Getting the Word Out


Regardless of the nature and number of a Chapter's activities, its members must develop strategies to get the word out about them. As the amount of publicity increases, so do credibility and membership. Chapters use a variety of means to advertise their existence and promote their activities, many of which include a strong public education component. These include newsletters, e-news, press releases and newspaper announcements (see sample press release), community calendars, and use of social media and websites (e.g., facebook, twitter, blogs, etc.) Chapters also place ads (sample ads), do public service announcements (see FPNS_PSAs.pdf), advocate through presentations and letters to the editor, and show off their booths at events.

It can be hard to keep up with all of this! Each Chapter can make an annual communications plan to help them accomplish their marketing and publicity goals. This Communications Checklist provides a starting point; the key is to identify what should be done monthly, annually, upon demand, and by whom with what resources. Your plan will help you budget marketing expenses, as well, and evaluate the outcomes.

Chapter Communications Checklist

Communication Tasks (monthly, event-driven, quarterly, annually)

Media relations

  • Create and Update Media List
  • Press releases for Chapter Meetings/Programs
  • Press release for special events
  • Letters to editor on local issues
  • Offer interviews on local issues
  • Feature stories for garden section, “hometown” sections
    • Yard transformation – plant profiles
    • Rare and sensitive plant communities
    • Chapter accomplishments/projects

Marketing

  • Post Meetings, field trips, events in FNPS calendar
  • PSAs to local radio
  • Create ads for local shoppers, placemats and other highly visible, low cost venues
  • Blog or Twitter about your Chapter

Operational

  • Verify Chapter Information with the Society
  • Chapter Rep reports to Board and Chapter
  • Notify FNPS of new officers
  • Review and update bylaws
  • Review and update Chapter activities summary
  • Review document list, and obtain updates from Chapter Resources*

Member Relations

  • Welcome packet for new members
  • Provide a sign up sheet for Guests, maintain “friends of Chapter” list.
  • According to Chapter policy, send E-news for special updates.
  • Solicit articles and news for Chapter newsletter or e-news
  • Create and send out annual membership solicitation letter
  • Sent out gift certificates to local dignitaries and special partners

*Chapter Resources


From the Society
Membership Brochures
Bylaws
Gift Certficates

Developed by Chapters
Banner and Display for Events
Chapter information handout
Membership solicitation letter
Welcome packets for new members
Signs for landscape installations
Directional Signs
Educational programs on CD