Ag Media Summit – New This Summer

Chuck Zimmerman

I’m borrowing from the AAEA website for some of this post to help get the word out about the Ag Media Summit. Here’s what they had to say:

The Steering Committee of the Agricultural Publications Summit (APS) has voted unanimously to change the name of the annual professional development conference to the Agricultural Media Summit (AMS).

“Our members are involved in much more than publications today, including Web sites, radio and television,” said Betsy Freese, APS chairman and livestock editor of Successful Farming. “The new name better reflects the mission of our alliance of organizations.”

The AMS is a limited partnership of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA), Livestock Publications Council (LPC) and AgriCouncil of the Association of Business Media Companies. It will continue to feature professional development sessions in all phases of ag media, as well as an ever expanding Info-Expo trade show.

The first Summit was held in 1999. Approximately 400 members of the ag communications industry attend the annual event.

The 2005 Agricultural Media Summit will be held July 31 to Aug. 3 in Milwaukee.

In addition to the name change, Freese announced that AMS will launch a new interactive Web site that will provide updates on programs, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors and registration. The site, which is still under construction, will be located at

The website isn’t currently active but should be in the near future.

ZimmComm will be attending and of course blogging through it. Ag communications professionals should plan to attend. This was a great event in 2004 !

Ag Media Summit

What A Week And A Busy One Coming Up

Chuck Zimmerman

While we had a very busy week the flu bug hit little old ZimmComm so I haven’t posted much for a few days. However, things are looking up.

We’d like to welcome a new client this week, Lutheran Senior Services. This company manages elderly care facilities including one in Jefferson City, MO – Heisinger Bluffs. We’ve been employed to conduct a community image assessment survey and report and also to submit a PR plan based on our findings. It’s an interesting project and we look forward to working with LSS in the future!

During the week we began conducting some new services for the Missouri Corn Growers Association as they have some staff transitions. Our good buddy Fred Stemme is moving to the National Corn Growers Association and this past Friday was his last day on the job in Jefferson City. I’ll be looking forward to seeing Fred at the Commodity Classic this week in Austin, TX.

I’ll be blogging away at Commodity Classic so keep checking back for new and updated information on the convention’s activities.

Commodity Classic

New Look And Name!

Chuck Zimmerman

Welcome to the new look for the ZimmComm blog. We’re currently transitioning to a new webserver so not all of our links are set up and working yet but that should be remedied within a couple days.

In the meantime all our posts and archives are active. Let us know your thoughts.


So Glad To See Him

Chuck Zimmerman

Here’s Dick Marshall receiving the Lifetime Communicator Award from the Missouri Corn Growers Association. With Dick is family members including his brother Gary (far right) who is the Executive Director of MCGA. The award was presented at last yesterday’s MCGA Annual Mtg. in Jefferson City, MO.

Dick used to work for me at the Brownfield Network. He was a longtime farm broadcaster and one of the best market reporters in the business. Of course he was taught by the best, Derry Brownfield. Dick has been away from the business for a while due to a rare illness. It’s great to see him and this is a much deserved award! Way to go Dick. Posted by Hello


How To Get More Publicity Than The “Others”

Chuck Zimmerman

A friend told me about a comment he heard the other day from an ag group leader here in Missouri who was complaining that the Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) seemed to be quoted and heard in the news more than his group.

The reason is pretty simple. MCGA is doing more media outreach, which includes sending Talking News Releases with sound bites and images to radio, tv and newspaper reporters all over the state.

Take yesterday for example. MCGA had ZimmComm prepare a Talking News Release (click on the link to download the file) on behalf of Mid-Missouri Energy to announce their physical plant’s opening day. We sent the same release to all reporters. Since the audio files are available by hyperlink from our website a reporter can choose to listen and download or not.

MCGA has proactively been assisting efforts like the one at Mid-Missouri Energy for the benefit of all Missouri corn growers. By making sure that this release went out they are better communicating with the public and their own membership.

This was a good story for reporters because it was timely and the plant has a significant impact on the economy, especially in its local region.

The best part for MCGA was that they gave ZimmComm a heads up by email that they wanted the release done. We took it from there. All MCGA’s Communication’s Director, Fred Stemme, had to do was approve the final version! That’s why we’re here.

By the way, Fred is moving up in the world. He’s accepted the position of Vice President of Marketing with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) in St. Louis. I know why they picked Fred. He’s aggressive and progressive. That’s how you move up in this world. Congratulations Fred! ZimmComm hopes to be able to continue working with you in your new position.

Ag Groups, Audio

Blogging Services & New Rate Card

Chuck Zimmerman

I know we’ve told you that we offer blogging services but what does that mean and how much does it cost?

Let’s first of all say that the cost is determined by what you want us to do so we’ll provide you with a quote after you describe what you want us to do.

To address this new service we’ve updated our rate card. I’ll be emailing it out next week when our new blog site is up and running. In the meantime you can contact me directly and I’ll email it to you.

