September 7th Conference Call

Attending: Clint, Suzi, Gail, Casey, Julie

1) Marketing and Communications Update (McCoy)

a. Communications Update Gail phoned in late, so missed this part of the call

i. Press Release – NICH Grant

ii. Eblasts

iii. Webpage tweaks made

b. Communications plan revisited: we had a marketing push June, July, August (AmericanHort Impact Summit, Cultivate, NICH Press Release, Etc.). What is next? We should be having frequent enough touch points for folks who are interested in our work and/or items for people to do.

i. Suzi: we’re asking people to do two things: (1) feedback on priorities (listening), and (2) we need ## to show that this is indeed a nationwide, industry initiative (sign up to get our emails).

ii. To do this, we need to communicate with people. First one, Ellen / Suzi are working on: here is our mission statement, here is our vision statement. What do you think?

iii. Subsequent, have each one of the committees send out their objectives, asking people to rate the objectives on a scale from 1-5.

iv. In between, there would be emails sending out infographics, or news (such as the press release).

v. Initially, idea was to send out one per week. This was too ambitious. Perhaps one per month?

vi. All of us need to be responsible for crafting content, as well as for sending out the communication points to our contacts. A subgroup can get together to assign content creators. Action Items (todos): Gail offered to create 2-3 (to be assigned by Suzi). Julie will craft one for environmental goals and objectives. Clint will craft one for the industry council.

vii. All of us need to reach out to our contacts, asking them to join.

c. Use of #PlantsDoThat Title by Extension Agents on Factsheets, etc. (Hamrick): Debbie forwarded a request from Natalie Bumgarner (TN) to use the #PlantsDoThat hashtag/infographic.

i. Is it okay to allow others to use the hashtag? Is it okay to allow others to use the infographic?

ii. Is it possible to get the NICH logo on the infographic? Casey will provide the info-graphic as an editable file, to get the NICH logo on the document.

iii. Care should be taken to have a unified voice, brand which echoes the importance of having the surveys and emails all looking alike.

2) Grant Budget revisions (Bauske):

Ellen made a couple of tweaks. They don’t substantively alter the grant, beyond a $2-3k waiver from transferring the funds from items that we thought we needed, but don’t need (e.g. business plan facilitator), to items we definitely need (e.g. travel).

3) Committee and SubCommittee Reports

a. Meeting Subcommittee Report – (Bauske, Hamrick, Underwood): the committee is currently looking at late June 2018, Atlanta airport-based hotel, with an optional evening at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

b. Standing Committees

i. Environmental (Weisenhorn): focus has been on ASHS presentation and lit review. Have been working on a draft interactive tool (infographic with hotlinks). Can be used to reach out to homeowners, who have heard about environmentally friendly landscapes. If they click a hotlink, it would take them to a local resource. Content includes rain barrels, permeable pavers, bee lawns, etc. Down the road, this could be something that connects us with consumers.

1. In terms of evaluation, have been talking about Google Analytics; evaluation follow-up (how to reach a subset of folks who have accessed the infographic).

2. Casey / Clint mentioned several other organizations/initiatives focused on pollinators, that could dovetail well with our work.

4) Updates

a. Spreading the word in person

i. AmericanHort Impact Summit – Debbie and Suzi will be attending.

1. Casey has been invited to submit his name for the Specialty Crop committee at USDA. He submitted his paperwork. The outcome is pending.

ii. ASHS (Hamrick, Wiesenhorn, Bennett, Debbie): Cyndi Haynes, Sheri Dorn, Dave Close also attending. Action Item: Suzi will send business cards to Julie.

b. Spreading the word in print/digital

i. Articles/Media repository on the website:

1. Action Item: Suzi to reach out to Ritchie to get PowerPoint up on the website, get the link fixed.

2. Action Item: Casey will get the letter out to his team, to send out as a blast.

3. Action Item: Suzi, Gail, committee chairs will coordinate to get content written and sent out. The goal is every 3 weeks.