Rural System, Inc.
 Sustained rural lands; sustained profits




The Marketing and Public Relations Strategy

changing behavior

"Marketing", like "community" or "love", has many meanings. In Rural System we see it as a class of actions termed changing behavior. This strategy description is intended for employees, consultants, advisors and volunteers within the System. It is my view about what we all should be doing together.

In 1970, then assistant professor James Kennedy observed that "By inclination, academic training, and professional experience, forest and wildlife managers are traditionally oriented to the production of forest products rather than forest services. Developing perspective and sensitivity to provide for the tremendous, unanticipated growth of demand for outdoor recreation and other urban services has been difficult, given the raw material production orientations of most managers."

He cited Gould (1962:45) as saying
Gould, E.M. Jr. 1962. Forestry and recreation in Economics in outdoor recreation policy (Report #11), Western Agricultural Council, Berkeley, California

This problem of the mental adjustment of foresters to recreation is aggravated by their traditional concern with producers' goods. They have seldom had direct contact with consumers. Rapid changes in consumer demand and tastes have come to them in a much watered- down version, through limited contacts with primary product buyers--who themselves have considerable sympathy with the foresters problems of production on the land...

The manager of the forest recreation environment is thus directly subjected to all the pressures of the consuming public and is constantly against the cutting edge of changing tastes and innovations. This can be a frustrating experience for men trained to handle the slow processes of tree growth and to produce primary raw materials.

Kennedy, in his PhD studies, found major differences in what people want in the outdoors and what managers thought they wanted. He stressed the need for new empathy of managers with the people using the forests and fields. He said that " we are no longer in a forest environment of things, but increasingly one of urban services..." (recreation being one such service).

Marketing includes:

  1. analyzing individual and group wants and needs;
  2. presenting new options and alternatives that are now or may become wants and needs;
  3. increasing desire for needed things (life quality enhancing and prolonging; socially beneficial); and
  4. assisting in finding legal ways for individuals and groups to satisfy these wants and needs.
These 4 are related.

As Adam said to Eve, "we live in a period of rapid transition." Every generation experiences the same feeling in some year. Rural System emerges in 1995 when there are many changes, real and discussed. New needs are seen, wants reduced by some increased by others. Agencies and universities change. The effects of the end of the cold war are sweeping over society. Agencies seem less able to provide needed natural resource services; needs for services seem to increase. The Rural System seem uniquely positioned for success if the marketing strategy is sound and well employed.

Marketing "Plans " are system descriptions, documents that typically include the elements shown here. Within the external or environmental analysis box shown are Politics, Economy, Societal Trends, Technology, Personnel, Ecology, Customers, Competitors, and Suppliers. Achieving stable communities and quality of life, and attracting new customers seem to be important topics not included.

Other documents describe Rural System but this Marketing and Public Relations Plan will probably make the most sense when it is recalled that:

  1. We take a systems approach
  2. We are intent upon natural resource improvement
  3. The concept of "resource" includes human wants and needs
  4. The system may change under management by changing the social world or/and the physical world
  5. We advance through synergism
  6. Each Division or group provides superior services and products
  7. We each gain by promoting each other
  8. Divisions are unbalanced in size and function and profitability
  9. We harvest information and experience of other agencies, organizations, and companies
  10. The System succeeds based on total profitability as well as financial (cash flow) stability
  11. Maximum resource improvement (by many criteria) is more important than maximum profit.

(Revisions are part of our on-going adaptive management efforts.)
Our Pledge . . .
  • Visitors will always be welcomed with prompt, courteous service.
  • Our offices, work sites, and visitors centers will be open at times convenient to our customers.
  • Customers will receive the services and information they request, or we will explain why we cannot meet the request.
  • Customers will be fully informed of the process required for agreements, contracts, area uses, and permits, and we shall respond in a timely manner.
  • Customers will be asked to help us improve our services and business practices.
  • Our facilities will be safe, clean, attractive, and informative.
  • Our facilities and programs (except by specific project design) will be accessible to persons of all ages and abilities.

