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Executive Summary
What connection will you have to the future of your country? It’s difficult to...
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NPS surely competes with various leisure activity providers (i.e. amusement
parks and zoos) depe...
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Background
The National Park Service. NPS was established on August 25th, 1916
with a simple, al...
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need for them has not. The U.S. faces increasing demands of government-led
safety and protection...
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Internally, budget restraints have forced national and state parks to tighten
employment numbers...
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Outside of public parks, private leisure hubs such as amusement parks and
arcades offer quick th...
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Situation Analysis
Where are we now? NPS is beloved by the American people but its
strength in b...
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Key Publics
Note on American publics: while national parks do receive international visitors, in...
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depends on them as well. As NPS protects and invests in its own service, it is
doing the same fo...
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Brand Positioning
Currently, NPS is known as a “steward” of America’s national public lands; th...
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3) National Parks are accessible to all Americans.
a. I am a vital supporter of NPS’ health as ...
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Strategies and Tactics
1) All Audiences
a. Position NPS as the answer to the emotional need for...
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iv. National Team Distribute national press release highlighting
the 2016 centennial and highli...
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b. Leverage young parents’ inherent “stake” in their child’s future to
encourage year-round enr...
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i. NPS Was Here certification they can stick on windows/frame
on the wall to show that they’re ...
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5. Volunteers can highlight mentorship or a community
that they helped service.
ii. Distribute ...
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Evaluation
How each objective will be measured:
 Increase key publics’ perceived value of NPS ...
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c. Increased trust in NPS as the best protector and investor in
American history and culture; m...
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APPENDIX C
Original Research Examples
A. Example of benchmark survey questions – Parents
1) How...
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APPENDIX D
NPS Was Here Campaign Mood Board
Decal Inspiration (for businesses)
Social Media Cov...
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APPENDIX E
References
iihttp://clients1.ibisworld.com.proxy.library.georgetown.edu/reports/us/i...
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National Park Service Centennial Communications Plan 2014

Strategic communications plan for the National Park Service's (NPS) centennial. Includes landscape analysis, audience research and creative recommendations for execution.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: Marketing      
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - National Park Service Centennial Communications Plan 2014

  • 1. 1 GeauxMargot August 2014 Executive Summary What connection will you have to the future of your country? It’s difficult to imagine the United States in which our grandparents were raised. We smile upon simpler times without color TVs in every room or workweeks that crept into personal lives. Our great grand parents couldn’t imagine what it feels like to send a text message; we may not experience the universal relief in discovering the cure for cancer, as our children or grandchildren might. We pass along photos and memorabilia; hoping someone will look at these marks in time and appreciate the moments that were most important to us. But what if we could share an experience? A moment that had been felt by a loved one, and that we know will be shared again. The concept of connecting with someone from the past, present and future you might not have a reason to connect with - this is what brings us closer as a country. The health and longevity of this country’s National Park Service (NPS) is dependent on active collaboration and investment. This is to say that every American citizen, from a congressperson on Capitol Hill to a park ranger in the Midwest to a Junior Ranger in Alaska, has the opportunity to contribute to the success of the organization. Internally, NPS’ impressive number of volunteers, seasoned staff of park rangers and historians and seven-region structure lends itself to supporting such a massive national mission to protect America’s natural lands. The problem is, Americans don’t fully understand how much effort the service exerts to preserve their history and culture. Because of this, NPS risks being seen as obsolete. To reverse this attitude, NPS does not need to overhaul its business model. It doesn’t need to rollout hoards of new programs and services. It does not need to fundraise or lobby. NPS needs to unearth the emotional connection people have to their country, history and culture and prove that that the organization will continue the fight to preserve these values. This communications plan calls on all seven regions of the organization, in collaboration with the National Team in Washington, D.C., to position NPS as the champion of American history and culture. Pursuing this overarching goal through recommended national objectives, messages, strategies and tactics; each of the seven regions will have a step-by-step guide to follow along with their peer Regional Teams. This collaboration services two objectives: the first being logistical execution as the National Team should defer to Regional Teams when it comes to recommendations on local timing and tailored content development for the three nationally-delegated key publics. The second objective is to position each of the Regional Teams as champions of their own regions, culminating in a massive, national hero. Position NPS as the champion of American history and culture.
