Central Utah Gardens Client Book


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I made this book for my group campaign as part of my capstone course in public relations. The course has groups of students conduct research and create a functional, strategic public relations campaign for a real client, in this case Central Utah Gardens. The book was created with Adobe InDesign.

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Central Utah Gardens Client Book

  1. 1. A Strategic Public Relations Campaign Produced by a BYU student group
  2. 2. Table of Contents 1 Executive Summary Background 4 Introductory Statement 5 External Environment 6 The Client 7 Industry & Competition 9 Promotion 10 Resources 11 Research Analysis 12 SWOT Analysis 13 Public Profiles 26 Situation Analysis 27 Core Problem Communications Plan 30 Introductory Statement 31 Problem Summary 32 Goals and Objectives 33 Campaign Theme Key Publics 36 UVU Students 38 Billboard 39 Facebook Ad 40 Homeowners 55+ Table of Contents 42 Yard Sign 43 TV PSA 45 Flyers 46 Nurseries 49 Newsletter 50 News Release 52 Mothers 54 Scavenger Hunts 56 Mommy & Me Day Event 58 Blog Post 59 Radio PSA
  3. 3. 60 Landscapers 62 Landscaper Packet 70 Feature Story 74 Instructional Videos 76 Elementary School Administrators 78 Coloring/Activity Pages 83 Opinion Leader List 87 Presentation Copy Outline Implementation & Evaluation 90 Timeline 92 Detailed Calendar 94 Budget 95 Evaluation Appendices 98 Appendix 1: Nursery Surveys 105 Appendix 2: Major Resources Table of Contents
  4. 4. 1 Central Utah Gardens aims to conserve water by educating local Introduction residents about water-wise landscaping. Despite many of CUG’s strengths, such as its educated staff and family-friendly facilities, it has struggled to attract as many visitors it would like. Many factors, such as a small staff and budget, have limited CUG’s ability to raise awareness of the need to conserve water in order to prevent a severe water shortage in the future. This book contains our research and strategic communications plan to stretch CUG’s resources and influence by targeting strategically chosen audiences and making water conservation education a community effort. Through primary and secondary research we found that the biggest Research obstacle CUG faces is that residents of Utah County are unaware and under-educated about Utah’s dwindling water supply. Local residents harbor negative perceptions of the term xeriscaping, which prevents them from wanting to learn about it. Those who attend the Gardens struggle to find the appropriate plants at local nurseries. However, research also suggests that many resources and opportunities are available to CUG. In particular, we found that owners of local nurseries are interested in developing mutually beneficial relationships with the Gardens. By taking advantage of available resources and willing publics, CUG can reach more than just the targeted publics. Executive Summary Based on our research, we have created a strategic public relations Campaign campaign that will be implemented over the next year in three phases: tactics to be implemented by September 2010, tactics to be implemented by the end of 2010, and tactics to be implemented by April 2011. To achieve our ultimate goal of increasing visitor attendance at the Gardens, we have included objectives that are both ambitious and attainable for each phase. After researching a variety of publics, we chose to focus on the Key Publics and Messages
  5. 5. 2 following six in our campaign: UVU students, home owners over the age of 55, nursery owners, mothers with preschool age children, landscapers, and elementary school administrators. In order to convey the central message of the Gardens we created the tag line, “Learn to conserve—every drop counts.” To help us consistently emphasize this message throughout our campaign, we have developed a message for each key public based on this tag line. They are: UVU students: Learn to conserve—it’s your future. Home owners over the age of 55: Learn to conserve—be an example. Nursery owners: Learn to conserve—be the difference. Mothers with preschool age children: Learn to conserve— make it fun. Landscapers: Learn to conserve—create opportunities. Elementary school administrators: Learn to conserve— inspire a generation. We believe that through creating and maintaining relationships with Conclusion these strategically selected publics, CUG will have a great impact. Executive Summary The tactics we have suggested and developed use a variety of media including personal contact, print media and social media to help foster these relationships and reiterate our message. By implementing these tactics and focusing on these key publics, CUG will be able to garner new support and maximize its influence in Utah County.
  6. 6. Background
  7. 7. Introductory 4 Statement This section contains a summary of research that was performed to determine the best audiences to target, what messages to deliver, and how to communicate those messages with the audiences, and to determine the best communications goals and objectives to solve the problems currently facing Central Utah Gardens. This section contains important information and key findings from both primary and secondary research. We will look at the external environment, the industry and competition, our client and its services, our client’s current resources and promotions, and how these affect Central Utah Gardens’ goal to educate about water conservation. We will also consider the Gardens’ SWOT Analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Research performed by the Bradley Public Relations Agency and by Water-Wise Public Relations is used throughout this section because it showed the current knowledge and feelings toward Central Utah Gardens from residents of Utah County and plant nurseries in Utah County. We will also outline several potential publics to target with this campaign. These profiles will cover the publics’ current relationships with the Gardens, their self-interests and the influentials who can be used to reach these publics. All of this information and research helped us analyze the situation and outline the core problem facing Central Utah Gardens. This information will also help us in our planning and programming section as we determine the best goals, objectives and messages to Background overcome the core problem. This background section is the beginning of a strategic communications campaign that will help CUG increase attendance to help with its overall mission to increase water conservation in the water conservancy district.
  8. 8. External 5 Environment Water sustains life and for millennia has been the reason for settling or leaving regions all around the world. In Utah, this was also the case even though the state was mostly a desert when settled in 1847 by the Mormon pioneers. These settlers were sustained by the streams and rivers that flowed out of the surrounding mountains. During the past century the water supply started coming from more than just the spring runoff and glacial melt, but also from underground water sources. Organizations like the Central Utah Water Conservancy District were put in place to manage this water supply. This water supply is used by hundreds of thousands of people for drinking, cleaning, landscaping and recreation. Even though Utah experiences drought years and years with more precipitation, the water supply would not become depleted if not for the ever-increasing population. With the population steadily increasing over the last several years, until the recession took its toll on Utah’s economy, the amount of water available to each person has steadily decreased. The problem is that the use of water per person has not decreased at the same amount. People in Utah don’t fully understand that water supply is an issue. Many people who grew up in Utah are used to a green community where everyone has a sprawling lawn, big trees and pretty flowers. They have been taught that “the desert would blossom as a rose,” and as a result, do not comprehend that they live in an arid, desert ecosystem. Many issues rise from this mentality, including under appreciating the valuable and limited resource of water. Background Background Until the residents of Utah County are educated about the real problems Utah faces with its current water use and rising population, many will not understand the issue or make the necessary changes to use less water in their landscaping. This is the main reason the Central Utah Water Conservancy District built Central Utah Gardens.
