Public Awareness Summit Sets Plans for 2015

ASLA hosted its fourth Public Awareness Summit January 9-11, 2015, in Tampa, Florida. The summit brought together representatives from 47 of 49 ASLA chapters to collaborate and discuss public-awareness opportunities and strategies. ASLA hoped to educate and inform each representative about public awareness best practices and give the national campaign shape for 2015.



Following a welcome from ASLA VP Communications Pam Linn, Terry Poltrack, director of PR and Communications at ASLA, reported the public awareness accomplishments and milestones the representatives achieved in the past year. He also unveiled World Landscape Architecture Month, a collaborative international campaign with IFLA that aims to connect each chapter with a landscape architect or organization from a foreign country. Later, the chapter representatives brainstormed ideas with their peers on how to support this national initiative from the chapter level.

Cindy Powell, CP Knowhow LLC, discussed public relations and interacting with the media with attendees. She covered the proper channels to reach the media, what makes a story newsworthy, contacting journalists, and best practices for pitching stories and events.

After Powell’s’s presentation, each group developed a pitch for a fictional World Landscape Architecture Month-related event. Powell, ASLA PR Manager Karen Grajales, and PR and Communications Coordinator J.R. Taylor served as “editors” and critiqued each pitch, representing national media, radio, and local media, respectively.

Taylor also spoke to the representatives about the importance of digital media in raising public awareness and the visibility of landscape architecture. His presentation highlighted underrepresented demographics within ASLA and the landscape architecture profession, and how social media is an ideal channel to reach them.

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