Marketing Note

Identifying human needs and alerting humans to needs and wants not readily articulated is a major part of our marketing concept. There are absolutely new things in the world that no person will say they want ...because they have no knowledge of it. Of course, we provide ways to meet fundamental needs, perhaps in ways never considered before. We view advertising as one means (within hundreds) of acquainting people with products or services that may meet a fundamental or life-enhancing need or merely a "want." We believe that we have identified a large set of needs that can be met by products and services in one realm - renewable natural resources, primarily wildland resources. We need to market Rural System as well as its products and services.

The following address in several ways the basic "4 P's" of marketing: product, price, place and promotion. Remember: Price is related to utility.

Price = product + place + promotion

is the exchange equation. (We hasten to add "service" to product.) If the equation is true, an exchange is likely. Marketing is ancient, but the first formal thought and writing was in the 1940's. Categories of analyses were the customer/seller, exchange, pricing, promotion, the product, position, objectives, and distribution. Once the concept was to target customers (sex, age, etc.) with the marketing mix (the 4 P's). Now the Saturn car is evidence of an alternative: selling a relationship. The key remaining concept: satisfy the customer's need at a profit.

Public Relations Note

Public relations is more than how the Rural System relates to the public. Public relations (hereinafter PR) is a set of planned actions by System staff to influence the actions, structure, facilities, and outward appearance of the System; and the inner feeling of the public about the system. It is ground in simple phases like: "To believe the message, you must believe the messenger." "Seeing is believing." "Birds of a feather flock together."

Positive, mutually beneficial relationships between the System and various publics will assure success by several criteria). Those seeking such relationships analyze situations, predict outcomes, advise management on actions and messages, and improve based on experience and thoughtful, creative work. "Publics" are employees themselves, customers, media employees, the general public, and special interest groups.

Situation Analysis

Changing agency staff, cutbacks, State and Federal agency changes have created a new situation. Land taxes increase; more people are urban; rural experience decreases as "experience" leaves the farms and forests.

Wood prices increase; supplies of quality hardwood decrease (thus price increases). New regulations reduce amount that can be sold and prices increase.

There is a new era of environmental concern, one poorly informed.

Problems will arise in anti-hunting, anti-trapping areas. Strict preservationists may resent the intensive management orientation. Competition will increase. There are consulting foresters that may compete. Agencies will feel threatened and initiate costly regulatory or excessive reporting, inspection, etc. requirements and threaten the company contacts through grantors, benefactors.

We want people to want a good region (many criteria of "good" discussed under Objectives), to want to know how, to want us to do it for them or help over the long run, and to allow us to help them to do it (financially, etc.), which is perceived by me as a major reason they have not improved conditions in the past (even more so than ignorance of how to do so or unawareness of the need).

The "want and need" cannot be seen or measured. The behavior we want to change is from the very diverse set of unnamed conditions to the behavior called request. We want people to request items, services, inspections, project work, management contracts, research reports, software, tours, etc., etc. . . . anything within the existing or creative purview of any Division.

Note that the strategy is not addressing "sending messages." It is not addressing "agencies" but individuals and homogeneous groups. "Support for our programs is an immeasurable attitude that results along with other rules as "flock behavior" as in artificial life, explainable but unpredictable." We want requests. "Support" may be one grounding for the emergence of such requests. This topic is one under "advertising"; it is an expression of "belief in the messenger"; an expression of confidence and past positive reinforcements (called "product recognition").

Leadership, a much-desired status, will be evident in the number of requests and especially in the short time between a product announcement and a request. People follow leaders, quickly. They suspend their risk aversion and act with the leader, or delay without the leader.

This strategy addresses work at all levels within the System. It may provide a worthwhile pattern for others in natural resource fields to follow. It avoids presently functionless words like continuing education, extension, and outreach. It does not specify things to do but hopefully the space and conditions within which actions are appropriate, efficient, and praiseworthy.

We really want people to buy "needed" things. If they can afford it, we want them to buy "wanted" things. They may not know they need something (e.g., a baseline ecosystem study, a type of insurance). Our strategy is to increase this awareness, whether we get an immediate request or not.

Differences between want and needs are debatable. There is an overlap. The emphasis intended is that on fundamental needs, e.g., food, housing, security, etc., in all of their expansions. Wants include high-risk events, trivial recreation, functionless or excessive property, un-prescribed narcotics, etc.