  9. 9. 6 The Client Central Utah Gardens is a water-conservation education garden with the purpose of educating the people of Utah County about the water issues they face and how to combat them. CUG was created in 2007 to accomplish this mission, by to change behaviors and create a stronger conservation ethic through education. CUG consists of many demonstration areas, including two model homes with example landscaping and irrigation systems, vegetable patches, a dry stream bed and other various examples of water-wise landscaping. Each area teaches visitors about small things they can do to conserve water at their homes without sacrificing a beautiful landscape with grass and flowering plants. Classes are offered in addition to the demonstration areas at the Gardens. These classes teach students in more detail about proper irrigation, water-wise and Utah-friendly plants, and proper maintenance. Classes are taught spring through fall by experts on the specific topics. CUG also works with local schools, communities and nurseries to promote this conservation ethic. Throughout their summer season, the Gardens host a concert series and various family activities to drive attendance and increase the dissemination of their message, and yet, all of these good activities are still not achieving the attendance levels desired by CUG. At the beginning of 2010, CUG asked students at Brigham Young University to perform research and prepare strategic communications plans to drive attendance to CUG and accomplish its overall mission of Background water conservancy within the water district.
  10. 10. 7 Industry & Competition Central Utah Gardens is not alone in their cause. There are four other conservation gardens in Utah, all within a four hour drive of CUG. These gardens are not true competition because they serve different regions, and they work together in an effort to conserve water in Utah. However, because of the size, years of existence or locations of these other gardens, they are more popular than CUG. These gardens offer similar services and opportunities to anyone who is willing to visit them, potentially drawing visitors from Central Utah Gardens. All of these gardens are part of the Governor’s Water Conservation Team, which promotes water conservation state-wide through the “Slow the Flow, Save H2O” campaign. This campaign promotes water conservation through public service announcements, television commercials and partnerships with local television stations. KSL, for example, keeps residents informed on water usage through spring, summer and fall under the banner of the campaign. This campaign has been successful since it was started by the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District in 2001. In 2003, the governor’s team picked up the campaign and expanded it to the whole state. Surveys indicate the message was heard. Colorado is now using a “Slow the Flow” campaign modeled after Utah’s. In addition to the pseudo-competition, Central Utah Gardens faces competition in other ways. Two ornamental gardens are found along the Wasatch Front, Thanksgiving Point and Red Butte Gardens. These gardens may not teach water conservation, but they attract thousands of visitors every year because of their beauty and special events. CUG must also compete to get its messages disseminated to its publics and Background Background for the time that its publics have to allocate to these activities. People spend more time than ever before inside with technology and less time outside in their yards and gardens. This presents an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage is that some people are willing to get rid of some, if not all, of their lawn since they don’t use it and they don’t want to mow or weed it. The disadvantage is that
  11. 11. 8 Industry & Competition continued ... people are unwilling to change to a different style of landscape or to take care of the new landscape. Central Utah Gardens is also competing with existing perceptions, attitudes and behaviors. People are set in their ways and don’t want to change, or don’t see the need to change. The worst misconception is that water-wise landscaping consists of rocks, cacti, wagon-wheels and cattle skulls. They don’t fully understand what xeriscaping is or what it can offer. In order to compete successfully in the industry and overcome these perceptions, Central Utah Gardens must find ways to effectively communicate its mission and messages to its targeted audiences. Background
  12. 12. 9 Promotion Central Utah Gardens has tried many channels to spread its messages. Some have proved to be a success, while others need to be scrapped or reinvented. One successful channel is their on-site LED marquis. This sign was mentioned by several interviewed as their introduction or connection to CUG. It is visible from the major thoroughfare from Orem to Provo. Other successful promotional methods include flyers to elementary schools about their programs and events and remote radio spots. The following channels were not considered to be as effective, but could be very beneficial to CUG if reevaluated and implemented differently. These include flyers and posters at nurseries, CUG’s Web site, brochures, television spots and expos. Background Background
  13. 13. 10 Resources To make these channels and proposed channels successful we must look at the resources that Central Utah Gardens currently has or can build upon. This team feels and has confirmed through research that relationships with local nurseries can be a great resource. CUG already has basic relationships with local community leaders and some nurseries. Other resources include the Governor’s Water Conservation Team, which includes all of the conservation gardens in the state, their knowledgeable staff, an existing relationship with the Utah State University extension program, and two universities within a few miles, one being right across the street. Central Utah Gardens also has online resources like its Web site, Facebook group, YouTube channel and blog. One of the most important resources is the physical location of CUG. There is plenty of parking and good facilities to accomplish its purpose and it is located in a high-traffic area of the city. Background
  14. 14. 11 Research Analysis We noticed several patterns after reviewing the research we received at the beginning of this project. One of the first things we realized in this initial research is that people don’t know what the Gardens are. This research also reaffirmed what we already suspected—that the public has a negative perception of the term xeriscaping. Those people who do attend the Gardens and become interested in water-wise landscaping struggle to find appropriate plants in the local nurseries. For the most part, people don’t realize that the increasing population is threatening Utah’s currently abundant water supply. The fact that water is so cheap rules out one of the top incentives to conserve. On the other hand, initial research noted that Utah residents appreciate that the Gardens accommodate for families and that the marquee near the side of the road is getting people’s attention. Managers of local nurseries who participated in this research stated that they would be interested in developing a better and more mutually beneficial relationship with Central Utah Gardens. They said they would be willing to order whatever plants we tell them people want and they would be willing to teach classes at the Gardens. Background Background
  15. 15. 12 SWOT Analysis Strengths Weaknesses Only conservation garden in Utah Valley Only one horticulturist on staff Facilities No communications staff Location Limited budget Educated staff Facilities may be confusing to first-time visi- tors Willing to do almost anything Brochure and communications are text heavy LED Marquis and could be confusing Family-friendly Poor relationship with nurseries Appeals to wide audiences Poor relationship with UTA Future plant list Young garden Web site helpful for garden planning Limited visibility Utah Gov. water conservation team Slow the Flow campaign Opportunities Threats Build relationships with local nurseries Weather and seasons Build relationships with local governments Local cultural habits Two nearby universities Limited funding Redefine xeriscaping and water conservancy Current negative view and understanding of xeriscaping and water conservation Under educated public Disconnect between nurseries and garden No contradicting messages Background Nurseries with stretched assets and resources Depleting water supply in Utah Expense to homeowners to change landscap- USU extension ing Not considered immediate issue by public because they don’t see direct affects on them
  16. 16. Public Profiles
  17. 17. 14 Potential Public Profiles We chose the following audiences for our campaign because of the research that was conducted. We have given a brief description of each public, described their current relationship with CUG, and listed their influentials and their self-interests. In the planning and programming section, key messages are formulated for each public we will target as well as strategies and tactics of how to communicate the key and secondary messages with the various publics. Influentials: anyone who has influence or may exert influence toward the public’s decision making including peers, community leaders and religious leaders Self-interests: personal interest or advantage that may affect how a public acts or makes decisions Background
  18. 18. 15 Mothers w/ preschool kids Mothers with children are a good public. Many in Utah County are stay-at-home moms who have more time than others to dedicate to their yard and garden. A large number of these mothers are also constantly looking for new outdoor activities to enjoy with their children. Further, this group of mothers in Utah County is extremely interested in the lives of their children and future generations. If we can influence mothers in Utah County to learn more about water conservation and different plant life that would work best in their yard by attending Central Utah Gardens and its offered classes, they can spread the knowledge to their families, friends and neighbors. Current Relationship: The current relationship with mothers of Utah County is minimal. Many mothers don’t understand what Central Utah Gardens is and what is offered there. Influentials: Family, spouses, children, community and government officials, church leaders, other mothers, mommy bloggers Self-Interests: This group’s main interest is their family and finding something that not only brings their family closer, but also improves the lives of their family members in general. They want to make sure the activities their family participates in are wholesome and uplifting. They also want to make sure that the lives of their children are secure. Background Background
  19. 19. 16 Home Owners Utah County has experienced tremendous growth over the past several years with population estimates projecting more residents in Utah County than Salt Lake County in the near future. According to the 2000 census, over 60 percent of the population own their homes in the county. This statistic is sure to have increased over the past ten years with the major growth in Eagle Mountain, Saratoga Springs, Lehi and other cities. However, not all homeowners are the same. For the sake of profiling, this public has been divided by age group. Many of the groups share similar traits, but differ slightly as to why they are a good public to target and how to best communicate with them. Ages 20-35 Younger homeowners are generally young married couples with young families, or no children at all. Many of them are here because they attended school at one of the major universities in the area with some of them still attending. These homeowners are more open to water conservation and changing their landscape, but have the most limited funds and time. Some of these homeowners plan to leave Utah after they have graduated or found a new job, so they want the landscaping to be good for resale. Current relationship: Many of these homeowners are familiar with the gardens only because they have driven past it going to UVU or BYU. Many in this age group are transplants and are not fully aware of Utah’s water issues. Influentials: Spouses, peers, parents, church and community leaders Background Self-interests: They want to make ends meet and still live a good life. They want their children’s futures to be secure. They want to finish their schooling.
