Summertime and the park time go hand in hand. Now that it’s nice outside, more people are turning to their local parks to enjoy some quality outdoor time. Park-goers are paying extra attention – and attendance – to your area’s parks during the summer months. That’s why the summertime is the ideal time to develop an advocacy marketing program to start leveraging park-goers. Residents love your municipal Parks and Rec Department’s programs – why not ask them to help promote and build awareness of what you have to offer? Here are some tactics and tips to activate your advocates and kick off your municipal marketing program this summer!
Why A Parks And Recreation Advocacy Marketing Program?
There are a ton of reasons for launching an advocacy marketing program focused on marketing your parks and recreation facilities and programs. We’re going to hit you with what we would say are the big three:
1) Extra Reach Without Extra Spend
All municipal marketing budgets are tight – especially when it comes to the Parks and Rec Department. Every dollar spent promoting posts and buying ad space is one less dollar spent creating programs, enhancing facilities, and maintaining public spaces. Advocacy marketing can help stretch your advertising dollar by empowering your fans to share your marketing messages on their personal social feeds. Their sharing increases your reach and impressions without having to pay to promote your posts.
2) Target Key Demographics And Generations With Ease
As a general note, the majority of a fan’s social media network is likely going to be made up of users in the same demographic and generation. Millennials are going to have more millennial friends, same with Gen Xers, etc. By taking the time to segment your fans by age group, you can better ensure your target audience is seeing your content and marketing messages.
3) Messages That Make An Impact
Marketing messages shared by a person are more powerful and have a greater marketing impact than messages shared by a brand. In fact, studies show that:
- 92% of individuals trust word-of-mouth recommendations from friends, families, and influencers
- 76% of individuals surveyed say that they’re more likely to trust a message shared by a “real” person than by a brand
- People pay over 2x more attention to posts and recommendations from their social connections
Creating and maintaining an advocacy marketing program for your Parks and Recreation Department can build an evergreen social broadcasting channel, driving awareness and engagement for your marketing messages, upcoming programs, new facilities, and major events throughout the year.
Leveraging The Power Of An Advocacy Marketing Program
We’ve explained the benefits of an advocacy marketing program. Now let’s dive into the different tactical ways you can leverage the social sharing power of the advocates in your municipal marketing program.
Drive Attendance of Festivals, Fireworks, and Fairs
For many towns and cities, summertime means festival time. From craft festivals to brewing events, city parks are often called on to host these community events. Your advocacy marketing program is the perfect vehicle to generate awareness and attendance of these marquee summer moments.
Create fun and exciting content that sets your viewer’s expectation for the festivities. Showcase featured artists and vendors, and highlight the successes from the previous year. Then, leverage your advocates to share this buzz-building content to their larger network.
Pro Tip: Keep the marketing going during your event! Take snapshots of the party in full swing, use live video, or encourage your advocates to hashtag their own festival experience content. Not only can this encourage individuals to make a point to come to the next event, but if done early enough in the day, may drive them to the event in real time.
Build Awareness of Summer Camps and Classes
With school out, families are left with the quandary of how to keep little Johnny and Jamie entertained during those long summer days. Many Parks and Rec Departments offer summer camps and classes perfect for kids and teens of all ages. With an advocacy marketing program, your department can use your advocates to build awareness of these programs.
Highlight Volunteer Opportunities
For many individuals, summertime is also a time to give back to their community. Gardens need tending, parks need cleaning, and homes need building. Use your advocates to spread the word of potential volunteer opportunities and drive participation. Be sure to create and show content that shows off the finished work. Use your advocates to help thank your volunteers as well as brag about what they were able to accomplish.
One of the largest hurdles to successfully implementing a municipal marketing strategy for your parks department is simply getting the word out about upcoming events. As digital media costs continue to rise, more Parks and Rec Departments are turning to the social-sharing power of their engaged citizens to help drive event awareness, engagement, and attendance.
At SocialToaster, we’ve worked with dozens of municipal organizations, including downtown redevelopment groups, tourism departments, and Parks and Recreation Departments. Schedule a free demo today to learn more about how an advocacy marketing program – managed through the SocialToaster platform – can increase the value of your municipal marketing program this summer and beyond.