Kurt Lawton has more than 20 years of marketing communications and journalism experience that he applies in strategic, creative and resourceful ways to help clients achieve their marketplace objective. His extensive planning-through-implementation strengths include issues management, crisis communications, corporate communications, brand/product research, sales communications and customer support.
Raised on a farm in west-central Iowa, Kurt has a B.S. in the double major of agriculture and journalism from Iowa State University.
Kurt has widespread contacts with media throughout the nation, particularly in the Midwest. He has supervised major PR accounts for such leading firms as Bader Rutter & Associates, Miller Meester Marketing Communications, Fleishman-Hillard, Inc., and the Duff Company. Clients have included Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Sandoz, Dow, DuPont, American Cyanamid, Uniroyal, Gustafson and AgriPro Biosciences.
Working closely with client top management, Kurt developed programs that successfully achieved corporate positioning and image building objectives through such tools as identifying and managing speaker platforms for executives, staging issue management seminars, writing issue papers and environmental stewardship programs, creating and publicizing influencer polls, and generating extensive media coverage. Most of these programs involved annual budgets of $250,000 to $1 million and involved media relations with hundreds of news and influencer organizations.
In journalism, Kurt was Editor of Farm Industry News, a major regional agricultural publication, and supervised its 14 staff and freelance writers. He later became Editorial Director of Rooster.com, a Web portal for rural issues and agriculture. He enhanced traffic at Rooster by developing exclusive and branded content, writing and distributing two weekly e-mail newsletters, adding an eBusiness center, developing polls and research, and promoting the site through trade shows and personal contacts with industry leaders. Kurt also has contributed news and feature stories to the Syngenta Web site FarmAssist, and he remains a regular contributor of project features for Family Handyman magazine.