The Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program (IALP) Class of 2012 participants traveled to Chicago for a three-day seminar on media relations July 13-15, 2011. The seminar included twelve sessions featuring 17 speakers in television, radio, newspaper, public relations, advertising, social media and new media.
Over a two-year period the group is attending 14 seminars covering current social, political and economic issues in the agriculture industry. At the Media Relations Seminar, participants heard from Tom Ferry, Media Director at the advertising firm Gyro in Chicago, and Dan Toland, the Social Media Director for the Ohio Farm Bureau who discussed web strategies, media planning and the use of social media in agriculture.
Presentations were also given by representatives of commodity and trade groups, including Jeff Adkisson, Director, Grain and Feed Association; Dennis Vercler, Director of Communications, Illinois Farm Bureau; Craig Ratajczyk , Senior Director, Illinois Soybean Association; Tricia Braid, Communications Director, Illinois Corn Growers Association/Corn Marketing Board; and Linnea Kooistra – Owner, Kooistra Farms. The class was hosted to dinner at Eli’s Cheesecake World Headquarters by President Marc Schulman, and David Snyer, Publisher of Crain’s Chicago Business, addressed the group on the changing nature of media.
Michael Turley, Colleen Church- McDowell and Sue Dillon from the public relations firm Osborn & Barr discussed formulating media messages and effective interviewing skills. Afterward, IALP participants engaged in mock television interviews with Orion Samuelson, Agribusiness Services Director, WGN Radio, and host of television show “This Week in Agribusiness.”
“Our program specifically focuses on developing qualified spokespeople for the agricultural industry,” said Joyce Watson, IALF President. “We’re fortunate to have access to the leading professionals in the media field to assist us with the best ways to communicate the important messages of agriculture.”
A panel of media professionals including Jennifer Lyons, Assistant News Director at WGN-TV; Shiela Solomon, Cross Media Editor for the Chicago Tribune; and Independent Journalist Charlie Meyerson, shared ideas on how to create and build relationships with media gatekeepers. Matthew Vander Laan, Executive Vice President of the public relations firm Edelman, discussed ideas for participating in today’s complex conversation about food and agriculture.
The Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation was founded in 1981 and is based in Macomb, Ill. It is a non-profit educational corporation under Illinois law. A board of directors, comprised of recognized leaders in agriculture and business, oversees the program. Candidates for the leadership program are selected during a competitive application process. Men and women 25 to 49 years of age working full- in production agriculture or agri-related occupations are encouraged to apply. More information is available at www.agleadership.org.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.