Over and Out

So for my PR in Agriculture class we had to set up a blog.  And if you are reading this, well this is the blog that I have set up. I posted an update on here once a week for the past semester.  Over this semester I have learned so much in this class, not only about public relations. But also how most social media works and is effective.

The first rule is post stuff people want to see!

There are bunch of other rules but the next one is:

You have to post frequently; to keep a good audience!

That rule is the straw that is going to break this camel’s back. I am sorry to inform my followers; if I have any religious one, this will be my final post on Mr. Kephart the 3rd. It has been a good run and I have enjoyed informing people on different and new aspects of agriculture. I believe I have done justice in all of my post to give an insight to agriculture that farmers and the public want to see. Some of these may be a new technology or completely different technique. While other posts have talked about the numerous guess speakers we have had the privilege of talking to. So again thank you all that have followed me on this journey and I hope maybe some of these post will give you new perspective, or a fresh look at things.

Signing off, Mr. Kephart the 3rd over and out!


Dropping Knowledge

In my PR and agriculture class we had the pleasure of having, Chuck Zimmerman, from AG Wired come and speak. His talk was very interesting, he told stories about how Chuck Zimmermanmuch agriculture communications has changed over his 9 year in the field.  I will highlight some of the most interesting and also, crazy stories he had to share with us.
                The first, and most amazing thing that he talked to us about, was how much the agriculture industry has changed over the past decade.  He told how he started in his career working on broadcasting farm reports on the radio in the southeast. He discussed how limited these reports had to be and how much more really needed to be put out there for the consumer to know. However, now you can hop on the internet and check any aspect of the agriculture industry at the click of a mouse.
                Next, he spoke about how he and his partner were some of the first to start blogging about agriculture. At the beginning they were put down by a lot of the major companies; who he now covers most of the events they host. They told him farmers do not look at nor read blogs. He had a lot of very fascinating stories to tell about the evolution of agriculture blogging, and how much they can cover past just the old farm reports.
               His stories were very motivating for looking to the future. He showed us just how much the agriculture communications has changed in the past decade, and I believe it still has more changes to come.  I think some kind of social media will have a massive role to play in this change. I’m not positive on which one will bring the change or how but I just have a hunch some social media is the future of communications. The thing he stressed to us was to stick to your ideas if you believe it’s a good one.

All the Small Things

This past week in Public Relations in Agriculture, we had the chance to talk with Judi Graff.  Judi, is a well-known blogger whose motto is “farm blogger helping farmers blog”. That is exactly what she did! She came to our class and gave us a presentation over why it is important for framers to blog on top of their operations.  She had really interesting statistics that proved the gain in business for farmers who blog about their work.  I will share a couple of these staggering statistics. “Companies that have a blog generate 55% more website traffic“.  The stat that blew my mind was, “business to business companies who blog have 88% more leads per month”.

Although, this part of our class was interesting the more effective part was her critiquing our blogs! There were so many things that I was doing slightly wrong from the beginning. She assured me that my blog was good and that they were just beginner blogging mistakes.  I will share the three most helpful tips for me.

1.      Breaking up the text

-This helps the reader by not having everything jumbled up and in the same size font.

2.      Moving/Have Photos

-This makes your blog more visually stimulating to the readers and also gives the viewer an example if they do not know what you are talking about.

3.      5 Blog  Must Haves

-Tagline: Keep it short and to point

-About Me: Explain your purpose

-Contact: Get a contact tab that contains information to make it easy for people to interact with you

-Call to Action: Be sure to talk up your blog and ask people to follow it

-Fast Load Time: you want to have small file size so the pictures on your site load fast (100-300Kb is recommended)

These were just the three tips that I found to be most helpful in my case.  You can check out her blog for more tips at http://farmnwife.com/.  Also after she helped me I gained  7 new followers.

Let me know what you favorite tips are, or if you have any more for me to improve my blog!

School is Cool

Over the past few weeks in my class, public relations in agriculture, we have had three guest speakers come in to give us more information on social media and its effects on business. The first speaker was a lady from Monsanto Seed Company, she spoke to us about a few strategies and how we can improve our social networking skills. The second was a Missouri State Agriculture Communications major graduate that is now working for Ozarks Farm & Neighbor magazine. She explained some business strategies they are now using in her market. Lastly, the third speaker was a student from the same class last year; she has taken what she learned and applied it to her work place, here in Springfield. I will be going over five main aspects from these speakers that have really impacted my thoughts on social media and networking and how it affects business.

The first aspect that really caught my eye was from our Ozark Farm & Neighbor speaker. She brought about the fact that you need to post regularly to keep your name in front of people; you want your name or the company’s name to appear on people’s minifeed.  She came in to this magazine and the Facebook for the company had been lagging on this aspect. She talked about how after they have been keeping up with posting, the number of followers they have acquired has gone up.

The second thing that caught my attention was the Monsanto speaker brought up, “Twitter Dock”. This is an application that I had not heard about. It seems like a great idea for businesses because it allows you to schedule post for times of the day that social media gets the most traffic. Sounds like a great marketing tool to me!

The third speaker from our class brought up the fact that you need to interact with your followers and not just be all about “me”.  This is so the followers stay interested even when there isn’t a promotion.  Also, this will keep the followers coming back to your page just to see what you are saying for the day.

Fourth; all the speakers brought up, you need pictures! This was huge because it will draw in people to look at the picture, ‘because it is worth a thousand words’, and then they will read the caption. Having pictures is a strategy that will bring in more of an audience because people are more likely to share a photo; when they share, all of their friends will see the picture as well; this leads to getting your name out and obtaining more of a following.

Fifth and final, Social media can be a game changer for businesses! This is a testimony from the third speaker; she took the knowledge she gained from this class and helped to double the income of the business she worked for. She claims it is not all the social media, but I’m sure it has to have a little something to do with the boost.

These were just five of the highlights from the three great speakers we have had. I’m sure there will be many great speakers to come.  With them I hope I will gain a greater knowledge of social media and networking and the positive effects it can have on business.

Do you have any tips for networking or using social media?