  • 2. 2 GeauxMargot August 2014 NPS surely competes with various leisure activity providers (i.e. amusement parks and zoos) depending on location. But the competitor that supersedes these minor threats, and requires effort from a national-level, is the value Americans place on preserving their culture. NPS’ 2016 centennial celebration is an opportune time to rally internal efforts behind a national campaign, and an even better time to incorporate such a campaign within media outreach efforts while outlets are encouraged and excited to talk about the timely event. We propose branding all centennial efforts with an overarching theme that leverages a well known and widely used visual and catchphrase: NPS Was Here is a simple, shareable campaign that highlights efforts made within the last 100 years of service and ignites excitement as to where NPS will go in the next 100 years. It speaks toward segments of American culture in which NPS is involved that audiences might not organically think of like youth education programs or local businesses. The NPS Was Here icon is recognizable as a location “pin” and alludes to the fact that NPS parks are present throughout the country. It will be used in all official advertising, branded collateral and online outreach efforts, both for internal and external communication. The artwork will also be made accessible to the public to show off their relationship with NPS. Each of the seven Regional Teams will be responsible for allocating labor hours and incorporating the NPS Was Here campaign into their existing paid communications efforts (i.e. media and signage) for the efforts described below. Nationally, the projected cost, not including labor hours from within NPS’ National Team, is estimated at: $860,000. The campaign will officially launch July 2015 and run through December 2016 to allow enough lead time to ramp up, peak during the centennial month (August 2016) and accrue initial results to measure and evaluate its successes through the end of the centennial year. It’s time to reconnect the country to its history, and lead Americans toward their future.
  • 3. 3 GeauxMargot August 2014 Background The National Park Service. NPS was established on August 25th, 1916 with a simple, albeit ambitious, mission to preserve the natural and cultural resources and values of the American national park system for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of current and future generations. The organization sees an impressive number of visitors - over 270 million annually.i In addition to providing recreational and educational programs within the parks themselves, the 401 national parks and trails make a significant impact on local gateway economies through visitor spending in each park’s local gateway region.ii For example, in 2012 NPS visitors spent $14.7 billion within such local gateway regions, which supported 242 thousand jobs nationally that year.iii Within the organization, NPS has welcomed over 2,482,104 volunteers, who have accrued over 97 million hours of service, cumulative through 2008.iv The organization is maintained through leadership in the following seven regions, all working toward the same national effort: Alaska, Intermountain, Midwest, National Capital (headquarters), Northeast, Pacific West and Southeast. As for the audiences they serve, in 2011 about half (57%) of NPS visitors stayed overnight, indicating that audiences have a relatively equal need for both short and long park services. v While individual parks can certainly depend on time-of- year travel peaks and dips, nationally, NPS must maintain a stable, ever-present reputation with visitors. As with other organizations receiving public funding, NPS has endured cycles of budget cuts that have required tough decision making both nationally and within each individual park. The two areas feeling the brunt of restricted budgets, or at least the two areas best known to the public, are employment and operating hours. NPS has undergone both layoffs and hiring freezes and has limited opening hours both during seasonal and regular, year-round hours. Structural facilities have also felt the pressure of these budget restrictions – dollars going toward restoration and preservation are as limited as those being allocated for building new facilities. While employee attitudes are “understanding” at best (“pessimistic”, more commonly) NPS’ reduced seasonal hiring numbers indicates that overhead dollars are actually prioritizing full time rangers and historians rather than temporarily bulking up the infrastructure for high-peak tourist seasons.vi And in spite of restricted visiting hours, the National Parks Conservation Association (an independent membership organization devoted to protecting and enhancing America’s National Park System for present and future generations) reports that national parks account for one-third of the top 25 domestic travel locations in the U.S. External Environment. Americans are weary of their government. A Pew Research Center survey measuring both public trust and satisfaction of the federal government between 1958 and 2013 has continued to reveal this sobering attitude. Last year, “trust” of those surveyed reached as low as 19% with “satisfaction” following closely behind at 14%.vii While public confidence in the effectiveness and value of federal agencies and programs has dropped, the
  • 4. 4 GeauxMargot August 2014 need for them has not. The U.S. faces increasing demands of government-led safety and protection initiatives. Whether the 24/7 news cycle is simply making the public better aware of dangers coming closer to home (i.e. local school shootings or small-scale terrorist attacks) or such threats are in fact becoming more commonplace, the basic need to feel protected is prevalent. As the country hurdles toward a future with a potentially complete lack of trust in its governing bodies, Americans have become desperate to reconnect with simpler times. Outside of the rough public attitudes toward the federal government, advances in technology have sped up the pace of life, making everyone with a computer or cell phone theoretically accessible 24/7. A competitive market has made such technologies commonplace for both younger generations and low-income demographics. The climate has become so saturated that in 1995 the U.S. opened its first technology-addiction treatment facility: The Center for Internet Addiction, where patients receive help from licensed physicians to break their technology addictions and reestablish their perceived value of “the real world”.viii There are few areas in the country, possibly the world, that provide reprieve from these stresses. And when such pockets of relief are sought, they are indeed temporary. Plans to mend faults within the American federal government and establish a healthy lifestyle within such a quick pace of life seem insurmountable. With so many different paths, people and policies needed to strengthen confidence in the future of the U.S., the best solution will be to rally behind a single champion that will provide safe spaces to the public and protect American values that have been built up until this point, and will be built for future generations. The National and State Park Industry. National and state parks in the U.S. consist of both public and private lands that preserve nature, spanning over national, state and city parks.ix Such parks are charged with ensuring the quality of the environment within their properties including protecting plant and animal life and maintaining, and often improving, water and air quality. In addition to these “basic” services to the physical properties, parks provide a wide array of programs ranging from historical tours to sustainable agriculture workshops to veteran-appreciation celebrations, among others. There are 401 national parks and trails and over 6,600 state parks in the U.S. as of 2009.x There are nine Congressional Committees of Jurisdiction for the national park system and related legislation dates back as early as 1916.xi Because national and state parks reinvest earnings back into their systems, the annual $41.5 billion industry revenue sees a $0.0 profit.xii Every dollar Americans spend at a public park is an investment in the health of that park and in the enjoyment for future visitors. No matter if a park is publicly or privately owned, the level of tourism each area attracts affects surrounding local communities. Such communities can be defined as local gateway regions, which are areas within 60 miles of a park.xiii Parks have built strong relationships with local businesses in the lodging and food service industries, each entity supporting of, and vital to, one another.