  20. 20. 17 Home Owners continued ... Ages 35-55 This age group is more established in their homes, families and careers and is much less likely to be leaving Utah County than the younger homeowners because of these roots. This group is concerned with the community for their children’s future and their property’s future value. They are busy with kids and teenagers, but have more time and more regular routines than younger homeowners. Many times one spouse is staying home taking care of the children and the house while the other works. Current relationship: This group may have heard of the Gardens through local communications such as utilities bills or radio programs. They may also have driven past the Gardens. Influentials: Spouses, peers, children, church and community leaders Self-interests: This group wants their yard and house to look good but they also want it easy to take care of. They are concerned for the future of their neighborhood, community, schools and children. Background Background
  21. 21. 18 Home Owners continued ... Over the age of 55 Those that are over the age of 55 years are typically getting ready to retire or have already retired and are living in their own homes. They are taking up new hobbies, gardening being one of the most popular. This older group wants to spend time outdoors and stay active for good health, and gardening is not severely strenuous. This group generally has older teenagers at home or family living close by, thus, giving them the opportunity to bring more people to the garden and encourage them to conserve water in their yards. Retired people also like to travel, so having a low-maintenance yard and landscaping is very appealing to them. Current relationship: This group may have heard of the Gardens through local communications such as utilities bills or radio programs. They may also have driven past the Gardens or heard about it from friends Influentials: Spouses, peers, children, church and community leaders Self-interests: Their self interests include saving money, having a beautiful yard, learning new gardening skills and techniques, doing good for the environment and wildlife in their local area and being involved in their community. Retired people also like to travel; thus having a low-maintenance landscape is very appealing to them. Background
  22. 22. 19 Elementary School Students In Utah County there are 82 elementary schools, comprised of about 48,230 students. This is a significant public for Central Utah Gardens to target because it is a large audience of influential teachers and impressionable students. By targeting elementary schools, the Gardens will be able to influence the teachers and administration and their students about the importance of water conservation. They will have the ability to act as an influential for the students’ parents as well, since these children will likely go home and tell their parents about what they have learned. Elementary children should be targeted because they are teachable at a young age and do not have any habits in place yet in regards to landscaping. If the Gardens can educate them about water-wise plants and the importance of water conservation, they will grow up with this understanding, and hopefully, will apply this knowledge when they do start to develop these types of habits. Current Relationship: The Gardens has worked with elementary schools in the past, but at a minimal level. Elementary schools have visited The Gardens for field trips and have learned about water-wise landscaping and plants. Students begin learning about the water system in as early as second grade. As part of this curriculum the Living Planet Aquarium often visits schools and shares information about Utah’s water system. Influentials: Other elementary schools; city, county, state and federal government officials; parents of children; community youth groups such as Cub and Girl Scouts or Boys and Girls Club Self-interests: The quality education of children in their jurisdictions, schools’ reputation as being an environmentally conscious school, Background Background providing extracurricular learning, providing fun and educational experiences outside the classroom
  23. 23. 20 Nurseries There are dozens of nurseries in Utah County that could be potential audiences for Central Utah Gardens. Through the distribution of a survey that our group, Water-wise Public Relations, devised for local nurseries, we discovered that some of these nurseries know about water-wise plants and landscaping, but do not sell many of these types of plants because there is not a large demand for them from customers. However, most nurseries did say they would be willing to and could order certain water-wise plants at the request of a customer. The nurseries also noted they would like to learn more about water conservation and water-wise landscaping, in order to be more informed and help educate their customers. Some nurseries did say they felt it would not be time or cost efficient to educate their employees though, considering there is not a high demand from customers about this type of landscaping. All the nurseries said they would be willing to hand out information about the Gardens and water conservation at their nurseries, whether in the form of brochures, pamphlets, flyers, etc. Current Relationship: Some nurseries have a good relationship with the Gardens having personally visited, taught a class or set up a booth at a garden fair. Other nurseries have no relationship with the Gardens. Influentials: customers, other nurseries (if the competition is selling these types of plants and has success, it may act as an incentive for nurseries to sell them), city and state government Self-interests: Their reputation as a good nursery, making a profit, providing a wide variety of plants for customers, providing quality Background customer service, providing helpful information about landscaping and gardening.
  24. 24. 21 UVU Students Not including high school students, there are approximately 22,200 students enrolled at Utah Valley University (UVU). While UVU has an overwhelmingly white majority, 10.2% of the students are multicultural. 61.9% of the UVU population comes from Utah County, and 87% of the students report that they are likely to stay in Utah after they graduate. Current Relationship: Because the UVU campus is across the street from Central Utah Gardens, most of the students probably know where the Gardens are located. However, because Central Utah Gardens has never targeted UVU students they do not have any sort of formal relationship, with them. Influentials: University president, student body president, professors (particularly science and education professors), peers, church leaders, parents Self-interests: Because so many UVU students come from Utah County and are likely to remain in Utah for awhile, they are a great public to target. Although they have grown up in families who water their grass yards as they please, they are at an age where they are detaching themselves from their parents and are therefore teachable and open to new ideas. They are generally more liberal in their ideologies and politics than their parents and BYU students, so they may be more open to “green” ideas. If we can persuade UVU students to attend classes at Central Utah Gardens, they will remember the principles of water-wise landscaping as they graduate and implement them when they buy their own home. Those who stay in Utah County for years to come are those who will be affected by water shortages in the future. Background Background Changing how UVU students think about water-wise landscaping will help us change the future.
