Paulsen President Featured in Agri Marketing Magazine

June 20, 2016

Paulsen President Sara Steever was one of nine women pictured on the cover of the May 2016 issue of Agri Marketing magazine that included a cover story on “Women Leading Ag Agencies.”

We visited with Lynn Henderson, publisher/editorial director for Agri Marketing magazine about the May issue.

PP: Lynn, what led you to make this story your cover article for your May issue?

Henderson: Over the years more and more women have been promoted, or started, in marketing communications agencies serving agricultural accounts—a profession traditionally dominated by males.

When I attended my first National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) convention in 1974, there were only a handful of women in attendance. Their roles at agencies were primarily in the media departments. Gradually, more and more women were promoted into account service, then account management, then account supervision and now they are providing their organization’s top leadership.

In just the past two years, three more women were promoted to president of their respective agencies. And they are large agencies.

So, the Agri Marketing editorial staff decided to help celebrate their achievement and status by gathering the women presidents together at this spring’s NAMA convention and taking a group photo.

Ten years ago, we ran a group photo of the presidents of the largest agencies serving agricultural accounts on the magazine’s front cover. They were all men. The time was right to draw this significant change to the agri-marketing industry.

PP: What feedback have you received from your readers on the “Women Leading Ag” cover article?

Henderson: We have received a number of congratulatory emails and requests for reprints. The magazine can be viewed online, and normally we have a 40 percent viewership rate. This issue had a 60 percent viewership rate!

PP: What did you discover the women in the article had in common?

Henderson: Nearly all were raised on a farm/ranch, and they all have a passion for agriculture, their clients and their staffs. All are college graduates and most from ag universities. The majority started out on the creative side of the business (writing, graphic arts, etc.) and found a mentor(s) to help them develop their management skills and business acumen. They strongly emphasize collaboration and partnerships with their clients and team members.

PP: Any final comments regarding this project?

Henderson: In all my years working with the Agri Marketing audience, this was one of our most rewarding and, frankly, fun projects. I sent invitations to the nine women, and within 24 hours each had replied positively and enthusiastically. When they gathered in the lobby of the hotel where the NAMA convention was going on, many heads turned as we went up the escalator to take the photo (best lighting was there).

Although they and their clients are competitors, the presidents were amiable and truly enjoyed putting aside their hectic schedules for the photo shoot. Following the shoot, I was asked several times by other NAMA attendees what we were doing. I told them it was the front cover photo for the May 2016 issue, and everyone thought it was a cool idea. One of our advertisers even changed their ad in the issue to salute the female leadership in their organization! I take that as the ultimate compliment to both this project and the women who were featured.

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