  • 5. 5 GeauxMargot August 2014 Internally, budget restraints have forced national and state parks to tighten employment numbers and business hours. Many parks have cycled through layoffs and hiring freezes, while also restricting visitation hours and seasonal openings across the country. While national and state parks provide for, and benefit the most from, visitors within the U.S., there is a relationship with the international community worth noting. Research findings, educational trainings and best practices are shared with counterpoints abroad. During times of struggle, the American park industry has loaned employees to provide aid or assistance internationally (i.e. forest fire fighters).xiv While income levels factor into the demand for park services within both domestic and international travelers, the amount of leisure time that visitors have is almost as important. This especially rings true for American citizens who typically have less paid vacation time than their European counterparts, for example. Fewer vacation days require U.S. vacationers to plan their time efficiently and often times an in-state or domestic travel destination is the best use of time and budgets. While demand for the industry is highly seasonal, with summer being the busiest time of year for the industry, parks offer year-round activities both statewide and nationally. Services. NPS provides the means necessary to maintaining the quality of its parks with both labor and materials. These services range from clearing litter to building safer trails to posting informational signage, among others. NPS also curates educational programs for visitors of all ages. The programs offered highlight American history, expand knowledge on parklands and wildlife and encourage visitors to spend time outdoors, getting to know their country organically. NPS has also continued to lobby for the preservation of endangered species and wildlife. Its historians and rangers are well educated and highly passionate about their work, and many offer their expertise and insight to develop grant proposals and similar legislative efforts. Promotions. NPS will celebrate 100 years of service in August 2016. In addition to making the case for additional government funding to ring in its centennial, the organization will have the attention of the media and American public both in reflecting what NPS has accomplished in the last 100 years, and what it plans to accomplish for the next 100 years. Leading up to 2016, NPS will increase marketing efforts to make its parks and programs more inclusive and accessible. Recently the organization launched the “Find Your Park” initiative across the country in which Americans are encouraged to explore NPS parks (whether online or in person) and build a connection to a park they can call their own. Market Share and Competition. As of last year, NPS held a 7.2% market share within the National and State Park industry and shares this space with state, city and private parks that make up the remaining 92.8% of the industry.xv
  • 6. 6 GeauxMargot August 2014 Outside of public parks, private leisure hubs such as amusement parks and arcades offer quick thrills and top-level amenities. Zoos and museums are able to meet the educational-angle young parents often seek for family travel destinations. Aside from direct competitors in the “destination” market, NPS competes with other national programs for waning government funds. The organization also finds itself competing with private entities, such as oil companies, that want to buy current and/or potential parklands from congressmen and women to use the land for private earnings. Resources. Externally, support from the National Park Foundation (NPF) is unmatched. Established just over 50 years into NPS’ tenure, a Congressional Charter charged NPF with a mission to fasten the Service’s place in the American landscape with the help of national financial security. The Foundation accomplishes this by raising private funds, establishing strategic relationships with profitable partners and marketing to the public to increase awareness and interest. NPS also has resources within the government, both nationally and statewide. Legislators on the Hill are invested in NPS’ health for both self- motivated reasons (parks being one of the least controversial issues in the political arena) and in the interest of the people they serve back home. Congressmen and women have a good pulse of how their voters perceive national parks that live within their state or even district, as well as how these parks affect local businesses. This is a sensitive area for NPS, and the nation, as the organization has endured constant budget restrictions from these governing bodies. Anecdotally, preserving the country’s parks is a non-political, generally well-received mission. However, the efforts continue to slip behind other national priorities that are politicized and are then perceived as more important or urgent.