  25. 25. 22 City/County Government County: The county government serves the needs of the people in over 70 cities and in the non-incorporated, rural areas around those cities. It is headed by a board of three county commissioners. Each commissioner is elected for a four-year term. The commissioners meet with the public and county department officials two days a week and serve on various committees and boards which serve Utah County residents. Seven other officials also serve four-year terms. Part of their role is to provide for the public health and welfare, which would include ensuring the county has a consistent and enduring supply of water. City: Each major city within Utah County has a council consisting of council members and a mayor who are elected by citizens of the city. The mayor and council members each serve staggered four-year terms on a part-time basis. Although the mayor leads the city council, his or her vote carries the same weight. Most cities with populations over 25,000 have a council-manager type of government in which the council acts as the legislative branch and the manager fulfills the executive role. The majority of mayors and city council members are men. Each council member serves on multiple committees, some of which would deal directly with water conservation and Central Utah Gardens. Current relationship: Central Utah Water Conservancy District provides wholesale water to cities and towns. Central Utah Gardens provides water for cities such as Orem, Provo, Lehi, American Fork, Saratoga Springs, Eagle Mountain and Spanish Fork. In the future they will provide water for Santaquin and Payson. Cities and towns are Central Utah Gardens’ partners in persuading people to conserve Background water. Central Utah Gardens takes the lead as far as providing water conservation resources, but depends heavily on cities and towns to help communicate the message. The major cities of interest for Central Utah Gardens include Orem, Provo, Lehi, Eagle Mountain, Springville, American Fork and Spanish Fork since they are larger cities, or face more profound water issues than other cities in the county.
  26. 26. 23 City/County Government continued ... Influentials: Constituents, community councils, mayors, other government officials on local and state levels Self-interests: In addition to being motivated by their responsibility to serve the public and provide for their welfare, public officials are motivated by their desire to be re-elected and therefore keep their jobs. Also, city and council officials know and understand more about the inevitable consequences of wasting water. As educated and concerned residents of Utah County, they should feel motivated to help educate others as a preventative measure, and therefore, be seen as knowledgeable and concerned communities leaders. Background Background
  27. 27. 24 Contractors/Landscapers There are hundreds of landscapers and contractors in Utah County. This is a good public because they are constantly looking for new clients and projects to keep their businesses competitive. This public can be used to promote water-wise landscaping and to persuade their clients and competitors in Utah County to learn about and implement water conservation into their own yards and homes. Many of the contractors and landscapers participate in the Parade of Homes, an annual event showcasing the newest design, building and landscaping trends for home building. Many of the contractors and landscapers that participate set the trends of development for the next year in Utah County and could encourage many county residents to learn about xeriscaping at the Gardens. Current Relationship: There is no relationship between Utah Central Gardens and the Parade of Homes, or with any contractors and landscapers. Influentials: Parade of Home participants and landscapers, developers, private home builders Self-interests: Contractors and landscapers are in business to make money and want to build what is trendy and what will sell. They want to support their families and communities. They like being the trendsetter as long as it is saleable. Background
  28. 28. Situation Analysis & Core Problem
  29. 29. 26 Situation Analysis Because of a dramatically increased population over the last several years, Utah County’s residents must conserve their water or face a potential shortage in the future. Central Utah Gardens was created to educate the residents of the Central Utah Water Conservancy District about this issue and how to combat it without sacrificing a beautiful landscape. The Gardens must build upon their current and potential relationships to increase attendance and disseminate their water conservation message to correct the current cultural habits in place. Central Utah Gardens faces the issues of negative perception, under education and misunderstanding. Utah County residents have a negative perception of xeriscaping and what it means to conserve water. Because of this negative perception and under-education of the topic, cultural habits have developed over the years that do not encourage water conservation. Another potential difficulty Central Utah Gardens faces is people not understanding what the Gardens purpose is. Central Utah Gardens also needs to build stronger relationships with local nurseries and community officials to help promote its cause. If Central Utah Gardens does not educate people about water conservation, correct perceptions of water conservation and xeriscaping and build strong relationships, Utah County may see the day when its water supply cannot sustain its population. Background
  30. 30. 27 Core Problem Residents of Utah County are unaware, under-educated and misunderstand the need to conserve water; if Central Utah Gardens fails to increase its attendance, and change current misconceptions about xeriscaping, it will also fail to educate and increase awareness of this problem, which will ultimately lead to a severe water shortage for future generations of Utah County. Background
  31. 31. Communications Plan
  32. 32. 30 Introductory Statement To overcome the current obstacles facing Central Utah Gardens including attendance and dissemination of its message to conserve water, Water-wise Public Relations has developed the following strategic public relations campaign. This plan has taken the information from the background section and our research to formulate goals and objectives, to determine the best publics to target to reach these, and to develop key messages, strategies and tactics to encourage change in opinion and perception and, more importantly, behavior among the chosen key publics. This campaign will be carried out over the next year with specific, obtainable objectives covering this period. Objectives have also been set for what we want to accomplish over the next five years. We have broken the implementation down to what we will do by certain times over the next year, namely, the end of the 2010 season (September 2010), the end of 2010 (December 2010) and the beginning of the 2011 season (April 2011). By implementing public-specific strategies and tactics based on the Communications Plan key messages and self-interests, we will reach our goals and objectives and your message will be effectively disseminated across Utah Valley.
