Definition Of A Blog

Chuck Zimmerman

This is from Webopedia:

(n.) Short for Web log, a blog is a Web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal for an individual. Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author.

(v.) To author a Web log.

Other forms: Blogger (a person who blogs).

I’ve found that so many agricultural communications folks don’t know much about it that I thought it might be helpful to put a definition.

I would add that this year will be the year that companies start using blogging and RSS as a way to communicate in a very personal way and to easily syndicate that information.

I wish there was a prettier word to use than blog though.


We Are The Media

Chuck Zimmerman

Or are we the media?

Interesting question.

It used to be that companies had to push their information to their customers through “traditional” media (newspaper, magazine, radio, tv). The web has opened up a whole new world though.

What about blogging, or as I’d rather say, self-publishing and syndication? If I create an easy to use and subscribe to web log site then I’m going directly to the audience I want. My site can include audio, video and of course text.

Although not blogging, look at what companies like John Deere are doing today. They announced this week that member organization NCBA has “endorsed” the Gator and Buck as their official Utility and ATV vehicles. I’m sure this provides the organization with much needed and welcome revenue for it’s programs and services. In return, John Deere gets mentioned and plugged in NCBA news releases and materials which I assume will include their website and other member communication devices. They’ve passed the traditional media by to reach their customers directly in a relationship that seems to work for everyone.

Does this mean that NCBA has become the “media?”

I got my latest edition of NCGA News of the Day by email. It talked about a new agreement with Eden Bioscience that allows NCGA members to receive product discounts and participate in field demonstration trials with a product they hope to receive registration for prior to the upcoming planting season.

Does this mean that NCGA has become the “media?”

Love to know your thoughts on this.


More Blogs Coming

Chuck Zimmerman

I’ve only been spreading the word about blogs for a couple weeks. Just in the past 24 hours I’ve been contacted by 2 ag communications people about their new blogs. They’re getting their feet wet and seeing what blogging is all about. They’re brave new souls who will continue to succeed in their careers because they’re willing to try something new.

I’ll post links to ag-related blogs when I find them. If you have any send them to me and I’ll pass them along.


Facing The Press

Chuck Zimmerman

U. S. Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Johanns, facing the press at the Cattle Industry Convention in San Antonio. This was his first public speech and press conference as Secretary outside of Washington, DC. Posted by Hello


Sec of Ag Johanns First Speech Outside of DC

Chuck Zimmerman

U. S. Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Johanns, talks at the Cattle Industry Convention on Friday, Feb. 4. You can listen to a few minutes of his comments here: ZimmComm Podcast.

Contact me at ZimmComm if you’d like to hear more from the Secretary. He spoke for about 30 minutes and then answered questions at a press conference and I have all the audio. Posted by Hello


Record Media Attendance

Chuck Zimmerman

I’ve been told that we have a record number of media representatives (reporters) covering the Cattle Industry Convention this year. I know I saw more at the media reception tonight than I’ve ever seen before. Thank you Merial for sponsoring it and the excellent food, especially the little steaks that were fork tender!

Because of all the reporters here I’ve spoken with many people we send Talking News Releases to. I like hearing the comments like, “Love what you send me. I’ve been using it.” Thank you. I wish they would write that to me and to you our clients!

As I was wishing that I got to my computer and checked email. Here’s part of an email I got from a farm broadcaster today that I thought you might be interested in:

“I also wanted to let you know that when you had the Machinery Link interviews months ago I had listeners comment on that report and really enjoyed the information about machinery cost, etc.

I told you about that at the NAFB convention, but never got it in writing! Thanks for your efforts!”

She’s referring to a release we sent on behalf of Blasdel, Cleaver, Schwalbe Communications for their client Machinery Link. Feedback is great.

So this is how I know our TNR service is being used by the reporters we send them to. We talk to them and know so many of them personally. Of course nothing beats a good story though.


Blogging Poll

Chuck Zimmerman

I’ve been asking all the public relations professionals working here that I come in contact with if they know what a blog is. This is very unofficial or scientific and who knows what the margin of error is.

I’d say 95% don’t know. In fact, most say they’ve never heard of the word! Well that’s changing and this blog is helping speed the change up.

I’m also finding that it’s a lot easier showing them how this works and giving them examples of how they can use it than to just try to explain it in a casual conversation. Most discussions have started out as an “I’ve got 5 minutes to talk” and turned into about an hour of pretty intense discussion. I need to start charging for these initial consultations!

So, I can see that there’s a learning curve to go through and I hope I can help you with it. Some folks have given me the impression that they think this is just another fad that they’re not going to bother learning and that can be a little discouraging. But then the next call gets me fired up again.

Like this morning, I had an account executive from a major advertising/public relations agency call me today and spend almost an hour talking about how they can create blogs for themselves and their clients. They’ll be having an agency creative team meeting next week to discuss it and she was asked to contact us to help prepare information for the meeting.

They’re fired up about blogging and what it can mean for them and their clients.

Are you?