m in one of the last sessions of the day that I hope to get some concrete information on. It’s “Measuring Success: Setting Goals and Establishing Metrics.” There’s that word “metrics” again. Gotta have metrics. We’ll see what Sally Falkow has to say. I ate lunch at her topic table on RSS. One of the key things I had wondered about RSS was “Can I measure how many subscribers I have to my site feed (RSS)?” Basically, the answer is no but there are some ways to get an idea of what level of subscribership you have to an RSS feed. I can tell you that we do have subscribers to AgWired both because of the feedback I get from them and because I can see the activity on the website. However, without going into a long explanation, I really can’t tell you how many actual subscribers AgWired has. I’m going to continue to research this.


New Website Design For AgWeb.com

Chuck Zimmerman

AgWebThe folks at Farm Journal Media announced a whole new site design for AgWeb.com this week. I don’t have a “before” shot to compare it to but you can visit and see for yourself. Here’s what they say about why they changed it:

AgWeb.com Site Manager Derek Benthem points to a new user-friendly design to make navigation and utility easier. “AgWeb has greatly expanded its editorial content this past year and now features more than 40 agricultural editors and contributors,” says Benthem. “The new design makes much of this content accessible with only one click offering our users faster and easier access to information and editorial commentaries.”

“Adoption of the Net among America’s top farmers now exceeds 70% – and we’re seeing strong growth in broadband. This medium is changing right before our eyes!” says Jerry Shafer, AgWeb Vice President of Sales. “Producers want information at their fingertips. To stay ahead of these needs, we have to constantly adapt.”

For more information contact Jerry Shafer.

Internet, Media, Publication

Blog Writing Style At The BBS

Chuck Zimmerman

Blog Business SummitBack to the BBS. Right now we’re on “Blog Writing Style” with Molly Holzschlag and Darren Barefoot. Prior to this today we heard about different types of blogging software with explanations of how each might best fit a particular application and level of experience for someone who wants to start blogging.

Now we’re getting specific about writing! For example, the idea of editing what you’ve written before you publish it and it’s on the web. Good idea. Although I can attest that as you get proficient you’ll find that you get more and more comfortable hitting the publish button when you’ve got it all entered.

Darren’s telling us to find our “voice” and as long time broadcaster that used to mean how your voice sounded. In the blogging world it refers to the “personality” that comes through in your writing. Of course, if you podcast, you can kind of do both.

I like the point that Darren just made regarding corporate blogging, that the company doesn’t blog, an individual at the company blogs. That reinforces what I try to tell people about using a blog as a way to personally connect with an audience.


New USDA Communications Staffers

Chuck Zimmerman

USDAThe USDA office of communications has some new staff members. Kristin Scuderi will serve as Deputy Press Secretary; Harry Phillips serves as Director of Speechwriting and Jessie Nicholson as Speechwriter in the department.

Welcome to the staff!


Heads Up You Lonely Farmers

Chuck Zimmerman

Farmers OnlyThis is just too funny but serious. I just received a news release (through PR Web) for FarmersOnly.com, a dating service for farmers. I might have to do a ZimmCast with this guy. For now I’ll just leave it that I’ve brought it to your attention.

August 18, 2005 — FarmersOnly.com is the brainchild of Jerry Miller, owner of the marketing and public relations firm for the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association. Jerry works with thousands of farms and ranches across the country. While talking to one of the farmers, Jerry made quite a discovery.

“A recently divorced farmer revealed that she was becoming frustrated with being single and the difficulty of meeting someone new.” Jerry recalled.

“I’m ready to give up!” She said. “How am I going to meet someone new if I am out in the middle of nowhere, working on a farm all day? Maybe I’ll try online dating.”

For more information Jerry wants you to visit the website.