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Agrimarketing : May 2008
Make NAMA Stronger A DIVERSE MEMBERSHIP BASE BENEFITS EVERYONE. Meet an Industry Leader RANDY HAPPEL, PUBLIC RELATIONS ASSOCIATE TWO RIVERS MARKETING, DES MOINES, IOWA NAMA caught up with industry leaders and asked them to weigh in on how they’re culti- vating new talent and reaching out to the next generation of agri-marketing professionals. Here’s what Randy Happel had to say: What advice do you have for new professionals entering the industry? Get involved! Volunteer and contribute time and talent to professional organiza- tions and associations that can provide opportunities to network and gain expo- sure. Learn as much as possible (e.g., read, attend workshops, take classes) about technology and industry trends and strive to diversify your communications expertise and industry knowledge. Be true to your personal convictions and always be honest. Don’t shy away from taking a risk or stepping out of your comfort zone. How has the industry changed since you began your career? Telecommunications and technology has completely revolutionized our industry. I remember being amazed the first time I sent a fax! Today we can download high quality digital images to a handheld, wire- less device and send them to recipients around the globe in a matter of seconds. It’s no secret that a large and active membership base improves the NAMA experience for everyone. We recently checked in with NAMA chapter leaders who have strong membership numbers to discover their keys to success. Whether you are new to NAMA or a long-time member, consider ways you can help spread the word and engage colleagues to join NAMA and get more involved. According to Catherine Wang, Client Service Manager, Gibbs & Soell Public Relations, and Membership Chairman for the Eastern Chapter, National NAMA events help provide a reliable stream of new members. “New members receive a discount to the Agribusiness Conference if they also begin a membership when they register,” she says. “They also hear from colleagues who are already NAMA members about our excellent networking opportunities and educa- tional events.” Ken Dean, Marketing Consultant, High Plains Journal, and Membership Chairman for the MoKan Chapter, believes their convenient, central loca- tion helps them attract members. “We’re extremely fortunate to be centered in the middle of an ideal geographic location,” explains Dean. “Not to mention that the National NAMA Conference is held in Kansas City every two years. “Having said that, I believe the corner- stone to a strong, healthy chapter is programming. Programming – even social gatherings – provides opportuni- ties for a chapter to remain cohesive,” he says. The Iowa Chapter takes a very direct, hands-on approach to contacting—and staying in touch with—potential new members. A strategy that’s working remarkably well for them, says Janelle Buxton, Sales Executive, Successful Farming & Agriculture Online, and Iowa Membership Chairman. “Once a year, we exchange a prospect list with an advertising professionals group in Des Moines and mail them our membership letters and flyers,” she shares. “McCormick Company in Des Moines produces our newsletter pro bono and we always list new members along with a hot link to our member- ship application. “Finally, we send out an Evite for all chapter events,” she says. “Evite has a guest feature option that allows current members to invite other guests to upcoming meetings. These new atten- dees receive NAMA recruitment mate- rials and information when they attend.” Interested in getting more involved? See the next page for a listing of NAMA Chapters and make contact. “I believe the cornerstone to a strong, healthy chapter is programming. Programming—even social gatherings— provides opportunities for a chapter to remain cohesive.” Ken Dean, Membership Chairman, MoKan Chapter Randy Happel May 2008 ¦ AgriMarketing 21
May 2008 Supplement
Canadian Agribusiness Employer Guide 08