  • 7. 7 GeauxMargot August 2014 Situation Analysis Where are we now? NPS is beloved by the American people but its strength in being a non-controversial organization also weakens the perception of its value, nationally. 55% of surveyed Americans believe it’s imperative to not cut back on service at the national parksxvi, while 59% believe it’s unacceptable to increase visitor fees to avoid spending costs.xvii Americans view the organization as fundamental to the country and feel entitled to its longevity and quality. However, the public lacks knowledge of the services and programs NPS provides, and so does not understand the amount of time, effort and money it takes to maintain an organization for which its sole purpose is to reinvest right back into the good of the country. Where do we want to go? By increasing awareness of the investments NPS makes in its lands, local businesses and personal experiences for visitors, key publics will better understand the efforts made by the organization in the name of service. The country will value NPS as the ultimate champion for American culture and that the next 100 years of service will see the same reliability as the last. Problem/Opportunity Statement Few Americans understand the investment NPS makes in preserving American history and culture. NPS has the opportunity to educate key publics on how the organization has preserved American history and culture for the last 100 years, and how it will continue to ensure the same protection for the next 100 years. If NPS does not establish this reputation, its perceived value will fall behind other national priorities and maintaining the health of the organization could turn into a negative burden. Goal Objectives  Increase key publics’ perceived value of NPS by 10% by the end of 2016.  Increase the number of parents with children under age 18 that: 1) have visited a national park within the past 2 years by .4% 2) can name a valid park name/location to 69.1% by the end of 2016.  Increase employee and volunteer satisfaction by 15% by the end of 2016. To position the National Park Service as the most vital protector and investor of American history and culture.
  • 8. 8 GeauxMargot August 2014 Key Publics Note on American publics: while national parks do receive international visitors, increasing awareness of NPS’ investment into the maintenance and growth of the country speaks directly to domestic audiences who will benefit from such a future. While international audiences will certainly reap the rewards of a better-valued NPS during future visits, this communications plan seeks to appeal to citizens who will live in the country NPS helps build. Parents With Children Under Age 18. Young families raising pre-college aged children are intimately invested in the future of their child. Parents need to be made aware of the current programs NPS curates for children and young students, both close to home and nationally. When young children partake in NPS programs whether consistently (close to home) or a few times a year (vacations or school trips), a trusting relationship is developed with the organization. From a self-interest perspective, young families want to know that their children will be taken care of and will benefit from the knowledge that every dollar spent toward their child participating in such programs gets reinvested right back into future programs. Tangently, one family’s participation increases the availability and opportunity for other families to partake and enjoy. Many young families also want their children to experience life outdoors and away from technology. Heightened access to technology requires readjusting the balance between work and play; as now the term “play” can consist of sitting in front of a gaming device indoors all day. Additionally, pre-college students seek volunteer opportunities for school credit and college applications. These needs both lend themselves to NPS’ services and programs. A relationship with NPS benefits the child now by encouraging healthy, outdoor lifestyles, teaching new facts and skills, and potentially docking volunteer hours to better appeal to schools. Time spent at national parks organically builds a deep-rooted appreciation for the American landscape and ingrains an innate desire to preserve the same beauty for future generations. The relationship benefits the child in the future because every dollar spent now is reinvested into NPS, keeping the parks accessible to them as they age, and potentially to their future children. Gateway Community Business Owners. Business owners within 60 miles of a national park experience the most immediate economic benefits from its existence. A 2012 National Park Visitor Spending Effects report estimated that within that year, park visitors spent $14.7 billion within local gateway communities.xviiiThe local businesses depending the most on NPS tourism are within the lodging and food industries; spending on lodging was estimated at $4.5 billion in the same report. NPS was also responsible for supporting 218,000 jobs within these local gateway communities that year.xix The National Park Hospitality Association (NPHA) also works directly with NPS to ensure the quality of park visitors, a key relationship to strengthen from which both entities will benefit.xx NPS is vital to these local businesses and especially within rural areas for which tourists are solely visiting to see a national park. It will be important for local businesses to understand that while they depend on NPS, the organization
  • 9. 9 GeauxMargot August 2014 depends on them as well. As NPS protects and invests in its own service, it is doing the same for the businesses that protect its visitors and staff. Staff and Volunteers. As NPS positions itself as the most important protector of American history and culture, it is vital that the public sees the same investment in the relationship with its employees. The recent count of 22,000 employees is a bit of a shock considering how many visitors NPS sees annually.xxi A majority of NPS staff are tenured, with only 6.7% having been in the workforce for less than three years in 2012’s Best Places to Work in the Federal Government survey.xxii NPS needs to better connect with this internal audience to build the same level of trust and sense of protection it has with the general public. It’s important that NPS employees are well connected and feel authentically tied to their employer. This will directly help position NPS as a protector and investor within the organization, and visitors will feel another layer of care knowing that these employees are on the same team, working toward the same goal. NPS’ internal audience is especially interesting in that it accrues larger numbers of volunteers than paid staff. Volunteers have a unique position within NPS’ key publics because while they dedicate hours to fulfill the organization’s mission and provide logistical support, they benefit on a personal level by enjoying the benefits of working on national park land that has been preserved by both NPS and peer volunteers. Volunteers also have the ability to spend hours across different parks, nationally, while NPS staff are typically beholden to one single park during their tenure. In this way, volunteers are able to gain a comprehensive and very rich relationship with the organization at a higher-level.