  33. 33. 31 Problem Summary Central Utah Gardens is the conservation garden for the Central Utah Water Conservancy District with a mission to educate the residents of its district, especially residents of Utah Valley, about the need to conserve water and how to effectively do this through water-wise landscaping, commonly and negatively known as xeriscaping. The Gardens is trying to help ensure wise use of this valuable resource among people who don’t fully understand both the need to conserve and the potential problems not conserving will lead to. Through educating the residents of Utah Valley and the conservancy district, CUG can change how people perceive the precious resource and how they use it. Water-wise Communications will target specific publics with messages that appeal to their self-interests through targeted strategies and tactics created to help Central Utah Gardens be successful in performing its education and conservation mission. Communications Plan
  34. 34. 32 Goal and Objectives The goal of Central Utah Gardens is to increase visitor attendance, thus increasing awareness and education of water conservation among the residents of Utah County through this strategic public relations campaign. Attendance will increase to 6,000 visitors by the end of the 2010 First-Year Objectives season at the Gardens. Overall attendance at CUG classes will increase by 50 percent by the beginning of the 2011 season. Consistent relationships with five local nurseries will be formed by the end of the 2010 season. Independent user interactions with Central Utah Gardens’ Facebook page will increase by 300 percent, views of their YouTube channel will increase by 200 percent, and 25 new subscribers will follow CUG’s blog by the end of 2010. Communications Plan Overall attendance will increase to 25,000 visitors in a single season. Five-Year Objectives Consistent relationships will be formed with all 12 major nurseries in Utah County
  35. 35. 33 Campaign Theme “Learn to conserve — Every drop counts.” This simple theme will be a part of our message to each of our targeted publics. Our theme will inspire the residents of Utah County to visit the Gardens where they can learn more about conserving water. This short statement is powerful, and the image we created mimics the Gardens’ logo. We have taken this theme and created messages that appeal to each of our publics’s self-interests. We have incorporated the color scheme of CUG’s logo and the message communicated through the waterdrop and growing leaf. Communications Plan
  36. 36. Key Publics Key Messages Strategies & Tactics
  37. 37. 36 Key Public: UVU Students Not including high school students, there are approximately 22,200 individuals enrolled at Utah Valley University (UVU), 61.9% of which come from Utah County, and 87% report they are likely to stay in Utah after they graduate. Although they have grown up in families who water their lawns as they please, they are at an age where they are detaching themselves from their parents and therefore malleable and open to new ideas. They are generally more liberal in their ideologies and political views than their parents and BYU students, so they may be more open to “green” ideas. Those who stay in Utah County for years to come are those who will be affected by water shortages in the future. Changing how UVU students think about water-wise landscaping will help us change the future. Primary Message Learn to conserve - it’s your future. The Gardens is conveniently located across the street from UVU, Secondary Message and admission for tours and classes is free, allowing you to learn how to conserve water and how you can secure sufficient water for Communications Plan yourselves and the future generations of Utah County. Through the use of personal communication and social media, we Strategy will persuade UVU students to visit Central Utah Gardens and become more educated about water conservation. • Billboards are an effective way to reach your audience with a Tactics straightforward but simple message. Many UVU students drive on Interstate 15 every week, if not every day, and will notice a billboard. In addition to reaching UVU students, everyone else driving on I-15 will see it.
  38. 38. 37 Tactics continued • Internships for communications, science or horticulture students, depending on what CUG needs. Internships are a win-win situation because they provide CUG with extra help for free, and they provide students with an opportunity to learn and gain hands-on experience close to home. To motivate students to apply, a $1,000 stipend will be included for a four-month internship. • ‘Art Gallery Night’ for two designated evenings during the summer is when UVU students can display their artwork throughout the Gardens, including paintings, sketches, sculptures, etc. This benefits CUG because it will increase attendance to the Gardens. Participating students will do a lot of their own promotion, encouraging people to come see their work. Through these events CUG can establish and maintain positive relationships with UVU students while giving them an indirect way to learn about the Gardens and its purpose. • CUG already puts on several events each summer. They can attract Communications Plan more UVU students to their events if they advertise to them in UVU’s school newspaper and on UVU campus, especially if they advertise it as “free” and “a great date idea.” UVU students are always looking for new and inexpensive things to do. Incentives such as free T-shirts or gift cards may also encourage UVU students to attend the events. • Maintaining contact with UVU’s clubs is a great way for CUG to get onto UVU’s campus. CUG can provide classes for the environmental club, which in turn can assist CUG with on-campus advertising and advocating for water conservation. Once CUG has a relationship with UVU’s student groups, they can collaborate on projects that will inform people about CUG and its mission.
  39. 39. Communications Plan 38 Billboard
  40. 40. 39 Facebook Ad Learn to conserve — it’s your future. Central Utah Gardens, located across the street from UVU, offers a place to learn about water conservation and how it directly affects the fu- ture. Students can attend one of the garden’s weekly classes, or simply drop in and talk to one of the staff Communications Plan members to learn more. For more information, visit their Web site: CU- Gardens.org, or call (801) 222-0123.
  41. 41. 40 Key Public: Home Owners, ages 55+ Homeowners over the age of 55 years are typically looking forward to retirement. Gardening is a popular hobby among this public. This group generally has older teenagers at home or family living close by, therefore giving them the opportunity to bring more people to the Gardens and encourage them to conserve water in their yards. Their self-interests include saving money, having a beautiful yard and being a part of their community. Retired people also like to travel; therefore having a low-maintenance landscape may be very appealing to them. Primary Message Learn to conserve - be an example. As the established members of your community, Central Utah Gardens Secondary Message can help you learn how to retain your beautiful landscape while conserving water, thus setting an example for your neighborhood and laying the foundation for future generations in Utah County. Through events, traditional media and personal contact, we will Communications Plan Strategy persuade these home owners to attend the gardens and take part in the services offered there, thus learning to conserve. • A landscaping contest will be held all season for those who are Tactics implementing water-wise landscaping into their lifestyle. Once a month, representatives from Central Utah Gardens will give recognition to a homeowner for having the most beautiful, water- wise landscape in the area. They will be recognized in a newsletter and on the CUG web site. Tactics continued
  42. 42. 41 • Providing homeowners a way to show their pride for implementing water-wise landscaping, signs will be available for homeowners to post in their yard. The signs include the Central Utah Gardens logo, therefore making it more noticeable to anyone that drives by a water-wise yard. The signs may be available to landscapers to give to customers as well. • Centered on the camaraderie that homeowners share, an old- fashioned garden party will be thrown at the Gardens. This gives them the opportunity to be at the Gardens and visit with like minded people. They can also learn more about how they can help conserve water and what others are doing. • Water painting classes to be taught by UVU students at the Gardens. This activity not only gets home owners to visit, but it gives them the opportunity to interact with a younger generation. Both generations can learn from one another by sharing their thoughts and ideas about water conservation while cultivating a skill centered around the Gardens. Communications Plan • A video public service announcement will motivate homeowners to make a difference in their community. Featuring the Governor of Utah and taking place at Central Utah Gardens, the script shares where Utah get its water, what the consequences are if water is not used wisely, and how they can start to conserve. A listing of all water conservation gardens in Utah is provided with contact information. • Central Utah Gardens will host a booth at the local farmers market. Those attending the market, including homeowners, will be given the opportunity to talk to a CUG representative to get information about the classes offered at the Gardens and some basic tips on how they can be more water conscious.