I believe that within 50 years a major fossil energy shortage (no matter what the mechanism) will occur, threatening fundamental actions of all kinds. Resources (money, time, etc.) will have to be re-allocated and needs must be met. The transition will be very difficult since needs will be met; wants cast aside in the final stages, Rural System , in the long run, will concentrate on needs, remaining opportunities.

The Principles:

1. Do good work. The quality and quantity of the work will speak louder and more convincingly than any advertising the System is able to produce.
2. Evaluate: a request for more services or fellowship is an expression of success.
3. Referrals are an expression of success.
4. Land area influenced over the long run (the product index) is one major unit of effect. (A farmer with 1000 acres with an expected ownership turn-over rate of 12 years an average is a lesser success than a foundation acreage of 500 acres but expected duration of 100 years.)
5. Youth are customers tomorrow.
6. Profits in one area allow experiments in others; land use control and restoration (costs) allow profits tomorrow.
7. Success stories are better than paid advertisements. Both are needed.
8. Services have been free; we need to resist giving free advice. Offer service. Low costs are in order when presented as a learning or experimental case. This allows higher costs later to be justified.
9. Target people likely to afford products and services; work toward other customers later. The area and resource volume influenced per unit invested is the criterion for effect, not numbers of individuals contacted.
10. Time is money. All costs must be accounted.
11. Every customer contacted by one Division person probably involves potential work by at least one other Division of the Rural System. Every employee seeks to connect customers to other Divisions or individuals.
12. Research is a cost; results are assets.
13. Contracts to do research for others provide opportunities. Profit is desired, but at-cost, by personal agreement research is very acceptable if there is >80% likelihood of using results within the Rural System.
14. Software development follows the concepts in 12 and 13 above.
15. Free lectures etc., if pure advertising or PR-oriented, are acceptable. Otherwise costs, at least must by paid by the sponsor or someone. Lectures etc. are potentially profitable and should be presented as a worthwhile ($) educational or entertainment event.
16. Every presentation of any type (telephone call to multi-media) seeks to change peoples' behavior in ways compatible with the objectives of the organization.
17. Break-even, marginal analysis and optimization are intuitive, but poorly understood. They rarely can be explained. Hide the complexity; use the analyses; present the "best" -- show the differences between the next one or two bests, e.g., compared to best (100) this one gets a score of 86; the third, 84.
18. Whether desirable or not, most people think initially in terms of self-interest. Speak to it for the long run. It will probably be good for all of us.
19. Total number of people contacted is not a criterion of marketing, only median cost per value of each request produced.
20. Demonstrations work. Locate them well.
21. Promise only what you can deliver.
22. Consultants and assistants, not full-time employees, can often be used effectively.
23. Develop equipment pools, teams, and software, all to be general systems, which have multiple uses.
24. We have many "messages", all in our slogans, guiding principles, as well as operational truths. You are encouraged to write and publish about them, as well as pass them along in any way (e.g., it is possible to find an optimum, then work to achieve it.)
25. There are at least 50 distinctive market groups, the domain of each unit of Rural System.
26. Special-interest groups must understand us well so we may have the freedom and low costs to achieve our objectives profitably.

Objectives:

1. To cause people in the region to make abundant requests for goods and services that we can fulfill
2. To assure people that we can and will deliver high quality total land management for the long run more cost-effectively than anyone else.

Target Audience: Audiences for each Division or group vary, but the main audience is the private owner of large tracts of land (> 50 acres)