  • 10. 10 GeauxMargot August 2014 Brand Positioning Currently, NPS is known as a “steward” of America’s national public lands; the term elicits the notion of passive supervision. The organization needs to reposition itself as the most vital protector and investor of American history and culture, a necessary champion that without which, the country would surely experience immeasurable loss. Capitalizing on this fear of potential loss, the brand will grow within a “choices” frame; establishing that without NPS the country would have no one fighting to protect its history, to teach the new generation about American culture, and to ensure that there will be pieces of the country left for its great grandchildren, and theirs, to visit and enjoy. Framing Cues. To build this new position, three framing cues will be used throughout each strategy and subsequent outreach tactic: 1) Emotion elicited from fond, nostalgic memories of previous experiences at parks (i.e. family vacations, school trips) and the desire for future generations to share the same experiences. Can also speak to patriotism. 2) Credibility established by the organization naturally owning the largest share of public outdoor space. The sheer number of volunteers, legislative efforts and donations via NPF adds to its credibility. 3) Association make the connection between key publics and NPS, these are your parks, your history and your future. Every American should feel as if they have skin in the game when it comes to national parks. Messaging 1) NPS protects my history, culture and values. a. Without NPS, I would have an incomplete view of American history. b. NPS cares for American lands nationally and locally.xxiii c. NPS ensures minority groups are well represented in American history.xxiv d. NPS preserves historic sites and properties for my enjoyment. i. For instance, the organization has installed solar panels, green roofs and wind turbines at historic sites and parks in recent years to save on energy costs and preserve the environment. 2) NPS invests in my country’s future. a. NPS takes care of public parks enjoy with my family now and into the future. b. NPS provides educational programs for my child, which helps lead a full life and better their chances of getting into good schools.xxv c. Youth Conservation Corps (15-18), Public Land Corps (16-25), Girl Scouts (5-18) and Boy Scots (7-18) d. Park visits support local jobs. i. In 2012 put $14.7 billion in local gateway communities and directly supported over 145,000 jobs.xxvi a. NPS puts US-earned dollars right back into the economy
  • 11. 11 GeauxMargot August 2014 3) National Parks are accessible to all Americans. a. I am a vital supporter of NPS’ health as an organization. b. National parks exist near almost any place I’d visit or live in the U.S. i. Capitalize on the sheer number of parks and trails (401 in all 50 states and U.S. territories). c. NPS’ website makes it easy to find my park either by region or activity I want.xxvii d. NPS steps up to accommodate peak tourist seasons – I don’t need to worry about being underserved. i. Works directly with local businesses and NPHA to better prepare for peak tourist seasons, especially as it concerns the centennial.xxviii 4) NPS values its staff and volunteers. a. I share NPS’ passion for outdoor spaces and the American landscape. b. Staff enjoy working for NPS - most employees have been with NPS for 3+ years. c. NPS is building a diverse workforce, opening doors for different demographics. i. Invested in creating a more diverse workforce within minority populations and for people with disabilities.xxix
  • 12. 12 GeauxMargot August 2014 Strategies and Tactics 1) All Audiences a. Position NPS as the answer to the emotional need for consistency and a certain future by showcasing the organization’s widespread presence through an overarching campaign: NPS Was Here. The theme does not necessarily require new programming or initiatives on NPS’ part but rather rallies parks together around a centralized theme that excited and intrigues the public. i. National Team Build NPS Was Here microsite and populate NPS.gov pages with links to NPSWasHere.org. 1. Each of the seven regions will be responsible for curating and managing their individual page’s content. ii. National Team Develop print, online, TV, radio and out of home advertising. 1. The National Team will provide art files for national media efforts (publications like Google, Expedia, Travelocity, travel magazines). 2. Regional teams are responsible for securing and executing paid media plans with local publications and budgeting related signage. iii. National Team Create social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest and Foursquare) – populate with national content to prepare for soon-to-come visitors. 1. Rather than creating multiple handles/pages for each of the seven regions, it is recommended that each region use the national handle and can differentiate themselves with hashtags (i.e. “@NPSWashere #NPSMidWest). The following strategies and tactics are best managed and executed by internal teams within each of the seven NPS regions. In this way each region can tailor its content to be geographically relevant and timely. The strategies and tactics below are step-by-step guidelines each region should follow to ensure consistency within the national campaign. It is recommended that each regional team include at least: a communications director, media outreach coordinator, traffic manager, social media coordinator and project manager. Each task force will report to, and work with, the national team at headquarters in Washington, D.C. The National Team will complete certain tactics, which are highlighted in red italics below.
