If you had told me two years ago that I’d have my own blog, I wouldn’t have believed you. At that point, I thought the only people who blogged were middle school girls who wanted to share their drama-filled, pre-teen lives with the world. However, some things happened this summer that started to change my perception.
In June, I began working on an Angus Journal story about a junior Angus member who served as a National Beef Ambassador. I was a 2004 ambassador. I’ll talk more about the program later, but the ambassador team basically travels the U.S. promoting beef. I learned that members of recent teams have also incorporated blogs. Amanda Nolz’s blog can be found at http://www.chewingthecud.org/, and Chris Molinaro’s blog is http://www.beefmatters.com/. Both are effective examples of blogs used for promotional purposes.
I was exposed to blogs again in July. I attended the Beef Industry Summer Conference where Chuck Zimmerman was providing coverage of the meetings for one of his blogs, agwired.com. I got a more in-depth look at Zimmerman’s business later that month when I attended a blog training session he led at Ag Media Summit in Louisville. Zimmerman and his wife, Cindy, own a new media company that specializes in blogs and podcasts. Zimmerman spoke about the profit potential in setting up and maintaining blogs for companies. Another possible income stream is having companies sponsor blog coverage of meetings or events.
In my PR Techniques class at Kansas State University, my professor offered another application of blogs. She handed out a Washington Post article about how ConAgra Foods used blogs and Internet posts to get a pulse of diet trends. They realized early that the low-carb craze was fading. Using this information, they adjusted their business plans.
So there really are some practical, business applications for blogs. I’m finding out first hand they are a user friendly, easy to maintain medium with a personal feel. I’m excited to be an active participant in this medium, which I can see playing an increasing role in personal and professional communication efforts.