Marketing Techniques: Program Action Elements

1. Name - selection of a name suggesting outdoors, beauty, intermediacy, forests, as well as landscape and garden
2. Niche - selection of a needed, unoccupied niche now being vacated by agencies;
3. Colors white, yellow, brown (green backgrounds, etc.)
4. Identity - a complex renewable natural resource management system
5. Logo - the dogwood flower and leaf;
6. Theme - bringing sophisticated management to the resources of the lands and waters of the world;
7. Package - as a System with multiple Divisions, Groups, or sub-enterprises all working "as an ecosystem for the ecosystem";
8. Size - regional; multi-division; growing; separate Division managers;
9. Decor - modern; Virginian, not colonial; "environmental"; mid-range; not high-tech; emphasis on work and product, not the facilities. "Excuse our appearance; we're busy doing good work";
10. Attire - high quality outdoor clothing
power dressing
jacket emblems
shirt emblems
quality, distinctive hat, cap
tan lab coats where appropriate
separation from U.S. Forest Service appearance
new vests
new cruiser jackets
business clothing when not in field;
11. Pricing - published list of ranges
12. Business Cards - all employees have them -- with logo;
13. Stationary - consistent logo and design throughout;
14. Order forms and invoices - desk-top published with descriptions and courteous messages with revisions as needed;
15. Inside signs - wooden; names of Divisions, personnel, directors, etc.
16. Outside signs - wooden, consistent design and with colors as above;
17. Hours of Operation - 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with 24-hours answering services;
18. Days of Operation - 6 days;
19. Phone Demeanor - prescribed greetings and pattern;monitoring with training
20. Neatness - dress and personal appearance statement in employees information with monitoring and action as needed;
21. Location - signs are important, but actual location is not important since there is little off-the-street sale or service; Blacksburg, Radford, Salem, Roanoke, with small offices elsewhere in the region, then in office elsewhere;
22. Advertising - a plan is being developed;
23. Service - emphasis on quality; actual delivery per dollar spent -- "conspicuous" since few people know what is delivered. Consulting then direct management and work on the land and follow-ups to be sure the work "works" and the customer understands;
24. Community Involvement - small at first; promotion of knowledge about our effects in the region;
25. Tie-ins - we'll form strong -supportive ties with other companies that do not negatively affect our PR;
26. Publicity Controls - many through our newsletters, we'll try to provide a regular set of "articles" for TV, newspapers, and radio;
27. Special Events - participate in some (e.g., county fairs) but promote some, such as Novosports;
28. Testimonials - we'll secure those that are appropriate and extract paragraphs from letters (making sure actual letter is filed);
29. Lists of Customers - a list will be stored on computer for printing as needed and manners;
30. Courtesy - a training session will be held for all employees; 31. Contact Time with Customer - emphasis on balance, usually attempting to spend more rather than less time, but never boring and "costing" a client;
32. Sales Training - visitations with a client and supervisor in "how-to" sessions;
33. Sales Presentations - planned, polished, with a standard format but with individual differences: emphasis on opening, closing, involvement, and follow-up;
34. Audiovisuals - training sessions; standard logo uses; high quality; presentations are notable for "no-glitches" due to preparedness and practice;
35. Refreshments - rarely used, but in some places, the products will be used; Most sessions will be short. Usually unique presentations: apple juice flavored with/without honey and Rural System cookies (our product);
36. Credit cards - we'll explore special cards with foundation donations;
37. Clubs - much marketing will be through clubs and memberships (about 8 Divisions have these clubs);
38. Circulars/Brochures - frequent use, with updated sections;
39. Demonstrations - usually with Tours Division sponsorship;
40. Seminars - as many as possible; usually for a small fee to cover costs;
41. Column - an effort will be made to get a column in several papers;
42. Books - we'll publish several under our name;
43. Articles - all employees will be encouraged and assistance provided;
44. Booth - later a booth(s) for use at conferences, etc., will be considered;
45. Research - we'll promote it and assure results acknowledge our efforts;
46. Direct Mail to Select Groups - biologists, foresters, large-land owners, realtors, sporting goods stores, tax advisors;