  • 13. 13 GeauxMargot August 2014 iv. National Team Distribute national press release highlighting the 2016 centennial and highlight one special program within each of the seven NPS regions taking place in 2016. 1. Pitch centennial year programs and initiatives to local media, continuing to tie back to NPS’ NPS Was Here theme. v. National Team Build NPS Was Here artwork app for social media cover photos (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn). 1. Allows users to enter personal photos along with the specific park for which they volunteered, were employed or visited. The app will generate a pre-sized “Google-maps, landscape view” photo and incorporate the branded callout graphic along with a random selection of their photos that reads “NPS Was Here”. vi. National Team Create suite of out of home collateral branded with the NPS Was Here icon – Regional Teams are responsible for printing and distributing by or before July 2015 to use a full year to establish brand recognition before the centennial. 1. Window decals (distributed to local businesses, described in further detail below). 2. Bumper stickers. 3. Outdoor staked-signs (parks can post throughout their property or at the entrance). 2) Parents With Children Under Age 18 a. Raise awareness of NPS’ youth/education programs through local paid and earned media and online outreach efforts i. Seek youth and education-oriented partners (public television programs, kids magazines, local youth/parent organizations, etc.) to promote centennial events (i.e. Junior ranger day of service) via calendar listings, editorials and social media announcements. ii. Secure and promote program participation/visits by under-18 celebrities. 1. The National Team can help support coordination as- needed by each of the regional teams and will promote national-level celebrity visits. 2. Regional Teams are encouraged to reach out to and promote local youth celebrity participation.
  • 14. 14 GeauxMargot August 2014 b. Leverage young parents’ inherent “stake” in their child’s future to encourage year-round enrollment in youth/education programs. i. National Team Develop a White Paper on college admissions; specifically on the impact a student’s volunteer and extracurricular activity experience has on their acceptance. 1. National Team Will be hosted on NPSWasHere.org, promoted within relevant parent communities online as well as social media. ii. National Team Build a mentorship program that connects young students with an NPS staff member to build longer- term relationships with the park service. 1. The National Team will build the digital platform and train Regional Teams on how to manage their own sections. Will also provide recruitment protocol and tip sheets. 2. Regional teams will be responsible for recruiting and vetting both mentors and students. iii. Host community meetings relevant to young parents and influencers (i.e. PTA, new-moms, mommy bloggers, etc.) in NPS facilities. Distribute branded collateral specific to local youth/educational programs. iv. Sponsor college fairs at local gateway community high schools. v. National Team Rollout paid, national, media campaign in publications geared toward parents. 1. Regional Teams are responsible for identifying strategic, local publications that target the parent- audience . 3) Gateway Community Business Owners a. Underscore the economic impact NPS has made within local businesses to establish trust and mutual dependence. i. Host Rotary Club meetings and town halls in local gateway communities ii. Secure interviews from local business owners in local newspapers centered on the economic impact NPS has had on their business iii. Sell sponsored tents during the celebration month b. Instill a sense of community within the local gateway businesses, for which NPS is the keystone c. Increase gateway community consumers’ understanding that dollars spent with such a business helps the economic health of NPS
  • 15. 15 GeauxMargot August 2014 i. NPS Was Here certification they can stick on windows/frame on the wall to show that they’re a valued NPS partner National Team ii. Offer discounts/coupons to 2015 customers for 2016 – printed/online coupons will be branded with NPS Was Here 4) Staff and Volunteers a. Reconnect NPS staff with the organization’s mission by participating in a national brand ambassador program. The National Team will coordinate and manage the program in collaboration with the Regional Teams. The brand ambassador program benefits every staff member by training employees to connect with one another and find local avenues to resolve concerns and broadcast successes. i. Identify no more than 2 candidates per region (14 nation- wide) to participate in the Brand Ambassador Pilot Program. Approach directly explaining the intention of the program and ask for their assistance in establishing goals and strategies. ii. Kick off the Pilot Program with participants to gather feedback and further insight. iii. Build the Brand Ambassador online web portal, test with pilot participants. 1. Web portal will include roughly structured discussion boards a. Section divided by regional issues b. Section divided by national issues 2. Includes regular survey/polling calls to action to keep track of employee attitudes iv. Distribute internal rollout the month prior to launch – a highlighted article in an internal newsletter, followed by an exclusive eBlast and finally a formal announcement/invitation to participate. b. Instill a sense of pride in working and volunteering with the National Park Service through an appreciation campaign. i. National Team Distribute social media posts recognizing one exceptional “hero” a month beginning 1916 through 2016. 1. Separate campaign for Volunteer and Staff (so will release updates biweekly). 2. Ties back to NPS Was Here campaign. 3. Who will be our next hero? 4. Who will you help next?
