Marketing, Public Relations, & Media Relations
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 (9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.) Location: Vaquero F
Through the Looking Glass
If we want our guests to look at us differently, we have to think about ourselves differently. While most gardens make routine, and sometimes novel, programming adjustments to increase attendance, nothing reaps higher dividends than looking at your garden holistically as an experience destination. As we learn to see ourselves as more than “just” plant collections, thinking like a brand that knows its audience and elicits human emotions is the key to making visitors members and members loyal advocates. Our industry is in flux. Large-scale flower shows have all but gone away. Make every effort count. Learning how to use brand and product strategy, and having a decision matrix and planning cycle, will bring the highest roi to your garden as you look beyond plants to grow your audience. Darwin had it all wrong. To survive against competitive leisure offerings requires new ways of seeing, not fitness. Learn how brand and product portfolio strategy – not brawn – are helping two very different gardens and their audiences evolve from seeing them as mere plant collections to emotionally engaging experience destinations.
Presenters: Peter Vertes, Director of Marketing & Communications, Cleveland Botanical Garden; Linda Smith, President, Smithink; Marnie Conley, Marketing Department Head, Longwood Gardens.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 (1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.) Location: Vaquero F
The Mobile App Revolution: Are You ready?
82% of adults own a cell phone, and 91% have it within arm’s reach 24/7. We’ve heard the stats, and felt pressure to join the mobile app revolution, but what does this mean for the garden community? Come to this session to find answers and be part of the revolution. Our expert panelists will explore the relevance of mobile apps in public gardens. Participants will learn what garden visitors are looking for in a mobile app, and how to develop a mobile strategy that will fit their needs. Panelists will discuss the different purposes for mobile apps and will bring clarity to the different technologies and platforms that may be used.
Presenters: Jennifer Fazekas, New Media Strategist, Longwood Gardens; Dottie Miles, Interpretation and Exhibitions Manager, Longwood Gardens; Juan Sanabria, Principal and Director of Product Development, GuideOne; Karen Plemons, Project Manager, New Knowledge Organization; Beverly Sheppard, Principal, BKS Consulting.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 (8:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.) Location: Vaquero F
Marketing - Social Media Mini Series:
Storytelling and Photo Sharing
Gone are the days when a to-the-point Facebook post announcing an upcoming event will win the
hearts and minds of your followers. Making your botanical garden stand out and shine has become more difficult than ever in a world where people are constantly inundated with messages seeking their time and money. To stand out in the crowded spaces of social media and to capture the attention of reporters and community leaders through public relations, botanical gardens should seek to establish strong personal connections with people. What are the best ways to do this? Embrace the age-old tactic of storytelling and make the most of the online photo-sharing craze. It’s working for big businesses, not-for-profits, and individuals nationwide. botanical gardens would do well to capitalize on a narrative and picture-driven approach, as well.
Presenters: Tom O’Konowitz, Associate Director of Communications, Cleveland Botanical Garden; Ashley Panter, Digital Content Manager, Desert Botanical Garden.
Content is King
With the influx of new platforms it is increasingly important to develop an integrated strategy
for marketing content. The “why?” of social media is easy to answer: over 80% of your constituents expect it. but for many gardens the bigger question is “how?” — particularly with limited resources and a proliferation of social platforms. This session will use examples, exercises, and simple tools to help organizations of any size and budget clarify their social strategy. Another concept that will be covered is fostering engagement. Social media can be used as an important listening tool, and constituent feedback can inform future content. Case studies of Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s strategy on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare, and Pinterest will illustrate opportunities particular to each platform and lay out BBG’s goals, strategy, analysis, and lessons learned. Participants will leave the session with a list of creative ways to use their own stories to further their marketing objectives through social media and other low-cost avenues.
Presenters: Elizabeth Peters, Director of Digital and Print Media, Brooklyn Botanic Garden; Samantha Campbell, Director of Marketing, Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 (10:00 am – 11:30 am) Location: Vaquero F
Collaborative Marketing for National Public Gardens Day
Strengthening partners and increasing community awareness and value for public gardens. Learn how the Santa barbara Public Gardens alliance was formed and its evergreen brand created, and how several media and funding partners were attracted. Learn about the positive impact for each individual partner, for public gardens, and for the Santa barbara community. In 2012, Santa Barbara area botanic gardens, parks, zoo, and several local foundations worked together to celebrate National Public Gardens Day, with free admissions, guided tours, and other activities. The alliance created marketing strategies and tools to celebrate the day, but more importantly, to create an evergreen and ongoing promotion of Santa barbara Public Gardens. The alliance generated great media coverage, attracted new donor support, raised the profile and value of the individual partners, increased tourism dollars, and increased community awareness of the presence and value of public gardens. The alliance expanded in 2013 with new partners, more activities, increased funding, and media coverage. The alliance’s primary goal is to elevate the community’s perception of the value and importance of public gardens in Santa Barbara, while also promoting themselves, individually, to current and new audiences.