  43. 43. Communications Plan 42 Yard Sign
  44. 44. 43 Public Service Announcement Communications Plan
  45. 45. 44 Communications Plan Public Service Announcement
  46. 46. 45 Flyers for Farmers Markets Learn to Conserve Learn to Conserve Sign up for a free class at Sign up for a free class at Central Utah Gardens! Central Utah Gardens! April 15 - Drip Irrigation: How to Design and Install April 15 - Drip Irrigation: How to Design and Install April 24 - Landscape Design I April 24 - Landscape Design I April 29 - Landscape Design II April 29 - Landscape Design II May 6 - Vegetable Gardening May 6 - Vegetable Gardening May 13 - Best Perennials on the Block May 13 - Best Perennials on the Block May 22 - Low Maintenance Landscaping May 22 - Low Maintenance Landscaping June 19 - Proper Pruning June 19 - Proper Pruning July 3 - War on Weeds July 3 - War on Weeds July 15 - Control Those Pesky Garden Pests July 15 - Control Those Pesky Garden Pests http://www.cugardens.org/classSchedule.html http://www.cugardens.org/classSchedule.html Learn to Conserve Learn to Conserve Sign up for a free class at Sign up for a free class at Central Utah Gardens! Central Utah Gardens! Communications Plan April 15 - Drip Irrigation: How to Design and Install April 15 - Drip Irrigation: How to Design and Install April 24 - Landscape Design I April 24 - Landscape Design I April 29 - Landscape Design II April 29 - Landscape Design II May 6 - Vegetable Gardening May 6 - Vegetable Gardening May 13 - Best Perennials on the Block May 13 - Best Perennials on the Block May 22 - Low Maintenance Landscaping May 22 - Low Maintenance Landscaping June 19 - Proper Pruning June 19 - Proper Pruning July 3 - War on Weeds July 3 - War on Weeds July 15 - Control Those Pesky Garden Pests July 15 - Control Those Pesky Garden Pests http://www.cugardens.org/classSchedule.html http://www.cugardens.org/classSchedule.html
  47. 47. 46 Key Public: Nurseries Nurseries in Utah County are willing to work with customers and CUG to further the cause of water conservancy. Many would like to learn more about water conservancy and water-wise landscaping in order to be more informed and to help educate their customers. All the nurseries said they would be willing to hand out information about the Gardens and water conservancy at their nurseries, whether in the form of brochures, pamphlets, flyers, etc. Nurseries want to help their customers and make a profit while maintaining a good reputation. Primary Message Learn to conserve - be the difference. By building a relationship with Central Utah Gardens, you can better Secondary Message serve your current customers while increasing your client base and profit, and at the same time make a difference in your community. Through personal and print material we will persuade local nurseries Strategy to promote water wise landscaping and Central Utah Gardens to better Communications Plan serve their customers and get new customers. • A news release will announce the event when Central Utah Tactics Gardens hosts the local nurseries at their venue. The local nurseries can set up booths with water-wise plants for sell, and the public can come and learn more about water-wise landscaping. People can also buy plants directly at the event, or place orders with the nurseries at their booths. (This news release will also target home owners and mothers.)
  48. 48. 47 Tactics continued • A quarterly newsletter that will be distributed to the local nurseries during the year, for their own use, and to pass along to their customers. Each issue of the newsletter will contain an ‘Events’ section, providing information about upcoming events at the Gardens; a “Facts and Tips” section with new tips and facts about water-wise landscaping and water conservation; a feature story about a past event during that quarter, or another type of newsworthy story; and a “News Section,” discussing any current issues dealing with water conservation or press about Central Utah Gardens. • A pamphlet will be created for the nursery owners to distribute to their customers containing information about water-wise landscaping and water conservation. The pamphlet describes what water-wise landscaping is, lists water-wise plants, and tips. It also has the contact information for Central Utah Gardens. There will also be an electronic version available online. Communications Plan • Banners and signs should be created to hang in nurseries as a reminder of water-wise plants and landscaping. Depending on the size of the nursery, they can have just a banner, or a banner and signs. The banner and signs will be similar to our billboard design, featuring one of our “Learn to Conserve — Every Drop Counts” messages. • Two weeks before the beginning of the season at the Gardens, all seven nursery owners and their employees will be invited to an informational open house held at the Gardens. This open house will be an opportunity for the nursery owners and employees to become more familiar with the Gardens, learn more about water- wise plants and water conservation and have an opportunity to meet and talk with the employees at the Gardens.
  49. 49. 48 Tactics continued • Representatives should be sent to nurseries quarterly to help Relationship Building build personal relationships. In the surveys we distributed to the nurseries, many owners responded that even though they were willing to work with Central Utah Gardens, they had very little contact with them. In order to ensure direct and consistent contact, we feel quarterly visits should be made with each nursery. During these visits, a representative from the Gardens (either Megan or a trained intern) will visit the nurseries, talk with the nursery owners and check-in to see how they are doing. This will create opportunities for the Gardens to get to know the nurseries on a personal basis and be able to help them with specific issues or problems, or provide more materials or information to give to their customers about water-wise landscaping. • Similar to the quarterly visits, phone calls should be made each month to help build strong relationships with the nurseries and check-in to make sure they are up-to-date with Central Utah Communications Plan Garden events and information. Again, these phone calls will be made by Megan or trained interns who are informed with the necessary information to address any problems or concerns of the nursery owners.
  50. 50. 49 Communications Plan Newsletter
  51. 51. 50 News Release Contact: Megan Ranstrom, Central Utah Gardens 801-226-7136 Megan@cuwcd.com Central Utah Gardens Holds Event Featuring Local Nurseries Central Utah Water Conservancy District’s local garden holds event to showcase local nurseries and water-wise plants OREM, Utah — July 15, 2010 — On July 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Central Utah Gardens will hold its annual Family Day event, where the public can meet local nursery owners, mingle with other gardening enthusiasts and learn about water-wise plants and landscaping. This is the fifth year Central Utah Gardens has held the event, with hopes of having its largest turnout. “We had such a great crowd last year and we have had even more people show interest in the Gardens over the season,” said Megan Ranstrom, the Gardens’ in-house horticulturist. “It is a great opportunity for visitors to meet other people in the community who share similar interests and to meet their local nursery owners who Communications Plan can help them pursue those interests.” At the event, local nursery owners will set up booths with information about water-wise landscaping and examples of water- efficient plants they can use in their yards and gardens. Visitors can buy plants directly from the nursery owners at the event, as well as place orders with the owners for later delivery. There will also be booths set up with activities and treats for younger children including a small petting zoo. The event is open to the public and admission is free. It will start at 10 am and run until 3 p.m. Central Utah Gardens is located in Orem at 355 W. University Parkway. For more information about Central Utah Gardens, or to learn more about water-wise landscaping and water conservation, visit their Web site: centralutahgardens.org, or call (801) 222-0123. ###
  52. 52. 51 Communications Plan
  53. 53. 52 Key Public: Mothers w/ preschool kids Mothers are constantly looking for new activities to enjoy with their younger children. There are more than 40,000 preschool-age children in Utah County. This group of Utah County mothers is extremely interested in the lives of their children and future generations. If we can influence mothers in Utah County to learn more about water conservation and different plant life that would work best in their yard by attending Central Utah Gardens and their offered classes, they can spread the knowledge to their families, friends, and neighbors. Primary Message Learn to conserve - make it fun. Central Utah Gardens offers an inexpensive way to entertain and Secondary Message educate your children while having the opportunity to socialize with other mothers. Not only is it free to attend the Gardens, but this is an ideal place for fun family activities and relaxation. Through social media and personal contact, we will persuade mothers Communications Plan Strategy with preschool kids that attending CUG will be entertaining for their children and provide beneficial education about water wise landscaping and water conservation. • Scavenger hunt at Gardens that involves the children finding Tactics plants that are growing at the Gardens. This scavenger hunt has three varieties. Each one includes 10 or more plants to find based on their name such as plants named after animals, foods or places. If the kids find all of the plants, they can take the completed form to a Gardens volunteer or employee for a sticker or piece of candy.
