By Karen S. Barnett
In the October 2011 issue of Landscape and Irrigation, Landscape Industry Certified Manager Michael Becker listed steps to getting and staying certified. Fast forward: you’ve aced the steps, you’re certified, and you plan to maintain your certification every two years through recertification. Now, you’re ready for Becker’s last and critical step — promote.
“Certification can make you and your company more attractive and more in demand,” said Becker. “You’ll stand out, but not if you keep it a secret. It’s up to certified individuals and companies with certified staff to do everything they can to promote their Landscape Industry Certified status. Otherwise, you’re sitting on what could be your best selling point.”
Becker notes that PLANET gives you the tools to announce and advertise your proud achievement with an online toolkit containing logos, template news release, bid language, customizable consumer brochure, and other promotional items. PLANET also lists active certificants on an Honor Wall of Landscape Industry Certified at LandcareNetwork.org.
As a Landscape Industry Certified Manager or Technician, you set the standard for professionalism in the industry. Using your toolkit, your imagination, and simple strategies, you can promote your certification, impress and assure customers, enhance your career and gain recognition from your colleagues and supervisors. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Use Landscape Industry Certified after your name on all correspondence to showcase your credentials.
Add Landscape Industry Certified and include the logo to your business card, and use your card when meeting with customers and potential business partners.
Use Landscape Industry Certified and logo as part of your e-mail signature.
Wear your Landscape Industry Certified pin and logo on your apparel.
Hang your Landscape Industry Certified certificate in a visible place of honor in your office.
Send a news release (template provided in the toolkit) to your customers and media announcing this achievement. Don’t forget your alma mater.
Seek or accept speaking engagements that will promote you as Landscape Industry Certified, and give you and your company more exposure.
Volunteer a testimonial or submit an article to PLANET or other organizations to use in its communications, promotional material, and website.
Add individual’s name with the Landscape Industry Certified designation and the logo next to that person’s name on your company’s Web site and on your company’s promotional literature.
Put the Landscape Industry Certified logo on your company vehicles.
Advertise employee achievement in the company newsletter.
Do a news release or other media format about your Landscape Industry Certified staff.
Advertise to customers that employees hold this designation, showing commitment to excellence.
Use the social media and blog posts to list your staff’s credentials and help build your business.
Announce that you have Landscape Industry Certified on staff on your on-hold messaging or voice mail.
You get the idea — there are many ways to leverage you or your staff’s credentials. Be creative and bold, but don’t forget the obvious and easy places to promote certification.
For more information, contact the PLANET certification staff at 800-395-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Certification frequently asked questions are located in the Certification Center at www.LandcareNetwork.org.
Karen Barnett is PLANET’s director of certification, and has been involved in green industry association management for 15 years. She is staff liaison to PLANET’s International Certification Council, and is a member of the Marketing and Membership Committee of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), as well as a long-time member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).