47. Catalog - like brochure, but with sales items as well as services; 48. Newsletters - members as well as to those of each unit of Rural System;
49. Posters - for schools, offices, 1 new poster per year of a local project--related photo (e.g., Landsat, stream, bear, etc.)
50. School Bus Wind Shelter - consider small-wood units "on request";
51. Radio - news feature but rarely advertising;
52. Response - rapid response but with delays as essential due to staffing, etc.;
53. Reputation - continual attention; 1:22 rule of dissatisfied customer expansion; retaliation when threatened;
54. Brand-name - promotion of Dogwood symbol;
55. Mailings Lists - we'll develop lists with high selectivity codes;
56. Staff - lists and descriptions will be prepared as inserts;
57. Company Descriptions - materials will be available (brochures, etc.) on each Division;
58. On-Line Services - we'll work the internet actively;
59. Flags -use of colorful, triangular flags (often with slogans) will be a characteristic of vehicles, facilities, events, etc.;
60. Gifts -we'll develop a set of small, low-cost, useful gifts (e.g., supercard, weight tape);
61. Car window or bumper decals;
62. Report times in newspaper, radio, TV (an annual score)
63. Gift bookmark
64. 3 x 5 Forest Facts; free handouts when on tours or hikes
65. Give free seedlings
66. Mailings lists
67. On-line WEB work
68. Get an alternative money maker(s) for PTA
69. Clubs - a Brooks and ponds poster for swimming clubs and pools; b speeches
70. Fairs
71. Work yard sales and flea markets (a sales box and free poster box)
72. TV and news
73. Professional journals
74. Support free newspapers (local) with an insert
75. Office tours
76. Wildlife posters of all types including screen savers
77. A place in local museums (poster-maps, etc.) with historic maps
78. Note cards by local artists with source on back
79. Bookmark for kids
80. A wildland news column in local papers; all topics from university beat (with the System Byline), slides, and notes from overseas trips
81. Free socials (tug of war, hawk watching, etc., demos) with posters
82. House window stickers
83. Get Tech student help on many projects and topics; prizes, etc.; announce award winner to TV with a slide or TV tape. 84. Farm signs 85. Work the loggers (list from USFS)
86. Work the sporting goods
87. Work the SCS offices
88. Work the farm equipment sales
89. Work biology teachers and FFA
90. Work scouts (locally made neckerchief)
91. Develop a mission or motto like: Caring for the land and serving people (USFS.) (A mission statement answers: What exchanges do we intend?)
92. Develop a pledge or promise like (USFS)
93. Sell to people in a 2-hour drive of a project site
94. Promote natural areas; 28% of people like natural areas
95. Advertise year-around
96. Offer diversity - computer-planned trips (100 different pathways for every weekend)
97. ORV parking
98. Promote safety
99. Provide excellent information
100. Conduct spring flower walks
101. Sell a belt with hidden safety and emergency kit
102. Sell hiking staff with information brochure
103. Sell hiking staff as a reward for being a club officer
104. Advertise trail guides; services, security, nature guides
105. Buy large timber; re-grade it; sell small
106. Timber problem is in distribution, product distribution. Solution: channel the intermediaries
107. Use inflatables (animals etc. )(Sky Wind Ltd

107. Sell and place signs such as:
108. Sell clothing
109. Sell tatter cloth for wind analyses
110. Sell books as memorials or honoraria
111. Use a distinctive picture postcard or note cards

Timeline and Budget: A schedule for implementing the above program elements will be developed based on available funds (a budget is being prepared).

Measurement and Evaluation:

1. Number of requests (to increase);
2. Size of areas (acres) by those making request (to increase);
3. X = (Requests - customers); (X to decrease);
4. School Children Small Random Survey of Awareness (1. Have you ever heard of Rural System?
2. Good group? (positive response % to increase)).

SAMPLE MARKETING DOCUMENT DRAFT

The Rural System and You

Rural System is a new natural resource company that has been developing over many years, like a seedling in the forest. It has grown from the deep-rooted loyalty of its leaders for Virginia and the region, from years of research and development at Virginia Tech, and from timely emergence of enthusiasm for the concepts and vision of the people of the New Century Council Region, New River Valley groups, and Powell River Project groups and their sequels.

It is a regionally dispersed company for Western Virginia and the surrounding area, meeting a full array of environmental, ecological, esthetic, economic, and enforcement needs of the people and land. When major changes are occurring, needs are increasing, and services declining, then it is time for a working company to appear. New knowledge and technology, as well as a deep commitment to the lands, waters, and wildlife of the region give us opportunities never yet experienced.

I want to be of service to you. To do this, I'm trying to help you understand the Rural System and what we can mean to you. Everyone I have ever met in the region has been interested in natural resources, loves the region, and wants to keep and improve the quality of life here. I do too, and I know how to handle a part of this enormous task. That is why I've created the Rural System.

It is a company with many divisions or units. Private, profit-oriented, it works primarily in the 10 counties around Blacksburg in the headwaters of the New, James, and Roanoke Rivers. It provides employment; bring superior, cutting-edge wildland resource management to the people of the region; stabilizes the rural beauty; and reduces animal pest damage, crime, and vandalism.

