Last week in my Public Relations course we had the privilege to hear from Lynzee Glass the managing editor for Ozarks Farm & Neighbor; which is a newspaper targeted to farmers and ranchers. This newspaper has been around for 16 years in Missouri but also produces publications for Northwest Missouri, Arkansas, and Eastern Oklahoma. The sole purpose of her presentation was to explain their struggles with social media based off of their average readers. OF&N utilizes Facebook and Twitter, although this wasn’t the easiest transition due to their staff with very traditional ways. So far they have reached 1,400 Facebook followers, but the problem at hand is this number doesn’t reflect their 58,000 subscribers. Their average reader is males between the ages of 35-65 who run a cow/calf operation; because this is solely an educational paper.
Since it is important to stay up to date with social media in the realm of advertising your product they decided to target a different market to direct viewers to their website. Through Facebook they have been able to grab a newer, younger audience and get their name out there at the same time. Since this paper is only distributed every 3 weeks there is news that doesn’t make it into their newspaper but is now posted onto Facebook. As well, this is free publicity for their newspaper and at the end of the day their main goal is to direct people to their site for profit from ads.
Lynzee talked about how utilizing social media has improved OF&N’s popularity within the younger generation. The most important positive factor from social media is the ability to communicate with other companies at ease. She explained how even though their Twitter doesn’t have many followers, they find it very beneficial because of their direct communication with companies like Angus Association, Farm Bureau…and companies alike. Since she is the editor it is her job to help compile ideas to write about, and with these sources she is able to ask questions about particular issues to incorporate in their newspaper.
I really enjoyed listening to Lynzee speak about OF&N because it gave me a different perspective of the problems associated with older companies with an older subscribers. It is great evidence that companies can transform and meet the public where there at, even if it isn’t traditional to their product.