Check out this jaw dropping piece in Ohio Magazine! http://www.glpublishing.com/digitaleditions/2010landscapearch/index.html
Then take a gander at their 2010 Awards Page: http://glpdigitaleditions.com/publication/?i=50500
Ohio, seeking PR for their chapter, contacted an editor for a magazine in their targeted area. Great Lakes Publishing worked with them and wrote the above article. Of course the chapter had full editing rights to the story and highlighted the points they wished to focus on. The result – a beautiful piece of paid media. If you notice the article is an advertisement and not an actual story for the magazine. But it’s an advertisement that the publisher worked with the chapter to create. To top it off the publisher also agreed to create their awards page. The Vermont purchased ads on NPR for NLAM. What do you think of paid media/ads?
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How do you make the profession accessible to the general public without re-enforcing the misconceptions we’re trying to get away from in the first place? Many chapters plant trees, pot plants with elementary students and dig in the dirt but do so to portray complex concepts to those curious about the profession.
Is that the only and best way to do so? What are the negatives? You go with what’s familiar and then explain the greater significance? What have you done that works? What would you like to see done? My hope is that this opens up a discussion on what can LAs do to raise awareness of the meat of their profession. Let’s start some healthy chatter.
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Enjoy this wonderful story the Hawaii Chapter and try not to go “awww” too much at the end:
In an effort to get the word out about the profession of Landscape Architecture, three members of the Hawaii ASLA Executive Committee presented in the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Resource’s Agriculture and Environmental Awareness Day event at the Pearl City Urban Garden Center. The event, held in mid-February, drew over 700 5th graders from around the island who visited different booths to learn about all the exciting professions associated with Agriculture and Environmental Awareness. Hawaii ASLA Chapter President Lorenda Lo, Treasurer Drew Braley, and Trustee Dr. Andy Kaufman spent the morning educating over 125 students about what landscape architecture is and a few of the tasks landscape architects may perform.
The keys to the success of these presentations were the interactive element and the passion of the teachers. Dr. Kaufman provided a great concept for the presentation which got everyone excited and involved. We began with an overview of the profession, showing images of plants, parks, and public spaces and asking who had ever played soccer, or run through sprinklers, much to the students’ enjoyment. When it was explained that in many cases, landscape architects were responsible for creating these environments, you could really start to see the gears moving in their heads.
We then moved on to the college and professional side of landscape architecture, showing concept plans, hand sketches and Photoshop renderings. This was a perfect segue into the design of landscapes, with some basic theory of planting design, and calling on a few students to come up to our drawing board to fulfill the role of a “designer”. It was explained that the colored shapes on the plan were to correspond with the colored shapes on the plants we had in our small planter at the front of the booth. So our volunteer “designers” with the help of their “supervisors” in the audience drew up a simple planting plan. Then a couple of other volunteers came up and served as the “installers” of their new landscape, moving the plants around in the mulched area to the location drawn on the board, again with the help of the “supervisors”.
In each group, the students (and presenters) had a wonderful time, and the photographs help show the excitement and fun had by all. By far the quote of the day overheard was from one student to her friend, “hey, are you gonna be a landscape architect?”, with an enthusiastic response of, “absolutely!”
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NLAM: Start the Future of Landscape Architecture in Your Community
Students at the University of Rhode Island Landscape Architecture program love their curriculum and can’t wait to make an impact on the profession. But what if they never knew that such a program existed? Those very reasons and questions led to actions that will grow the profession and increase its diversity. The chance to give back became obvious; introduce as many young people to the profession as they could. Their professors and advisors reinforced their desire to make a difference; they’d never have pursued landscape architecture without fortunately having a family member in the profession or well informed counselors advise them.
Jared Sell, President of the University Chapter of ASLA, and his fellow students joined an outreach program. They make that fateful career day or random pamphlet from their guidance counselor not just a possibility but a reality. They meet with local students aged 10-18 depending on the preference of the presenter. After contacting the school concerning requirements, each presentation can be as short as 10 minutes to as long as an hour. They also set up booths at high school career days and have been invited to all day events working with art classes.
The URI outreach presenters joke that they go into this knowing both they and the students they seek to reach will learn a great deal from the experience. Expect to walk away with a new design idea your professor or colleagues never even thought of before. Because of this, they keep their presentations interactive with plenty of Q and A time. After all, they might have just met the next big name in Landscape Architecture. Come NLAM 2011, the URI’s student chapter expects to reach 300 students.
As you read this, you’ve already been thinking of your introduction to LA. The one person or event that made the difference and guided you toward Landscape Architecture. Be that introduction for someone in your community.
Take advantage of these easy and fun activity guides: NLAM Career Discovery Activities
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As part of their NLAM activities, Indiana ASLA will host a booth at the Indianapolis Earth Day Festival in April to promote the profession. They will provide a screen displaying the Sustainable Landscape animations from the national website on a constant loop. Would you like to show the videos as part of your PR? Heck yeah you do!
If you go to the video page on Vimeo and then see the “Download this video” text under the “About this Video” area, you will be able to download to your own computer: http://www.vimeo.com/17640426
You do need to login as a member of Vimeo but it’s fast ‘n easy.
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