March 15, 2009
By Denis Flanagan and Lee Ann Knudsen

Our new Green for Life consumer program is officially launching at Canada Blooms, with a whole lot of public relations noise! First, let’s talk about the launch, then we will spend a few minutes sharing how you can take advantage of that noise for your business.

First things first. At Canada Blooms you will see the Green for Life program showcased with not only the amazing garden display in the LO booth, but we worked to let both consumers and the press hear the story:
  1. New logo is on the cover of 40,000 Garden Inspiration magazines, incorporating the Canada Blooms show guide and including complete member listings. Extra copies of this handout are available at cost, to LO members only. This beautiful colour magazine really tells the story about Green for Life and our wonderful industry.
  2. We printed 45,000 four-by six-inch colour postcards as a booth giveaway. Each card has an award winning design on front and the back has messaging about how consumers can use the website for inspiration and how they may connect with members.
  3. New logo will be in various locations throughout the Canada Blooms show hall.
  4. Press kits with the who/what/why of the Green for Life program and website have gone to all members of the consumer press. We also worked closely with the Canada Blooms PR team to get the message out to newspapers, magazines, TV and radio throughout Ontario. To the press, we focused on how the new website will inspire people to do more outdoor living.

Okay – so what? How do I use this for my business? That should be your question! If we assume that all talk about doing more with landscape and garden plants is good for all of us – the rising tide floats all boats idea – then broad general messaging is a good thing for your business, too. But let’s see how we can get more from this new program!
  1. Get copies of the press kit and send to all your local media. Now we did send the press kit to most media outlets, but it is good biz practice to always send PR outreach frequently – and if the press kit is coming from your business, you can add your name as a local contact. You want to be interviewed by your local paper or radio station.
  2. Add your own press release. Yes – this means you must do one – but this a perfect time to tie in how your business will be helping local homes and businesses be Green for Life by beautifying the neighbourhood.
  3. Call and follow-up with the local media about the program. Have they heard about it? Can you answer any questions? Would the local media like to come out to your business to do a follow-up story about the green industry? PR is all about frequent contact. At the end of this you want to be on a first-name basis with all your local media reps.
  4. Use the program support pieces.
a.  Link your site to the new site
b.  Make sure your member profile is filled out so folks can find you in the Choose a Professional section
c.  Take advantage of the Green for Life store signs, banners and truck stickers
d.  You and your staff are invited to write content – stories and articles for the website. We want new material every month to keep consumers coming back! We can link to Youtube videos and podcasts, so get those to us for posting on the site. Remember the more places your company ‘lives’ on the web, the more likely it is your customers will find you.

By taking advantage of the Green for Life consumer outreach you can help create more noise and more customer interaction for your business. This is an exciting time to be a member of Landscape Ontario!

Caption: Samples of the 45,000 postcards to be handed out at Blooms.