  • 16. 16 GeauxMargot August 2014 5. Volunteers can highlight mentorship or a community that they helped service. ii. Distribute an online Volunteer Toolkit that includes: 1. One-page FAQs. 2. One-page Volunteer-impact results. a. I.e. “If one in 20 people devoted 10 hours of service a month, NPS would be able to maintain extended hours throughout the entire summer tourism season”. 3. A letter template that volunteers can use to accredit their time with either their company or school. 4. NPS Was Here social media artwork (see tools in All Audiences). c. Reaffirm a sense of community and NPS’ appreciation within NPS staff i. Host a nation-wide gala exclusive to NPS staff on August 22nd (the Saturday before the centennial celebration). 1. Two events per each of the seven regions across the U.S. 2. The National Team will provide a stipend for each event (14 total). Regional Teams are responsible for allocating event funding. ii. Build a discount program with NPS staff and nation-wide gateway business community owners for the year of 2016. 1. NPS staff receive impressive discounts at any participating gateway community business.
  • 17. 17 GeauxMargot August 2014 Evaluation How each objective will be measured:  Increase key publics’ perceived value of NPS by 10% by the end of 2016. o Use benchmark surveys for both Parent and Business Owner key publics. The first survey would be conducted during July 2015, followed by a second during July 2016 and a final during December 2016. Sample Survey in Appendix o Release a second iteration of in-market polling from a 2011 Roper Center poll that found 55% of Americans believe service at the national parks cannot be cut back.xxx  Increase the number of parents with children under age 18 that: 1) have visited a national park within the past 2 years by .4% 2) can name a valid park name/location to 69.1% by the end of 2016. o Using in-market polling data, improved measurements will be evaluated based on growth from the original findings:  Users increased ~2.125% each year between 2000-2008, between 2008-2016, we’d ideally increase this to ~2.5% through 2016.xxxi  Increase employee and volunteer satisfaction by 15% by the end of 2016. o Mark an increased score within the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government – ideally to 65. xxxii  Previous years’ ratings are as follows:  55.1 in 2013  61.3 in 2012  61 in 2011  63.7 in 2010 highest ranking Evaluating the plan’s overall effectiveness: 1) Short term a. Increased park attendance through 2016, specifically within the parent-demographic, nationwide. b. Increased enrollment in youth programs, nationwide. c. Returning-consumer use of the gateway community business discounts d. NPS staff-use of nation-wide gateway community business discounts 2) Long term a. Increased positive feedback via targeted surveys addressing NPS’ perceived value within gateway community businesses. b. Closer relationships between students and NPS; measured via targeted surveys and psychographic studies.
  • 18. 18 GeauxMargot August 2014 c. Increased trust in NPS as the best protector and investor in American history and culture; measured via NPS Was Here brand recognition. APPENDIX B NPS SWOT Internal Strengths o Strong reputation and history with the general public o Great volunteer numbers o Positive mission statement – easy for audiences to rally behind o Education programs speak to younger, future generations and the young families that hope to see them learn and succeed Internal Weaknesses o Expensive to maintain parks and programs, difficult to keep parks open the amount that the public expects o Difficult to fully grasp all of the provided services o Somewhat lack of cohesiveness on a national level as each park is closely tied in its surrounding community/state External Opportunity o Easy for congress people to reach across the aisle and support through legislation/funding o National Park Foundation dedication o Currently: LGBT community has applauded NPS for including LGBT sites in the American historic landscape External Threats o Competitors: amusement parks, spas, zoos, golf courses, rock- climbing gyms, private parks and oil companies o Americans want parks but don’t want to increase their taxes to pay for them o International travel o Losing funding and land to private entities (including oil companies)
  • 19. 19 GeauxMargot August 2014 APPENDIX C Original Research Examples A. Example of benchmark survey questions – Parents 1) How many children under 18 are in your household? 2) Which national parks are closest to your home? (do they need prompting/help with names? 3) How many national parks have you visited with your children? 4) Have you ever enrolled your children in an NPS youth-program? 5) Would you enroll your child in an NPS youth-program? a. If yes – would you recommend the program to another local parent? b. If yes – did you see a benefit to your child’s well-being and happiness, generally? 6) Do you feel you have enough information about your local programs? B. Example of benchmark survey questions – Gateway Business Owners 1) What national parks are closest to your business? 2) What percent of your customers are directly interacting with your business because of park visitation? 3) What local leisure activities, outside of NPS, attract your customers? 4) How important are NPS’ functions to your success as a business?