Providing "consulting service", it moves beyond consulting usually to provide actual on-the-ground service by highly selected and trained, bonded employees. There are many land owners now working in towns and cities and they do not have the time, energy, or the latest techniques to tend their lands or waters as well as they know they might. Rural System can handle this problem -- from crime and vandalism protection of summer homes and weekend places -- to pond management -- to comprehensive profitable land management for owners who live out-of-state.

We in Rural System can do the work, but I need your help. I need your questions so that we can be sure we understand each other. The door, mailbox, phone, and electronic media are always open. I also need your help in spreading the word that our services are now available. (Please tell friend, relatives, and people in other parts of the region.) We'll expand cautiously and carefully, as long as we can continue to provide quality service. Send me a note suggesting someone I might contact to provide services. The units of Rural System, each offering a wide array of products and services are now available.

Return to the top.

See below for alternative list of action elements


Other Resources:
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Quick Access to the Contents of LastingForests.com

This Web site is maintained by R. H. Giles, Jr.
Last revision March 6, 2003.

Marketing Techniques and Program Action Elements (As shown above with minor changes)
1. Name - selection of a name with an honored tradition and history;
2. Niche - selection of a needed, unoccupied niche now being vacated by agencies;
3. Colors - white, yellow, brown (green backgrounds, etc.);
4. Identity - a complex renewable natural resource management system;
5. Logo -
6. Theme - bringing sophisticated management to the resources of the lands and waters of the world;
7. Package - as a company with multiple Divisions, Groups, or sub-enterprises all working "as an ecosystem for the ecosystem";
8. Size - regional; multi-division; growing; separate Division managers;
9. Decor - modern; Virginian, not colonial; "environmental"; mid-range; not high-tech; emphasis on work and product, not the facilities. "Excuse our appearance; we're busy doing good work";
10. Attire - high quality outdoor clothing

