Perhaps unfairly, park and recreation professionals take a considerable amount of heat for not selling the value of parks and recreation as an essential service to their elected officials. When it comes time for municipal budget cuts (and the next recession is coming), improper agency positioning could result in a decrease in the public funds made available for your vital efforts.
Need help telling your story? At the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference this September 24–26 in Baltimore, Maryland, there will be a tremendous lineup of marketing- and public relations-themed workshop and education sessions to take your agency from “zero to sexy” and help your elected officials recognize the importance of investing in your efforts to improve community health, conserve your natural resources, and build a community where everyone is welcome. Here is just a small sampling:
Start Here: “Once Upon a Pie Chart: Using Data to Tell Your Story” – Getting the word out about your services and needs is critically important to keeping your organization relevant as you fight for funding and attention. Supporting your message with data has the potential of increasing your impact, but telling your story in a way that gets people to understand, engage and act requires more than simply adding a few charts and graphs to your reports and presentations. Learn the fundamentals of both storytelling and data visualization so you can create messages that are both informative and compelling to share with staff, elected officials and the public. Speaker: Bobbi Nance
Think Big: “From Zero to Sexy: Re-imagine, Re-define and Re-energize Your Agency’s Brand” – After nearly 40 years of work within Eagle County, Colorado, the unfortunately named Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District (better known as WECMRD) embarked on a two-year project to bolster health and wellness across its community. The overhaul included a full changeover in board members, a new executive director, a new name and brand, new website, mission, vision and values. The organization is now called Mountain Recreation, and the community could not be more pleased with the change. Mountain Rec is now ready to share lessons learned from the two-year process and inspire you to re-imagine, re-define and re-energize your agency’s brand. Speakers: Janet Bartnik and Scott Robinson
Dive Deep: “Marketing Certificate Program: Engage Your Community, Get More People in Your Parks” – Is your agency ready to move toward more meaningful engagement with your customers? Selling the value of parks and recreation as an essential service in your communities is vital to achieving your agency’s goals; yet, effective and deliberate marketing methods are changing every day. Come join experts from both the private and public sectors to develop strategies to increase participation in your programs, to more effectively use “big data” while targeting your audience and to capture strategies for emerging target markets, plus much more. The team of boot camp instructors will provide park and recreation marketing professionals and DIY directors with a full day of enlightenment and best practices for your agency’s marketing efforts. Speakers: M. Michelle Bono, Becky Dunlap and Katy Keller
This wouldn’t be an article about marketing without a teaser — to learn more about the in-depth marketing training happening at the conference, sign up for the Marketing Certificate program or register for the NRPA Annual Conference.