Bob has always been an early adopter of new communications technologies. Working to be successful at a not-for-profit association in 1994, motivated him to search for inexpensive ways to increase the reach and frequency of communications, and he quickly realized that the digital age had opened the door for people to network with a global audience at a relatively low cost. He developed my first website 22 years ago, and have been managing social media assets for more than 14 years.
Bob has been a marketing communications professional for more than 30 years. Prior to joining CD&G, Bob was Communications Lead at Syngenta, managing a multi-million dollar Advertising and Public Relations budget to promote the company’s portfolio of soybean seed, seedcare, and crop protection products in the United States. In addition, he developed communications plans for three Regional Commercial Units in the Midwest, the Agronomy and Technical Services Initiative, and the Resistance Fighter program. He also directed the communication plan for Syngenta’s presence at the National Farm Machinery Show and the company’s sponsorship of the Championship Tractor Pull. Website assets that Bob managed at Syngenta included:
Tools to Grow More Soybeans, a critical resource that provided Syngenta customers with in-depth knowledge about products and how to use them to manage pests and increase yields. In 2014, he directed a major update to the layout and navigation features of this area to improve the user experience. The underlying web pages provide access to downloadable PDF documents that contain in-depth information on nearly 100 topics.
The Know More, Grow More Blog, which provides timely seasonal information from Syngenta’s network of 70 field agronomists. In 2014, Bob expanded the blog by working with his agency team to define 12 geographic regions, program a user interface where growers could subscribe, and create a new bi-monthly email newsletter. Regionalized articles from the Know More, Grow More Blog were emailed to 5,000 subscribers. In addition to managing the blog, also managed agency partners to develop story ideas, communicate with agronomists, set up interviews with product managers, edit and approve final copy.
Resistance Fighter, which featured a Resistance Fighter of the Year leadership program and website. Worked with his agency partners, he created online digital banner ads that were placed on commercial websites to solicit nominations. He also facilitated a meeting of the selection committee to review and announce the finalists.
When Bob joined the American Soybean Association as Communications Director in November 1994, the association did not have a website, and the ASA Board, which is comprised of volunteer farmers, was reluctant to provide funding to create and maintain a new resource. Undaunted by this setback, Bob presented a $1,000 proposal to the National Oilseed Producers Association (NOPA) for a shared website oilseeds.org that included sub-domains for ASA, NOPA and the American Oilseed Coalition. He taught himself how to write HTML code, learned how to obtain a domain name, contracted for a web server IP address, and launched the new site in the summer of 1995.
By 1998, the ASA Board began to understand the value of hosting a website, so Bob registered a new domain name Amsoy.org and contracted for a web server that utilized FrontPage extensions to enhance the user experience with images, graphics, and better layout control. He participated in classes at the University of Missouri-Saint Louis to learn MS FrontPage, and later took courses in Expression Web. He also collaborated with the United Soybean Board to sponsor a class for Internet Technologies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which was offered to communicators at state soybean associations.
In 2002, Bob registered a new domain name SoyGrowers.com to emphasis ASA’s role as a farmer-driven organization. From 2002 until 2013, he managed every aspect of SoyGrowers. He incorporated new ASP technologies to link to databases and provide password-protected, members-only resources, added audio and video steaming, and more interactive features and menu systems to enhance the user experience.
SoyStats.comSoyStats, A Reference Guide To Important Soybean Facts & Figures, is a comprehensive resource for statistical information about the U.S. soybean industry and its relationship to world oilseed production. From 1997 until 2013, Bob was project manager for this resource, including soliciting sponsors to fund the project, managing the budget, contracting for data analysis, creative design services, print production, and international distribution of 10,000 copies.
SoyStats was originally a print-only annual publication that chronicled statistical information on soybean yield, production, utilization, and exports. In 2002, registered the domain name SoyStats.com and created the first online version of the publication to make this information easily available to millions of people in the United States and around the world.
Bob was Team Leader responsible for TomorrowsBounty.com, a digital toolbox of educational materials for producer-members of U.S. agricultural commodity organizations. Online information included grower video testimonials for the general public, as well as talking points, handouts, PowerPoint presentations, posters and menu cards that could be used locally to advocate for crop biotechnology. The website was live from 2001 until 2005.
Collation partners included the American Agri-Women, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Corn Growers Association, National Cotton Council, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Board, National Potato Council, National Turkey Federation, USA Rice Federation, and United Soybean Board.
As Sales Promotion & Media Director at LaSalle Group,
Bob managed four account supervisors in the development of consumer advertising and promotion campaigns for Anheuser-Busch, Con Agra Frozen Foods, Winchester Ammunition, Olin Defense, Purina Mills, Cooper Industries/Wagner Brake, and Hager Hinge.
He also managed six full time associates and a flexible work force of part-time employees in the agency's premium and fulfillment division.
As Director of Sales Promotion at TBWA Kerlick Switzer,
Bob supervised a full time staff of nine in the agency’s promotion division, including art directors and copywriters, print and broadcast production managers, and
he collaborated with other department heads to set the strategic direction and develop national advertising campaigns and promotional events for Eagle Snacks, Ralston Purina, Eveready Battery, Tyson Foods, Winchester Ammunition, Coleman, and Zebco Fishing Tackle.