Human nature has a tendency to admire complexity but reward simplicity, and this is certainly true with effective communication and marketing.
Notice we said “effective.” While some advertising and marketing campaigns focus more on winning awards than building relationships and strengthening brands, VistaComm helps clients to transform complex information into clear, concise, compelling messages that resonate with their target audiences.
When our clients do earn national recognition for their efforts, it’s just icing on the cake.
We were thrilled when Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) recently honored several of our clients with first-place awards in the 2011 CCA Communications Contest Winners Showcase, including:
- Video, DVD or Film: United Cooperative in Beaver Dam, WI, for their video production “Strength. Resourcefulness. Integrity. Innovation. A glimpse into the United Cooperative lifestyle.”
- Improved Publication: West Central Cooperative in Ralston, Iowa, for their “BTW” magazine.
- Online/Electronic Newsletter: FCA Co-op in Jackson, MN, for their “FCA Co-op Current eVents” e-newsletter.
The CCA helps its members excel in communications, from writing, photography, and editing to video, layout, and design. It also emphasizes ideas and strategies aimed at making communications more successful for cooperatives.
So what are an award-winning company’s secrets to success? You might be surprised.
Video helps tell United Cooperative’s story
VistaComm assisted United Cooperative in developing a professional video production that reflects the ever-expanding services and products offered through the cooperative, which has 20 locations and offers feed, grain, agronomy, and energy products and services to Wisconsin farmers and consumers.
The goal? Convey a stronger image that distinguishes United Cooperative from other co-ops. We recently caught up with Dori Lichty, the communications, media, and public relations manager for United Cooperative, to get an insider’s perspective on this process.
Q: What prompted United Cooperative to implement this communication tool?
A. During the last 25 years, we’ve grown so much as a cooperative, both in locations and services. As a result, it was becoming increasingly more difficult to tell a complete story about everything our cooperative has to offer our member patrons. We decided to create this video to offer a short but detailed glimpse into the United Cooperative business and lifestyle.
Q: How is the video production helping United Cooperative reach its goals?
A: Our sales staff uses the video when prospecting and also uses it as an educational tool during producer meetings. We want our patron members to get the most value out of doing business with the cooperative, and the video helps inform our customers about everything the cooperative has to offer. In addition, our corporate business office uses the video for employee orientation and business development. It’s a great tool to teach new employees and business partners about all of United Cooperative’s divisions and business endeavors.
Q: What did you appreciate about working with VistaComm on this project?
A: There are two major reasons we chose to work with VistaComm. They have a strong knowledge of, and appreciation for, production agriculture. In addition, the video crew they work with is excellent. I wanted our video to be top of the line, and VistaComm helped make that happen.
Magazine adds energy, pizzazz to West Central’s messages
On the print side, VistaComm has helped West Central Cooperative develop a new way to ramp up its communications efforts to reflect the spirit of innovation and value-added focus that define West Central, a member-owned, Iowa-based cooperative that boasts a national and international agricultural presence.
Sarah Dorman, a communication specialist at West Central, explains how VistaComm helped West Central develop their award-winning BTW Magazine:
Q: What prompted West Central to implement this communication tool?
A: West Central published its first edition member newspaper/magazine in 1958, and since then we’ve always utilized this type of a communication vehicle. However, our style and look had gone stagnant and lost its energy and pizzazz. We wanted to bring that back. West Central has been doing so many cutting-edge, industry-leading projects lately, but our main communication piece was the furthest thing from cutting-edge or industry-leading. We wanted to be consistent in providing our members with the “latest and greatest” tools so they can be more successful in their own businesses.
Q: How is the magazine helping West Central reach its goals?
A: BTW has taken West Central’s previous magazine and turned up the notch about 90%. While the goal is the same and the information is much the same, the presentation is much better.
Q: What do you appreciate about working with VistaComm on the magazine?
A: While I do the prep work, I don’t have to worry about a thing, because VistaComm handles everything. When I’m stumped on a story idea, our journalist, Candice Larson, fills in that gap. She’s fantastic to work with, and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in this project. She understands our goals and is part of our team.
Like what you’ve heard?
If you’ve been inspired by our award-winning clients, we want to hear from you. Let’s start the conversation about ways we can provide customized solutions for your unique communication needs. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866.752.7707.