Presenters: Gwen Stauffer, Executive Director, Ganna Walska Lotusland; Molly Barker, Executive Director, Casa del Herrero; Joni Kelly, Communications Manager, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden; Billy Goodnick, Landscape Architect, Garden Writer and Speaker, and Santa Barbara Public Gardens Alliance Spokesman.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 (1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m) Location: Vaquero F
Monetize Your Garden’s Website
Learn how to break the process down into manageable phases that will turn your website into a
robust revenue producing e-commerce website. It is the digital age and it seems like a new device to
connect to the internet comes on the market every day. Websites are vital tools in the promotion of your garden and can be used to collect additional revenue. However, technology is expensive. Utilizing your website as a revenue stream requires investment, but this initial investment can result in a website that pays for itself and more. With a strong emphasis on data driven strategy, this session will give attendees a 360-degree view of how to monetize your website. It will include management strategies and ideas for infrastructure to ensure the continued success of your newly monetized website. This session will cover the multi-phase process of monetizing your Garden’s website from the conception of the idea to the planning, staffing, and successful completion of it, including all the road bumps you may encounter
along the way.
Presenters: John Sallot, Director of Marketing, Desert Botanical Garden; Ashley Panter, Digital Content Manager, Desert Botanical Garden; Brian Alig, Interactive Services, Off Madison Ave + SpinSix; Peter Vertes, Director of Marketing and Communications, Cleveland Botanical Garden; Kevin Hourigan, President and CEO, Bayshore Solutions.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 (2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.) Location: Vaquero F
Science Matters: Evolving Your Conservation Messages for Today’s Audiences
By Connecting marketing and conservation professionals, conservation messages at public gardens can evolve to make science matter to everyone! Conservation requires the capacity to communicate complicated issues and concepts. When scientists and marketing professionals work together, a broader audience is reached, resulting in an educated public that understands and values plant diversity and the work of public gardens. Conservation and marketing experts will showcase concrete ways they bring conservation messages to the public. BGCI-US will present Care for the Rare, a novel collaborative effort that, in its pilot phase, could help 700,000 people understand the conservation value of collections. The San Diego Botanic Garden will discuss how they reach the public through programming on local Native American cultures and bilingual interpretive signs. The Morton arboretum will show how staff unites to call in the media and orchestrate community outreach events, while the Pollinator Partnership will discuss how combined conservation and marketing expertise created the BeeSmart School Kit (used in 24 states), and the BeeSmart app for backyard gardeners.
Presenters: Jennifer GoodSmith, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, The Morton Arboretum; Nicole Cavender, Vice President of Science and Conservation, The Morton Arboretum; Dave Ehrlinger, Director of Horticulture, San Diego Botanic Garden; Heather Main, Marketing and PR Manager, San Diego Botanic Garden; Abby Hird, BGCI US Research Associate and Program Manager, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.
Thursday, May 23, 2013 (8:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.) Location: Vaquero F
Visitor Experience/ Marketing:
Public Gardens and Tourism: a Match for Success
As the baby boomers move out of their gardens and have the time and resources to travel, there is no doubt that the latest TAMS (Tourism Activity Motivation Survey) numbers on tourists’ garden visits will be growing. In order to capture this opportunity, garden leadership needs to understand what is happening and how to capitalize. How can your garden attract these tourists? How can you capture some of their dollars to support your institution? Come and get some facts and success stories. The most recent TAMS points to an important potential market. TAMS informs us that 10.5% (23,307,038) of adult Americans visited garden theme attractions while on an out-of-town, overnight trip of one or more nights. In Canada, 13.1% (3,246,208) did the same. More adult americans visited botanical gardens (9.1%) than visited garden theme parks (3.2%) while on these trips. of those who visited garden theme attractions,
20.6% (4,804,719) reported that doing so was the main reason for taking at least one trip in the past two years.
Presenters: Michel Gautier, Chair, Ontario Garden Tourism Coalition; Richard W. Benfield, Professor of Geography, Central Connecticut State University; Alexander Reford, Director, Reford Gardens, and Dave Cowen, General Manager, Butchart Gardens.