  54. 54. 53 Tactics continued • A ‘Mommy and Me Day’ event will include fun activities for both the mothers and the preschool aged children. We suggest using student volunteers from UVU who are education students to staff the event. Activities at the event include: • Finger painting game to try and paint the plants that are in the Gardens • Snack time (snack provided by the Gardens) • Classes for the mothers • Activities for the children Mothers will also have the opportunity to purchase a how-to tool kit that includes seeds of some of the plant life at the Gardens, information about how to plant and care for these plants, and information about maintaining a water-wise landscape. • Posts to blogs that are geared toward mothers will include information about the Gardens and how it is a fun and safe Communications Plan environment in which children can learn. • A 30-second radio public service announcement has been written to reach mothers and other homeowners. The PSA will encourage people to visit the Gardens and participate in events and classes. The PSA will play on local radio stations.
  55. 55. 54 Scavenger Hunts Central Utah Gardens Scavenger Hunt 1. Buffalo Juniper (S) 2. Firefly Coral Bells (P) 3. Dragon’s Blood Sedum (G) 5. Butterfly Blue 4. Hummingbird Pincushion Flower (P) Flower (P) 6. Little Bunny Fountain Grass (O) Communications Plan 9. Swan Yellow Columbine (P) 7. Lamb’s Ear (P) 10. Porcupine Grass (O) 8. Chameleon Euphoria (P) Find these plants named after animals in the Gardens! Take completed sheet to a Central Utah Gardens gardener or the reception desk inside for a sticker. T: tree S: shrub P: perrenial G: groundcover V: vine L: lawn O: ornamental grass
  56. 56. 55 Scavenger Hunts Central Utah Gardens Scavenger Hunt 11. Western Sand Cherry (S) 1. Trinity Flowering Pear (T) 2. Oranges and Lemons (P) 6. Amur Chokecherry (T) 4. Chocolate Flower (P) 5. Caramel Coral 8. Lemon Drop Bells (P) Primrose (P) 7. Candy Stripe Phlox (G) 3. Lemon Thyme (G) 10. Appleblossom 9. Candytuft (P) Phlox (G) Find these plants named after treats and snacks in the Gardens! Take completed sheet to a Central Utah Gardens gardener or the reception desk inside for a sticker. T: tree S: shrub P: perrenial G: groundcover V: vine L: lawn O: ornamental grass Central Utah Gardens 1 Scavenger Hunt Communications Plan 2 3 7 8 4 5 6 1. Washington Hawthorne (T) 2. Oregon Grape (S) 3. Utah Penstemon (P) 4. Arizona Sun Blanket Flower (P) 5. New Mexico Privet or Desert Olive (T) 9 6. Texas Purple Japanese Wisteria (V) 13 7. Missouri Evening Primrose (P) 8. Kentucky Blue Grass (L) 10 9. Austrian Pine (T) 10. Indian Currant (S) 14 11. Japanese Bloodgrass (O) 11 12. Mexican Hat (P) 13. Norwegian Sunset Maple (T) 15 14. Russian Sage (P) 12 15. Turkish Veronica (G) Find these plants named after different places around the world! Take completed sheet to a Central Utah Gardens gardener or the reception desk inside for a sticker. T: tree S: shrub P: perrenial G: groundcover V: vine L: lawn O: ornamental grass
  57. 57. 56 Mommy & Me Day Event Mommy and Me Day was created to give mothers a chance to learn more about water conservation, to get involved with other mothers, and to bring their children to a kid-safe environment for fun, educa- tional activities. We want mothers to be more involved in water con- servation and to implement water-wise principles in their landscapes. Event date and time: May 8, 2010 12:00 p.m. Theme: Learn to conserve – make it fun. Venue: Central Utah Gardens Event timeline: 12:00 p.m. – guests start to arrive 12:15 p.m. – tour of the gardens 12:45 p.m. – finger painting 1:15 p.m. – snack time 1:45 p.m. – classes, one for mothers one for kids 2:15 p.m. – second class rotation 2:45 p.m. – mothers pick up their tool kits Communications Plan 3:00 p.m. – event ends and guests start to leave Event needs: Clean-up crew Set-up crew Snacks Class teachers Collateral material: flyers, brochures, invitations 14 tables with 8 chairs Tool kits Follow-up with media: Send photos with cutline and news release
  58. 58. 57 Mommy & Me Day Event Plan Number of Expected Guests: 100 Invitation and map will be sent electronically Tool kits: guests have the opportunity to purchase kits that include different seeds and how to plant them in your garden. Budget: Snacks – $3.00 each for 100 people = $300 Tool kits – approximately $10 a piece but will be purchased by guests Estimated Budget – $300 Communications Plan
  59. 59. 58 Communications Plan Blog Post Possible comments for other blogs Thank you for visiting Central Utah Gardens. We are happy that you enjoyed yourselves on Family Day. We loved your post about xeriscaping. You have some great thoughts about how to make a beautiful landscape while still being water con- scious. We thought that if your readers liked this post as much as we did they may want to learn more. At Central Utah Gardens that’s what we do, and we would be happy to help your readers get started in their own gardens.
  61. 61. 60 Key Public: Landscapers There are hundreds of landscapers in Utah County constantly looking for new clients and projects to keep their businesses competitive. This public can be used to promote water-wise landscaping and to persuade their clients and competitors in Utah County to learn about and implement water conservation in their own yards and homes. Landscapers are in business to make money and want to support their families and communities. They like being trendsetters as long as it is saleable. Primary Message Learn to conserve - create opportunities. Xeriscaping is on the cutting edge of landscaping because it allows Secondary Message homeowners to conserve water and still maintain beautiful yard. Learning about the water conservation niche of landscaping and offering this type of design will provide an additional profit creating opportunities for your business. Communications Plan Through social media and collateral material, we will convince local Strategy landscapers that not only will implementing water-wise plants in their business better serve their customers in Utah County, but it will also provide opportunities for increased profits. • A landscaping contest will be held between landscapers. Once a Tactics year, the competition will encourage landscapers to design with water-wise methods in mind and it will spread the culture of xeriscaping. By hosting the competition, the Gardens will build stronger relationships with landscapers.
  62. 62. 61 • The landscaper packet is a simple tool for landscapers to use when talking with their clients about water-wise landscaping. There are two versions, one for landscapers and one for their customers. The packets include specific information about water-wise landscaping including what plants and lawn are appropriate, how to properly maintain sprinklers and plants and more. There is a fact sheet included for quick reference and a checklist to measure one’s water-wise efficiency. The only difference between the landscaper’s version and the client’s version is the business idea for landscapers will be replaced for the most important fact from each particular insert piece, making it easy for the landscapers to give their clients the packet. The packet can be given as a hardcopy print out, a digital copy on a CD or thumb drive, or be available online. • An instructional video will show CUG’s key publics some simple ways to conserve water in their landscapes. It will have an introduction to introduce them to water-wise landscaping and what they can do to save water, and 11 other short segments—one for each class taught at the gardens. Each section will basically Communications Plan summarize a class in an interesting way in 3-5 minutes. We have included a storyboard for the introduction. Each section of the video can be posted on CUG’s YouTube channel, but to better reach key publics the video can be burned to a DVD, with each section as a different chapter, and local landscapers can give them to their clients. The landscapers can handout the DVDs with the packet we have created for them, or separately. • A Feature story has been written about the misconception of xeriscaping. This should be pitched to local gardening and home magazines. This will help promote the Gardens and water conservation in landscaping.
