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 both the Chapter and FNPS. As the amount of publicity increases, so does 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, do public service announcements (see Sample Public Service Announcement), advocate through presentations and letters to the editor, and show off their booths at events (see Writing an Opinion Piece for the Press).
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
- Grab the right FNPS logos for your purpose
- 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 (note: you can download plant profiles from https://fnps.org/plants -- uprofiles include appropriate climatic planting zones and can also be used to create plant tags/signs)
- Mission related work
- Rare and sensitive plant communities
- Chapter accomplishmdents/projects
- 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
- Verify Chapter Information with the Society (send updates of chapter information to email@example.com)
- Send Chapter Representative reports to FNPS Board, Chapter Board and Council of Chapters
- Notify FNPS of new officers (contact firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the info)
- Review and update bylaws (if there are updates, please send to email@example.com)
- Review and update Chapter activities summary and send to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
- Welcome packet for new members
- Provide a sign up sheet for Guests asking for their name and email address.
- Maintain a “friends of Chapter” list and set a 3 month limit that you will follow up on
- According to Chapter policy, send e-news for special updates. (make sure e-news is for members only)
- Solicit articles and news for Chapter newsletter or e-news (make sure e-news is for members only)
- Sent out gift certificates to local dignitaries and elected representatives. Note: the gift certificates need to be updated, presentation and how it is sent need to be update.
Several attached documents are at best out of date and need to be updated.