If you still wonder if anyone cares about blogging consider the sold out American Marketing Association conference on blogging this Friday.

Here’s a short description of some of the things we can provide you or your client:

1. Blog Creation and Design – If you’ve already got a website then you should consider how a blog can work with what you’ve already got. Perhaps you want a new design or maybe you want something that uses elements of what your traditional website looks like. We employ the services of several excellent design artists to create the personalized custom look you want.

2. Training – We can provide onsite or conference call training for you and your staff. We would custom design our presentation to your needs. In an extended session we could cover the basics of blogging and move into advanced uses and tools.

3. Content – I know you may wonder about starting something that’s just one more thing to do. That doesn’t have to be the case. Just like with any other communication tool we can provide on-going assistance such as posting information for you, or even creating custom content. Just consider what your goal is with your blog and we can help make it an easy process to keep fresh content on your blog. Content could include text, images, audio or even video.

You’ll find our prices competitive and less expensive than traditional website design and maintenance.

Contact me for more details – Chuck at 573-896-5842!


How About the St. Louis Ag Club Mtg Monday

Chuck Zimmerman

Here’s another meeting of note. The St. Louis Agribusiness Club, along with the Gateway NAMA chapter have a meeting Monday:

Looking to the Future

What’s on the horizon? How will it effect you and/or your business? The Gateway NAMA will host a join meeting with the St. Louis Agribusiness Club featuring Carl Casale, Monsanto Executive Vice President Commercial, North American & Latin America North. Carl will discuss some of the products coming down Monsanto’s pipeline. Come network with friends and colleagues and explore potential new products.

Holiday Inn Westport, St. Louis

Monday, February 14, 2005; reception at 11:30 a.m. and lunch at Noon

$20 – Please RSVP by February 10 at 314-995-4960

Save the date: March 14 – University of Missouri student NAMA chapter presents their marketing presentation for NAMA’s Annual Conference.

Ag Groups

Do You Know About the Kansas City Agricultural Business Council?

Chuck Zimmerman

You may not be aware of this recently formed organization in Kansas City. They’re having a great program coming up you might want to attend though:

The Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City will be hosting nationally-renowned speaker Steve Kopperud for breakfast on Friday, February 25, 2005, 8:00 a.m. The event will be held at the American Royal. Members’ cost for breakfast is $10.00; Nonmembers’ cost is $20.00.

Steve Kopperud has special expertise in agriculture and food issues. He speaks to the topic of how the extremists’ have influenced agricultural policy, among other very pertinent issues facing the agricultural industry. Prior to his current leadership position with Policy Directions, Inc. of Washington, DC, he served as senior vice president of the American Feed Industry Association. He is also the former president of the Animal Industry Foundation; and chairs the Animal Welfare Coalition. He has been quite involved in policy-making efforts which has involved the animal science, veterinarian medical and animal agriculture industries. Before his successful career in government relations’ efforts, he was a reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the San Diego Union. He served as bureau chief and Washington editor for ABC’s publishing division. He has been interviewed many times, on behalf of animal agriculture, by Fox, MSNBC, CNN and ABC.

Reservations can be made online via the following website: Please RSVP via website or email if you are planning to come and/planning to bring your colleagues, so we may ensure an accurate headcount.

I’ll be happy to post information like this for groups that promote agriculture locally. Just let me know as Gina Bowman did with this meeting notice.

Ag Groups

Jazz Up That E-Newsletter With Audio!

Chuck Zimmerman

This is one of those “duh” why didn’t I think of that ideas. You can listen to me talk about this here: ZimmComm Podcast.

If you’ve got an e-newsletter why not insert hyperlinks to audio that your subscribers can listen to on their computer?

Let’s say you’ve hired ZimmComm to produce a Talking News Release. We have to do an interview to collect audio for sound bites. We can edit the full interview and make it available in your e-newsletter or just the sound bites!! Heck, we’ll conduct an interview just to create audio for your newsletter even if you don’t want or need a TNR.

The easiest way to do this would be to either email us your newsletter prior to distibution and we can insert the hyperlinks for you and return it to you or we can send you the URL of the audio file and you insert the hyperlink. Isn’t that simple?

And you’ll have really jazzed up your e-newsletter!

Audio, Podcasts

Missouri Beef Industry Council Takes The Stage

Chuck Zimmerman

One of our charter client’s the MBIC just sent out this Talking News Release today. This a general consumer release that was sent to radio, tv and publication reporters. There are hyperlinks in the release to audio and image files. The subject is MBIC’s sponsorship of the cooking stage at the St. Louis Women’s Show.

Addtionally, we produced a self-contained interview on the same subject which was distributed to traditional farm broadcast reporters as part of the MBIC’s weekly MBIC Report series. This is done to help communicate MBIC activities to cattle producers whose money is funding these projects.

I hope these will give you ideas of how you can use ZimmComm to produce and distribute quality information targeting both consumers and producers.

Ag Groups, Audio