Anything worth doing usually takes planning and measuring when you are finished to see how your plan or activity went. Try keeping a government affairs scorecard to see if you did any activities that may help get out the message that our businesses and the work we do are important. We don’t want any needless law or regulation to negatively affect it, and we support positive legislation to help increase its value.
Recently PLANET decided that its government affairs and public relations activities need to be more coordinated. Public relations can be a great aid to government affairs and that includes your volunteer efforts. That is why PLANET’s Renewal & Remembrance goes so well with our Legislative Day on the Hill. We are able to start congressional office visits with a story of what we did at Arlington National Cemetery. The same goes for events like PLANET’s Day of Service and Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Communities and its other programs for the military. There are tremendous benefits to the participants, as well as for the recipients of the efforts from these projects. When properly communicated, each project and the sum of the projects help show to the general public the environmental and economic benefits our industry provides to local communities and to the national economy.
Through GreenCare for Communities, Project EverGreen provides the opportunity to promote to consumers the environmental, lifestyle, and economic benefits of well-maintained green spaces in your service area. Enlightened consumers are better protectors of soil and water resources, and our efforts to educate them allow the green industry to be at the forefront in promoting best management practices.
As with PLANET’s Day of Service, not only do the recipients of the work activities receive the actual improvement of lawn and landscape areas, but those working on the activity get the great feeling of giving back while using the expertise they apply on the job every day. Although these are the main reasons for the activities, we should not forget that there are also other benefits. Most notably, while many activists groups talk up their agendas to the media and legislators, we can show those same targets audiences the benefits of what we do every day. We do not need to be shy about our volunteer activities; they are not in any way diminished by telling others about them. Your work provides a better understanding of your company, your association, and the Green Industry as a whole while encouraging others to do the same.
PLANET Day of Service, a day to shine the spotlight on the vital role our industry plays as a steward of the world’s green spaces, is on Earth Day, April 22, 2011. Make sure you invite your state legislators to see you in action. You can use the sample e-mail in PLANET’s Legislative Action Center at LandcareNetwork.org. Also, encourage your state association to participate in the PLANET Day of Service and the Project EverGreen GreenCare for Communities events. Add up your activities, and record them on you scorecard.
Article provided by the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET). For more information, visit www.landcarenetwork.org