  63. 63. 62 Communications Plan Landscaper Packet
  64. 64. 63 Landscaper Packet Communications Plan
  65. 65. 64 Communications Plan Landscaper Packet
  66. 66. 65 Landscaper Packet Communications Plan
  67. 67. 66 Communications Plan Landscaper Packet
  68. 68. 67 Landscaper Packet Communications Plan
  69. 69. 68 Communications Plan Landscaper Packet
  70. 70. 69 Landscaper Packet Communications Plan
  71. 71. 70 Feature Story Xeriscaping Isn’t What You Think The nightmare images of xeriscaping including cacti, rocks and cattle skulls are gone. The reality is that xeriscaping or water-wise landscap- ing may not be what you think. This method of landscaping incor- porates thoughtful procedures with appropriate plant selection and maintenance. For many the process may seem tedious and difficult but the process is simpler than one may suspect. Whether you landscape professionally or just maintain your own yard water-wise landscaping is something you can do to beautify your yard and help conserve water resources in your community. When you first hear about these methods you will hear things like: analyze your soil, plan it before you plant it, use appropriate plants, use grass wisely, water wisely, mulch it, and keep it up; but by the end your perception will change and you will hear something different, something more appealing. You’ll hear: become acquainted with your soil, design your dream landscape, find the perfect plants, use just enough grass, give your plants only the water they need, nourish our Communications Plan plants and enjoy time in your yard this season. This was the case for the Hansen family. They didn’t know anything about xeriscaping, literally nothing. So they decided to take classes at a local water conservation garden to learn more. After just few classes, reading a few simple documents and a little help from their landscap- er they found their family was “going green” in no time at all. “We really didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into but my wife and I wanted to take a gardening class together,” said Mark Han- sen. “It started with just my wife and me but after a short time it be- came a family affair. I’m really grateful that it did because now we are spending a lot more time together. I guess you can say that the yard is really bringing us together.”
  72. 72. 71 Feature Story The Hansens attended classes at Central Utah Gardens. There they learned about plants and flowers that have a tolerance to the dry Utah climate. They also learned a few simple tips that helped them with their landscape. The course taught them the basics for a few changes they could make to help conserve water for their community now and for generations to come. “I enjoy knowing that family is contributing to conserving the environ- ment,” Hansen said. “It has become something that we really enjoy and I’m glad that my family can be a part of this type of practice. I think water conservation should be a tradition that it developed in every family.” Although all grass is green, there are many different varieties of turf Here are a few helpful tips from the CUG: that will grow in Utah. These types can be placed in two main catego- ries, cool season and warm season turf. Warm season turfs are most common in Southern Utah. These grasses Communications Plan Warm Season Turf (recommended for Utah) include Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactlyon) and Zoysia grass (Zoysia japonica). These grasses can tolerate the extremely warm tempera- tures common in Southern Utah. Because these grasses are heat tolerant, they will not go dormant in the summer. However, because they are heat-loving grasses, warm season turfs have little tolerance for cold weather. A warm season grass will normally go dormant when temperatures begin to chill considerably. Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) is the most common type of grass Cool Season Turf (not recommended for Utah) used in Utah. Cool season grasses characteristically endure cooler weather better than other types of grass. For instance, a Kentucky bluegrass lawn will stay green later in the season when temperatures begin to cool off. However, cool season grasses do not tolerate the heat
  73. 73. 72 Feature Story of summer very well. If left to their own devices, cool season grasses will go dormant during the hottest months of the year. Mowing By raising your lawn mower height another half to one inch, you are promoting the conservation of water in grass. Grass will shade itself as it grows longer, reducing its overall water need. This, in turn, reduces the growth rate of the grass meaning less frequent mowing. Experts recommend cutting grass to a total length of 3 inches and removing no more than one-third of the leaf blade per mowing. Stressing In order to make your grass heartier, try stressing it out. By going an extra day without water here and there, you are promoting deeper root growth. The deeper the roots are allowed to penetrate the soil, the better overall health of your lawn. Roots will only grow as far as they need to in order to get water. If you are always giving them water up near the surface of the lawn, the plants have no incentive to grow deeper. You can easily check your rooting depth by using a screw- driver. Communications Plan Try waiting as long as possible in the spring to water your grass. The longer you wait, the healthier your lawn will be in the summer months. The lawn may turn brown in areas, but it is just the plant go- ing dormant not dying. Fertilization Fertilizing your lawn encourages healthy plant growth. However, more is not better. Fertilize sparingly, as you can over stimulate plant growth, making the lawn more susceptible to disease. The combina- tion of over-watering and over-fertilizing can be dangerous to both plants and humans. Putting grass and trees on the same irrigation zone will cause you to
  74. 74. 73 Feature Story over-water your trees, and could lead to disease and other problems caused by excess water. Because water is not reaching the extent of the root zone for the trees, this watering pattern promotes shallow roots which could cause extensive landscape damage. These are the same principles that the Hansen’s used and it has made difference in their yard, their community, and most importantly, there has been a change in their family. You can have the yard you’ve always dreamed of and use water re- sponsibly in a place where water runs scarce. As you conserve water you will conserve water and other natural resources to those who will follow you. Learn to conserve because every drop counts. Communications Plan
  75. 75. 74 Communications Plan Instructional Video Storyboard
  76. 76. 75 Instructional Video Storyboard Communications Plan
  77. 77. 76 Key Public: Elementary School Administrators In Utah County there are 82 elementary schools, comprised of about 48,230 students. Teachers and administrators have the ability to act as an influential for the students and their parents. Students begin learning about water systems as early as second grade. As part of this curriculum the Living Planet Aquarium often visits schools and shares information about Utah’s water system. The quality education of children in their jurisdictions is a chief concern of this public as well as their schools’ reputations. Primary Message Learn to conserve - inspire a generation. Central Utah Gardens can help you fulfill your curriculum needs Secondary Message by providing you with the tools necessary to give your students meaningful and practical education in water systems and water conservation. Communications Plan Through personal contact, collateral materials and social media we Strategy will persuade elementary school administrators to include more in their teaching about water conservation and to bring their students to the Gardens. • Scavenger hunt at Gardens that involves the children finding Tactics plants that are growing at the Gardens. This scavenger hunt as three varieties. Each one includes 10 or more plants to find based on their name such as plants named after animals, foods or places. This is a good activity for when schools visit the Gardens on a field trip. It will help students remember what plants are appropriate for their gardens. They will retain this for when they are older or they may tell their parents to use them now.