Agricultural Communications, Purdue University
An electronic newsletter with communication tips and information

April 1996


A lot of people talk about marketing Extension. But we all struggle with the concept of marketing Extension. What does it mean? If you find yourself asking the same question, be aware that even those who know marketing admit that marketing Extension isn't easy.

The need exists, and it's everyone's responsibility. We will use On Target and other arens to discuss marketing so that we all can better grasp this difficult but necessary process.

An excellent place to start is with four points expressed by Kirk Stahl of Caldwell/VanRiper, the marketing firm for the Indiana Pacers. Stahl spoke at the north central regional Agricultural Communicators in Education conference at Purdue in March.

He says no matter how complex or "big dollar" the marketing campaign is, it still revolves around four marketing points:

1. Investigation/Research

This involves identifying and finding out as much as possible about the target audience(s), THEIR perceptions of THEIR needs, and the depth of interest and concern for that need; as well as the existing resources and ability to respond to those needs.

2. Differentiation or Positioning

Only after an organization has done its research can it find its market niche. A step in the right direction is to ask clients and potential clients a few questions:

3. Establishing Your Brand

This is the part of marketing that too many people jump into right away and with poor planning. It's the tactics of delivering your product or service. It is doing the right things to tell your target audience why you are best for them, and telling other audiences who don't use your service why you exist.

4. Measurement and Evaluation

This part is very important. It is the step that allows you to move forward, the step that allows you to see if you have had an effect and how you can change your on-going efforts. In the long run, it puts you right back at point one, where you start the process over again.


Let's take some of this marketing talk and place it into reality. Renee Darkis, Knox County CFS educator, said that when she attended a technology track session at the ACE conference in March, the message was as much about marketing as it was about technology.

Marc Rettig of Chicago's Burning Door Networked Media, Inc., said the current trend is to focus too much on the technology, and that's a mistake. Instead we should focus on what we offer and to whom we offer it.Then we see how we can use tools such as the World Wide Web.

Before doing anything with a Web site, we should map out what we want to accomplish. That way a Web site will help us extend the boundaries of our business and nurture our customers who have that access.

On the technology side of Rettig's presentation, Renee said it was an eye opener to see some of the places kids visit on the web. She sees some ways she can focus on her job and enhance it with the computer. But she laments that the next issue is finding the time it takes to develop that kind of presentation.

If you want some background information on marketing on the Web, contact Steve Cain.


So many of us find ourselves in the car and on the go. What do you usually do while driving? Listen to music? Tune into talk radio? Why not take the time to learn?

Audiotapes are available to educate you on a variety of subjects. Check your local bookstore or library to see what tapes they offer.

A variety of topics can be found on these audiotapes, ranging from communication and marketing to motivation. Why not take advantage of these and turn that drive time into an educational experience?

Here are a few titles to check out:

If drive time is your decompression time, perhaps you'd just like to escape into to a good mystery, thriller, or other work of mainstream fiction. Many works of fiction are now available on audiotape. And who says you can't learn something from a good book?

If you have any questions, please contact Randy Spears.


This is the second part of a four-part series on Business Communications Mediums in which we're discussing telecommunications. First impressions are often lasting impressions, so the first moments you spend on the telephone are critical.

First Impressions are Lasting!: Part 2 of a 4-part Series

When the caller needs information . . .

When answering for others . . .

When you take a message . . .

When you must transfer a call . . .

Part 3, "Controlling phone calls" will appear in the next issue of On Target.

If you have telephone etiquette tips to share or would like more information, please email Carla Salmon.

(From "Personally Speaking -- Your Guide to a More Effective Telephone Personality" by the Bell System [999-600-112, Issue I].)


The second article in our series addressed the incorrect habits of using two spaces after punctuation and using hyphens for bullets. Our third article covers using borders around everything and gray boxes behind text.

Borders Around Everything

It feels "safe" to put a border around type. Setting off type, or a pull-out as some pros call it, does separate a special bit of information from the body of a total page. However, lots of boxes quickly tend to look over done and just plain dull to the eye.

Professionals encourage what they call "white space" (empty space) on a page just to give the eye a rest. Don't be afraid of a little unfilled or white space. Lots of little pieces of art or boxes make a page look busy and unprofessional.

Gray Boxes Behind Text

Beginners often use gray boxes to make something appear important. Frequently the type on top of these boxes is hard to read. It's easier to use this technique when you're working on a two-color project where the accent color can be screened to appear behind text.

But if economy is your game, try other techniques such as a bold typeface or heavy rules (lines) above and below the text to be emphasized. Study the many printed pieces that come to you, such as magazines or advertisements. Watch what the pros do and mimic their ideas!

This is the third and final article in a series. If you would like to talk more about these or other design issues, please send email to: Pam Lassiter.


This has been a busy year at the Media Distribution Center.

Of the 7,199 orders received from the county offices in 1995:

As a reminder, here are the details on ordering:

FAX: (317)496-1540
US Postal Service:

Agricultural Communication Service
Media Distribution Center
301 South 2nd St
Lafayette, IN 47901-1232

In emergencies or if you're really stuck, telephone orders are appropriate.

Call us at: (765)494-6794.

If you're ever on campus and would like to pick up some items, but haven't sent in your order; it's no problem. Order forms are located at our counter for your convenience. And best of all, your order can be filled while you wait.

If you have any questions or would like our full MDC annual report with all the statistics, feel free to drop me a line Paula Dillard (

We want to hear from you. Do you have a communication question? Do you have a comment on this issue of "On Target"? If so, please e-mail any of our writers.

It is the policy of the Department of Agricultural Communication Service of Purdue University that all persons shall have equal opportunity and access to its programs and facilities without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age or disability. Purdue University is an Affirmative Action employer. These materials may be available in alternative formats.