11. Pricing - published list of ranges
12. Business Cards - all employees have them - with logo;
13. Stationary - consistent logo and design throughout;
14. Order forms and invoices - desk-top published with descriptions and courteous messages with revisions as needed;
15. Inside signs - wooden; names of Divisions, personnel, directors, etc.
16. Outside signs - wooden, consistent design and with colors as above;
17. Hours of Operation - 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with 24-hours answering services;
18. Days of Operation - 6 days;
19. Phone Demeanor - prescribed greetings and pattern;regular monitoring and training as needed
20. Neatness - dress and personal appearance statement in employees information with monitoring and action as needed;
21. Location - signs are important, but actual location is not important since there is little off-the-street sale or service; Blacksburg, Radford, Salem, Roanoke, with small offices (store-fronts) elsewhere in the region, then in office elsewhere;
22. Advertising - a plan is being developed;
23. Service - emphasis on quality; actual delivery per dollar spent -- "conspicuous" since few people know what is delivered. Consulting then direct management and work on the land and follow-ups to be sure the work "works" and the customer understands;
24. Community Involvement - small at first; promotion of knowledge about our effects in the region;
25. Tie-ins - we'll form strong supportive ties with other companies that do not negatively affect our PR;
26. Publicity Controls - many through our newsletters, we'll try to provide a regular set of "articles" for TV, newspapers, and radio; 27. Special Events - participate in some (e.g., county fairs) but promote some, such as Novosports;
28. Testimonials - we'll secure those that are appropriate and extract paragraphs from letters (making sure actual letter is filed);
29. Lists of Customers - a list will be stored on computer for printing as needed and manners;
30. Courtesy - a training session will be held for all employees;
31. Contact Time with Customer - emphasis on balance, usually attempting to spend more rather than less time, but never boring and "costing" a client;
32. Sales Training - visitations with a client and supervisor in "how-to" sessions;
33. Sales Presentations - planned, polished, with a standard format but with individual differences: emphasis on opening, closing, involvement, and follow-up;
34. Audiovisuals - training sessions; standard logo uses; high quality; presentations are notable for "no-glitches" due to preparedness and practice;
35. Refreshments - rarely used, but in some places, the products will be used; Most sessions will be short. Usually unique presentations: apple juice flavored with/without honey and System cookies (our product);
36. Credit cards - we'll explore special cards with foundation donations;
37. Clubs - much marketing will be through clubs and memberships (about 8 Divisions have these clubs);
38. Circulars/Brochures - frequent use, with updated sections;
39. Demonstrations - usually with Tours Division sponsorship;
40. Seminars - as many as possible; usually for a small fee to cover costs;
41. Column - an effort will be made to get a column in several papers;
42. Books - we'll publish several under our name;
43. Articles - all employees will be encouraged and assistance provided;
44. Booth - later a booth(s) for use at conferences, etc., will be considered;
45. Research - we'll promote it and assure results acknowledge our efforts;
46. Direct Mail to Select Groups - biologists, foresters, large-land owners, realtors, sporting goods stores, tax advisors;
47. Catalog - like brochure, but with sales items as well as services;
48. Newsletters - members as well as to those of each Division;
49. Posters - for schools, offices, 1 new poster per year of a local project-related photo (e.g., Landsat, stream, bear, etc.)
50. School Bus Wind Shelter - consider small-wood log units
51. Radio - news feature but rarely advertising;
52. Response - rapid response but with delays as essential due to staffing, etc.;
53. Reputation - continual attention; 1:22 rule of dissatisfied customer expansion; retaliation when threatened;
54. Brand-name - promotion of company symbol;
55. Mailings Lists - we'll develop lists with high selectivity codes;
56. Staff - lists and descriptions will be prepared as inserts;
57. Company Descriptions - materials will be available (brochures, etc.) on each Division or project;
58. On-Line Services - we'll work the internet actively;
59. Flags -use of colorful, triangular flags (often with slogans) will be a characteristic of vehicles, facilities, events, etc.;
60. Gifts -we'll develop a set of small, low-cost, useful gifts (e.g., supercard, weight tape);
61. Car window or bumper decals;
62. Report times in newspaper, radio, TV (an annual score)
63. Gift bookmark
64. 3 x 5 "System Forest Facts"; free handouts when on tours or hikes
65. Give free seedlings
66. Mailings lists
67. On-line WEB work
68. Get an alternative money maker(s) for PTA
69. Clubs - speeches
70. Fairs
71. Work yard sales and flea markets (a sales box and free poster box)
72. TV and news
73. Professional journals
74. Support "free" newspapers (local) with an insert
75. Office tours
76. Wildlife posters of all types; Brooks and ponds poster for swimming clubs and pools
77. A place in local museums (poster-maps, etc.) with historic maps
78. Note cards by local artists with source on back
79. Bookmark for kids
80. A wildland news column in local papers; all topics from university beat (with the System Byline), slides, and notes from overseas trips
81. Free socials (tug of war, hawk watching, etc., demos) with posters
82. House window stickers
83. Car window or bumper stickers
84. Farm signs
85. Work the loggers (list from USFS)
86. Work the sporting goods
87. Work the SCS offices
88. Work the farm equipment sales
89. Work biology teachers and FFA
90. Work scouts (locally made neckerchief)
91. Develop a mission or motto like: "Caring for the land and serving people" (USFS.) (A mission statement answers: What exchanges do we intend?)
92. Develop a pledge or promise like (USFS)
93. Sell to people in a 2-hour drive of a project site
94. Promote natural areas; 28% of people like natural areas
95. Advertise year-around
96. Offer diversity - computer-planned trips (100 different pathways for every weekend)
97. ORV parking
98. Promote safety
99. Provide excellent information
100. Conduct spring flower walks
101. Sell a belt with hidden safety and emergency kit
102. Sell hiking staff
103. Sell hiking staff as a reward for being a club officer
104. Advertise trail guides; services, security, nature guides
105. Buy large timber; re-grade; sell small
106. Timber problem is in distribution, product distribution. Solution: channel the intermediaries
107. Sell and place signs such as:
(Get Tech student help; prizes, etc.; announce award winner to TV with a slide or TV tape.) 108. Sell well-marked clothing
109. Use a distinctive picture postcard or note cards
110. Sell enterprise-name on cane
111. Sell books as memorials or honoraria
112. Give or sell Rural Splash cards

Perhaps you will share ideas with me
about some of the topic(s) above at

RHGiles@RuralSystem.com.

Maybe we can work together
... for the good of us all
... for a long time.

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