PASSING THE GAVEL
POSITIONED FOR THE FUTURE
by Michelle Rook
"NAFB and Farm Broadcasting: Positioned for the Future." This is not only the theme for the 61st Annual NAFB Convention, but also the mission of the organization for the next 12 to 18 months.
NAFB also needs to serve as the conduit for interfacing stations and networks with allied industry and the agri-marketing community.
RURAL LIFESTYLE STUDY
The rural lifestyle market is probably garnering the most attention right now; it holds tremendous promise for farm radio in terms of new audience and revenue generation. As a result, NAFB has conducted the second wave of cutting-edge qualitative research on the rural lifestyle market.
The research focuses on identifying and defining who makes up this audience, their buying potential and habits, and how farm radio can effectively deliver that audience to agri-marketers. Results of this research will be featured at this year's convention, and the rural lifestyle market will be the thrust of NAFB's marketing efforts for the upcoming year.
The other role NAFB will play in this process is assisting farm radio stations and networks in developing programming for this audience and identifying and selling to potential rural lifestyle advertising clients. Some of the leading experts in the rural lifestyle market will share their insights on how to capitalize on this market as part of a panel discussion at the NAFB Convention.
Another way NAFB is getting the industry positioned for the future is by recognizing the critical role all its members play in the success of the organization and farm broadcasting. All three categories of membership - farm broadcasters, managers and allied industry - are crucial to the mission of NAFB and the survival of the farm broadcasting industry.
These groups are working to-gether to build upon their already strong relationship. A panel of the nation's top farm broadcasters and a panel of farm station managers, respectively, will talk about what it takes to have a successful farm radio station, how to effectively work with advertisers and agencies to improve sales, and how important the relationship is between managers and farm broadcasters.
Another panel of the best marketing and advertising professionals in the business will discuss how farm stations, agencies and agribusiness clients can work together to achieve success in agri-marketing.
NAFB is also helping farm broadcasters get positioned for the future through our marketing efforts. Part of that effort will include a branding campaign that will feature the relationship farm broadcasters have with their audience.
That relationship is unique to farm radio, and it is one of the main reasons agri-marketers need to include farm radio in their media buys. With this key strength, farm radio can cost-effectively deliver the audience for advertisers and "move the meter."
POSITIONING FOR THE FUTURE
NAFB and farm broadcasters are also helping the farmers and ranchers in our audience to get positioned for the future. Farm broadcasters have a strong relationship with farm and commodity groups, governmental agencies and agribusiness. As a result, they can keep producers on top of the major issues of the day.
As testament to that relationship, U.S. Ag Secretary Mike Johanns called on NAFB and farm broadcasters in May of this year to help him facilitate his nationwide farm bill listening sessions. NAFB members from across the nation hosted those sessions throughout the summer, and Johanns will be summarizing those meetings during his keynote address at the NAFB Convention.
The farm broadcasting industry will continue to change, that is certain. However, as that evolution takes place, the goal for NAFB is to be there with the tools that stations, networks, managers and allied industry need to respond to those changes, work together and be "positioned for the future."