Public ParksIntroduction – My Name is David E. Bowman, I spend a lot of time in parks in Dayton. My students at SAA last year worked with Hamilton County ParksI am here today to entertain you, educate you, learn from you, and provoke you a little. Goal for today is to get you to think public parks and social media in a different way. When I say social media, it might conjure up ideas like this…
Social Media is more than cat videos, The Harlem shake, More than promotional marketing, Social media is how we communicate. It is telephone / television It permeates our lives. Name some pioneers of social media
These are the pioneers of social media, These are people who pioneered the National Parks system. PublicParks are the original social media. Thus you are social media expertsNow for something completely different.
Imagine I was really into birding and had no access to social mediaSocial media and the web did not exist. I have a full time job, kids, work. I’m interested in birds, but my only free time is 11:00 at night.
Were it not for social media and the web, this would be my only option. Web creates entirely new possibilities. If I am into birding, I can go to Five Rivers Metroparks website all day, any day and learnI can connect with other people who are into birding, people in my community, people around the world.
The web changes the rules.
The park never closes. Parks have the ability to attract attention from people around the planet. Don’t use social media to only tell me what I am missing in the physical park. Show me. Give me an experience. Treat your online presence as an actual park in and of itself. This is a complete ecosystem, that works with the other parks to build a strong system.
No longer beholden to sun, wind, rain, or other unexpected Ohio weather calamity No longer locked into geographyNo longer forced to “outbound market” only during levy timeYour online presence
People can explore on their own time. Get more engaged, more likely to actually come to the park.
The parks system and social media mirror one another. They compliment one another. Social media is in large part a digital representation of the parks system. Analog, real world parks give me real experience, but social gives me access on my time. Manage it like you manage a park.
When I say parks and social media are similar if not the same, what do I mean. Well I want to place things in the context of parks, and then try to draw analogies to the digital worldThis is not meant to be an all encompassing list, but rather to provoke you to think a little differently
Fun things to do. Play,Activities, challenges, Ways for people to meetShow people the fun
Learn things. Share educational tips everyday. Your loyal followers will share more informationYou can have contests, build public knowledge, and enlighten people. Parks can add much greater value.
What did you find? Where did you go? Have you seen this? Eagle pictures, flower pictures, Stories of discovery. We are all explorers at heart. Online can foster that.
Parks have things that we enjoy. Concerts, classes, groups, events, Entertainment should be part of your social media park experience as well. How are you entertaining your audience. Not just telling them what is going on that they are missing, Show them things to pull them in online. Connect with them.
Parks are a place where we can get away from the world and get together. Might be camping trip or a soccer game, playground, or a birding classParks give us a chance to meet and communicate with people
Showcasingbeauty , and the delicate, intricate aspects of our natural worldShowing that this is important. Do it physically in a park. Do It digitally online. Facts, figures, little tidbits of information. Make people realize how fragile our world is and how they can protect it.
Connecting with NatureConnecting with each otherConnecting with ourselves. Parks and social media provide this ability
Great leaders make great parks, They set the tone and the direction. Someone needs to be in charge of your digital park. You need leaders with visionYou need managers who execute that vision.
Parks need a place to live. Parks tend to be along natural geographic features,Chosen for a reason. Same for digital, where are your people Natural places for them. Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter,
Parks have rules, Parks post the rulesParks enforce the rules. Parks are perceived as safe because of the rules.
Rangers who patrol and enforce the rules. Teachers and people who create things. Maintenance crew who cleans up messes – IT, HR, Management
Just as you would not run a park by saying, hmm what should we do today,Don’t run social media that way. Develop editorial calendar that reflects your activities, showcases special events, has unique online content. Scheduled, repeating events, online and offWhat do you have planned? Twitter chats, Instagram Photo contests, Facebook contests, Make you part of the parks.
You need to budget for social media. This budget probably exists in personnel. Time is what you pay for. Someone to organize event, take pictures, write posts, produce and publish videoEquipment. Monitor and manage conversation and content.
Product, Price, Place, PromotionPromotion – this is the likely P. This is what most people do with social media. Price for you is an important differentiator – free or very affordable. Place – natural locations for parks, also for social media. Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Your own website, YouTube, Google+ Product– This are at the core of your social media. What content are you creating. What is the user experience. What are we putting into the world, both physical and digital – is our online park a remarkable park experience.
The fifth, and most important P in the marketing mix is people. In the end, parks are a lot about people Know the people you serve. Know what they are interested in. Engage them, Entertain them, educate them, Make them part of the parks, It’s less about how many people like you and more about how much they like you. Be interesting, useful, and memorable to them. Connect them to one another and to you. Where are they online? Go the them. Give them what they want.