Jason Keath wrote, “Not every brand works on Tumblr” and suggested that three categories of blogs may fare better than others: fashion, large websites and publishing/broadcast media. As we’ll see with the examples below, Tumblr’s features offer the ability to be more visual and less verbose.”

When looking into what comes next for your chapter in the social media world, consider using Tumblr’s visual edge to reach people you never would, otherwise.


Sorry for the delay in posts, everyone. We at ASLA HQ have been so focused on National Landscape Architecture Month and the Year of Public Service, that updating this blog has taken a backseat.

I recently came across a great post in Small Biz Lady that I think could be helpful for everyone who reads this blog, and especially ASLA’s Public Awareness Reps. In many ways, ASLA’s chapters run as their own small businesses.

The entire post is definitely worth a read, but if you don’t take time to read through everything, at least keep this great advice in mind. Remember, ASLA HQ can help put you in contact with these reporters, if you are not sure how to do so.

“To reiterate, matching the right individual (editor, reporter, blogger) at the right publication / blog with an on-target pitch that their readers are interested in is the best way to get a story on your business. Online releases, done well, are good for SEO & event PR. And releases can be a way to get quoted in a trend piece, or covered in an online or traditional publication, if you make the right connection.”

Here is the post, part of the SmallBizLady special blog series: 31 Ways to Boost your Small Business in 2013:

Five Ways to Use a Press Release to Promote your Small Business

As we start packing for Phoenix, it is good to add some key education sessions to our calendars. Though the primary focuses of this meeting include sustainability, water management, plants and more, there are many courses based on public awareness.

Of the programs within, here are five “must-see” programs which focus on writing, video or social media:

“Writing as Design: How Landscape Architects Can Sharpen Their In-Office Writing” – Landscape architects are highly adept at visual communication but often aren’t comfortable with the surprisingly similar processes of writing. Learn from recognized design writers, editors, and educators how to write engaging pitches, master plans, awards submissions, promotional copy, and even articles and books. Friday, Sept. 28, 8:30 – 10 a.m.

“Beyond PowerPoint and Fly-Throughs: Communicating Landscape Architecture with Video” – Landscape architects increasingly use video imagery both as a design tool and to communicate complex concepts with clients and the public. Three landscape architects will present video works that have proven to enhance their project presentations, advocacy pieces, and feature-length documentaries. Friday, Sept. 28, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

“Inside the LA Studio with Oslund and Associates” – Shaping landscape with this firm provides social, physical, and intellectual interaction and artful sculpting of open space. This session will reveal how to express the values and impressions of what every place inherently possesses and encourage what it can become in the future. Friday, Sept. 28, 3:30 – 5 p.m.

“Social Media and Crowdsourcing in Planning and Design” – Social media enhance public participation. But, before you dive into Facebook and Twitter, learn transparency balance and control to get your message out to the masses safely and effectively through town-hall forums and crowd-sourcing tools. Discussions focus on integrating these techniques with traditional public-participation processes. Sunday, Sept. 30, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

“Getting to the 99%: Tools for Innovating the Usual Public Meeting” – Nearly every public project in the U.S. requires some form of public outreach. So, in addition to an inspired design, landscape architects need to bring an inspired approach to gathering feedback and building consensus. This session will examine wildly effective outreach strategies and their outcomes. Monday, Oct. 1, 1:30 – 3 p.m.

For any active tweeters out there, make sure to come and attend ASLA’s first ever Annual Meeting Tweetup, Sept. 30 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. I hope everyone has a safe trip to Phoenix. See you there.

Reaching out to local press can be a daunting task, but hopefully I’ll be able to lay out some great tips and best practices for you to use for your next event. For those of you who have not worked with me yet, my name is Phil Stamper, and I am the Public Relations and Communications Coordinator for ASLA.

I’ve worked in a similar capacity for a few different organizations in the past. Some fully focused on local outreach, and others balanced between a national and local audience. Though every case is different, there are a few tips that work in every scenario.

Establish your audience.

It’s very easy to do a good job finding your audience, but it is hard to do a great job. Make sure you reach out to reporters from local television networks, radio networks, newspapers and blogs. In newspapers, include those who write for the local section of the paper, as well as any lifestyle reporters. For television and radio, talk to those who focus on community events or local news.

Don’t underestimate the power of local blogs. Nearly every major city has a blog, here’s an example from Columbus, OH and one from Washington, DC. City blogs are always looking for content and event notifications from local organizations.

Write a succinct press release.

This is fairly self-explanatory, but it is worth noting. The first step to attracting local press is to get them to actually read your event release. Write a press release that grabs their attention with a title that pulls them in. Titles like “ASLA gives award to X-Park” will draw fewer people in than “ASLA honors X-Park for aesthetic design, commitment to sustainability.”

When you write your release, make sure that the information you’re presenting is easy to read and understand. Read through it once, and imagine you are the reporter. Where do your eyes go first? Do you skip over sections? If the key information stands out, you are good to go.

Follow up with a phone call.

