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| Mud Media

Walking the walk…

Dianna Malcolm (nee Leslie) helped revolutionise marketing within agriculture in Australasia – leading by example – while simultaneously helping others find their own voice.

She has returned to her home at Ohoka, after 20 years working in farming and print and television media in Australia, to establish her freelance media company – Mud Media.

Her love for effective and colourful communication was ignited during the decade she spent working as a sports journalist at “The Press”. She later returned to her farming roots, taking up a position as the Farming Editor at “The Press”, before moving to Australia and settling in northern Victoria with her husband, Dean.

She worked as the Farming Editor at the Shepparton News, before being head-hunted to work for WIN Television [WIN broadcasts into 29 markets across six states of Australia].

Runs on the board

In 2003 Dianna and Dean established an independent full-colour gloss magazine for the dairy industry, CrazyCow In Print, which was circulated to 15 countries, and peaked at165 pages. It was bought by McPherson Media in 2018.

The couple also founded their Holstein show herd, Bluechip Genetics in 2006. They won Premier Holstein Breeder at International Dairy Week – the biggest dairy show in the Southern Hemisphere – nine out of 10 years. It remains an unprecedented record, and is included in a stream of accolades the couple amassed during their farming and marketing journey.

Bluechip also managed animals for up to 30 international partners, while mentoring and providing a learning platform for many young people within the global industry.

Bluechip broke three Australasian price records at auction, peaking at AUD$101,000 for a three-month-old calf in 2012. They dispersed their herd for an Australasian record average (AUD$6400) and gross in 2016 – during yet another gruelling Australian season.

Media revolution

Dianna’s reputation for finding the story angles that others didn’t, was equalled by her industry’s global acknowledgement of her stockmanship, work ethic, and ability to help drive Bluechip’s businesses.

She’s also worked with several high-profile companies in public relations during her time in Australia, including Semex Australia and World Wide Sires (in the USA, Australia and New Zealand).

Understanding communication

Dianna is comfortable finding the angles for copy within any medium or industry.

While she has a specialist knowledge within agriculture, her gift is delivering messages others can engage with – regardless of the audience.

“In marketing, I truly believe that making the connection is what makes the difference,” Dianna says.

“And, that comes down to who tells the story, and how they tell it. For me, that continues to be underestimated across many agricultural sectors.

And, one thing that hasn’t changed in marketing is, ‘If you do nothing, nothing will happen’.

“I believe it’s important to share your journey. I’ve done it, I’ve lived with the result, and I now want to use that experience and ‘life experience’ to hopefully help others with their own journey.

“At my core, I love the power of communication.”

What the international community thinks…

"I've worked with Dianna for a number of years, and she is one in a million. Whether collaborating together or reading a story she wrote for CrazyCow, I have long admired her ability to put emotion into words...to tell the story behind the obvious...and to give her readers the three dimensional view of the subject. She's one of the best in the business, if not in the entire journalism industry!” – Karen Wheatley, former Holstein World editor, USA.

“Dianna has been a tireless and enthusiastic worker in whatever task she has tackled. Coupled with her intelligence and ‘people skills’, no-one is better equipped to handle any job thrown her way. For my money, if someone needed a PR person in agriculture, they should look no further than Dianna.” – Norman E. Nabholz, Nabholz Farm, West Union, Iowa, USA

“My professional relationship and our personal friendship covers a period of close to 20 years. During that time Dianna was Contracted to Semex Pty Ltd as a professional writer and journalist to cover interest subjects of our Artificial Breeding business that we needed the public to know about and to better understand the quality of our products and our people and their passion to improve the breeding herds of our customers. Fortunately for us, Dianna shared the same passion for agriculture, livestock and people that we did and so our work together was highly admired by our customers and envied by our competitors. In my 50 years in the AI Industry I met and worked with many wonderful people of varying skills and interests, but only a very few who would match Dianna for integrity, ability and extreme work ethic. Consequently Dianna carries my highest recommendation to any organisation who considers engaging her professional services.” – Jim Conroy OAM, former owner of Semex Australia & New Zealand.

“I have been reading articles written by Dianna Malcolm since the first edition of CrazyCow In Print was launched in January 2004. I have always found her writing to be informative, getting to the nitty gritty of the subject with a style of her own. She has covered international and domestic events over the 16 years, and the standard and enthusiasm with which she reports is also entertaining. Above all, I like the way she gets her subjects’ personal opinions right from the horse’s mouth, as it were. I know many of the people she has interviewed and without exception they are very happy with the end result.” – Duncan Pipe, Clover-Lane Holsteins, Waikato, NZ

"Dianna has an innate talent to connect to the subject matter she is writing about. She brings that passion and ability to tell a great story that takes the reader on a journey that is colorful and gets to the heart of the matter." – Andrew Hunt, The Bullvine, Canada.

“Dianna Leslie was an outstanding member of our reporting team. Her intelligent journalism gained her the highest respect from her peers, and we dearly missed her vivacious personality.” – Helen Ballard, WIN TV Bureau Chief, Australia.

“From the moment Dianna started contributing to our publication it was clear she has an innate and unique ability to connect and empathise with whatever story she is working on and deliver it to our audience in an understandable and personal way. She is highly skilled in finding the story behind the story. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have Dianna as a contributor to our publication and I cannot recommend her highly enough to her potential clients.” – Martyn Cook, The Waimak App