  • 20. 20 GeauxMargot August 2014 APPENDIX D NPS Was Here Campaign Mood Board Decal Inspiration (for businesses) Social Media Covers for the Public
  • 21. 21 GeauxMargot August 2014 APPENDIX E References iihttp://clients1.ibisworld.com.proxy.library.georgetown.edu/reports/us/industry/operatingconditions.aspx? ntid=1643 ii http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/docs/NPSVSE2012_final_nrss.pdf iii http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/docs/NPSVSE2012_final_nrss.pdf iv http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/index.htm vhttp://www.ustravel.org/sites/default/files/page/2009/10/MOF11_Outlook_National_Parks.pdf vii http://www.people-press.org/2013/10/18/trust-in-government-interactive/ viii http://www.pewinternet.org/2007/11/21/boot-camp-for-internet-addicts/ ix http://clients1.ibisworld.com/reports/us/industry/default.aspx?entid=1643#ID x http://www.rff.org/RFF/Documents/RFF-BCK-ORRG_State%20Parks.pdf xi http://www.nps.gov/legal/ xii http://clients1.ibisworld.com/reports/us/industry/ataglance.aspx?entid=1643 xiii http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/docs/NPSVSE2012_final_nrss.pdf xivhttp://clients1.ibisworld.com/reports/us/industry/productsandmarkets.aspx?entid=1643 xv http://clients1.ibisworld.com/reports/us/industry/majorcompanies.aspx?entid=1643#MP10513 xvi http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu.proxy.library.georgetown.edu/CFIDE/cf/action/ipoll/questionDetail.cfm?k eyword=national%20and%20parks&keywordoptions=1&exclude=&excludeOptions=1&topic=Recreation&orga nization=any&label=&fromdate=01/01/1935&toDate=12/31/2014&stitle=&sponsor=Reuters&studydate=01- JAN- 34&sample=1021&qstn_list=&qstnid=1779433&qa_list=&qstn_id4=1779433&study_list=&lastSearchId=76101 56&archno=&keywordDisplay= xvii http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu.proxy.library.georgetown.edu/CFIDE/cf/action/ipoll/questionDetail.cfm?k eyword=national%20and%20parks&keywordoptions=1&exclude=&excludeOptions=1&topic=Recreation&orga nization=any&label=&fromdate=01/01/1935&toDate=12/31/2014&stitle=&sponsor=McClatchy&studydate=0 1-JAN- 34&sample=1173&qstn_list=&qstnid=1843088&qa_list=&qstn_id4=1843088&study_list=&lastSearchId=76101 56&archno=&keywordDisplay= xviii http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/docs/NPSVSE2012_final_nrss.pdf xix http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/index.htm xx http://www.parkpartners.org/Home.html xxi http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/workwithus.htm xxii http://bestplacestowork.org/BPTW/rankings/detail/IN10#workforce xxiii http://www.nps.gov/history/hps/pad/plancompan/plancompanion.htm xxiv http://www.kcet.org/news/agenda/diversity/lgbt-heritage-theme-study-launched-by-national-park- service.html xxv http://www.nps.gov/gettinginvolved/youthprograms/index.htm xxvi http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/docs/NPSVSE2012_final_nrss.pdf xxvii http://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm xxviii http://www.parkpartners.org/ xxixxxix http://www.nps.gov/diversity/index.htm xxx http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu.proxy.library.georgetown.edu/CFIDE/cf/action/ipoll/questionDetail.cfm?k eyword=national%20and%20parks&keywordoptions=1&exclude=&excludeOptions=1&topic=Recreation&orga nization=any&label=&fromdate=01/01/1935&toDate=12/31/2014&stitle=&sponsor=Reuters&studydate=01- JAN-
  • 22. 22 GeauxMargot August 2014 34&sample=1021&qstn_list=&qstnid=1779433&qa_list=&qstn_id4=1779433&study_list=&lastSearchId=76101 56&archno=&keywordDisplay= xxxi http://www.npca.org/assets/pdf/Committee_People_and_Parks.PDF xxxii http://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/news/mariposa-daily-news-2013/167- december/11371-national-park-service-continues-to-decline-in-ranking-for-best-place-to-work-in- government-

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