Personally, I do not like talking on the phone. Whether for business or even with friends, phone conversations are just not my forte. However, I know the most influential way to build a relationship with the local press is to call them. With every release, pick at least five important reporters to follow up with a phone call. Nearly every organization has missed opportunities by not following up their press release with a phone call.

In the call, introduce yourself, explain that you are following up on a press release, and briefly describe it on the phone to jog their memory. Reporters scan through many press releases in one day, so a phone call will bring it to the front of their mind. It also gives you a chance to promote the key speakers or talk about the event on more relatable terms. Showing that you care about the community as much as they do will truly stand out to them.

Go to community events.

Every city has many community events, from local festivals to seasonal celebrations. At all of these events will most likely be the same local news and radio reporters who you want to attend your future events. Simply greeting a local TV reporter, shaking their hand and introducing yourself and your association will give you an edge over all the other association/corporate PR representatives who don’t.

Show your appreciation.

When you have members of the media attend your events, show them how excited you are. Create media kits for the day of the event with all the background information, biographies of presenters, any related pictures, maybe even some ASLA-branded freebies. Make sure they know who to go to with follow up questions, and make sure all of their needs are met.

If you can show the local media that you are an integral part of the community, these reporters will come back and write for future ones. Once your events get picked up by one network, others will want to join in, too.

I hope these tips help you for any upcoming events you may have. If you have any questions or need advice, please let me know. I am here to help all of you get the coverage for your events that you deserve. Do you have any tips or best practices that I may have overlooked? Let me know in the comments.

Well, this is my first post for Chapter PR 365. First of all, I must express my gratitude for Mike Cowden’s many contributions to ASLA and helping me get up to speed these last few weeks. I will truly miss him but know that he has a shining career ahead.

The title of this post — “The Community Concept” — comes from a book that I’m currently reading, “A Sand County Almanac” by Aldo Leopold. It’s the title of a section in the book that describes how having a land ethic turns humans from conquerors of that land to members of the entire land community, including soils, waters, plants, and animals. The title caught my eye because it expresses the way I’d like to work with all the ASLA Chapters. We are all part of the landscape architecture community, and we need to work together to promote this profession to the public.

A couple of years ago, I visited Leopold’s Shack, which influenced so much of his writing, and was blown away by the rustic beauty of the building and surrounding landscape. The place contained many stories, and I can’t wait to learn about and share yours.



As many of you know my last day at ASLA will be tomorrow.


Thank you all for a fantastic experience. I want you all to know that working to promote your work has been a very rewarding path in my personal and professional development. You are a tremendously talented and dedicated membership who is more than willing to take on so much as mere volunteer crusaders. My work for landscape architecture will never cease. Know that I will regularly work in the correct understanding and awareness of landscape architecture in any and all conversations with every stranger I meet. You know I’m not exaggerating and I expect you all to continue to do the same.


Do your best to keep in touch and continue to raise the bar for the profession.


I want to live in a world that’s designed better. So get to it!

Answer: It’s a great way to give back to the profession. See below for three perspectives on ACE. And be sure to check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhMsOzv-WMg

Susan Hatchell, FASLA, president of the American Society of Landscape Architects, sees direct benefits of the ACE Mentor program. “Landscape Architecture is a growing profession well positioned to offer design solutions for so many issues, from sustainability to public health.  Today’s young people are firmly rooted in ideas of protecting the environment and social equity, but students rarely know what the profession has to offer. The ACE Mentor program is an invaluable way to connect us to a diverse group of young students who otherwise may not have heard of landscape architecture. ACE is a win-win in that it advances the profession of landscape architecture while helping our youth find exciting professional opportunities for the future.”

“Landscape architecture is often overlooked and misunderstood” says Josh Kilrain, ASLA. “To start off, I ask my ACE mentees if they have ever seen a movie or read a book about a war, and when the General says that he was surveying the landscape before the big battle do you think he was looking at the plants around his house?  Then I show them some aerial photos of local environments that they might be familiar with to see if they can guess what and where it is.  These include parks, urban streets, the Inner Harbor, Washington, D.C. and even a slide of Disney World.  It seems to be a good way to get them to think about landscape architecture as all-encompassing profession that includes the built environment and the natural environment, and just how broad the profession is and how many different aspects landscape architects are involved in.” As a mentor Mr. Kilrain appreciates ACE’s role in promoting understanding of the profession, “ACE provides me the opportunity to share my passion for my work whether my mentees decide to become landscape architects or not.”

Frederick Jala, ASLA, strongly believes in the ACE program and its contribution to landscape architecture, “On a personal level, participating in ACE helps remind me of what attracted me to the profession in the first place: ecological stewardship, creative problem-solving, and the opportunity to leave a positive, lasting impact on the built environment. Working with the students is a refreshing change of pace, where we can be free to generate ideas and designs free from the usual constraints we encounter.” Mr. Jala went on to say that, “ACE helps raise the profile of the profession, not only with the students, but also with the fellow mentors and design professionals, who may not be aware of all we can offer a project.”