No one appreciates a great deal on incredible education more than my blog readers! So, if you haven't registered for the brand new DEPR (Desktop Education for Parks and Recreation) Monthly Webinar series which begins next week and runs through December 2013, then don't wait another minute! These webinars feature the very best instructors and topics in parks and recreation such as Prioritizing your Time, Leadership, Marketing Planning, Revenue Development and so much more.
We are selling out, but I have held back a few spots especially for the readers of "Little Red's Big Ideas." But don't wait another minute to check it out.
If you are a fan of my blog and workshops then I know you and your staff will get tons out of these monthly online workshops -- especially since you can participate from the comfort of your desk (or laptop).
The International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA), at its National Conference in New Orleans earlier this month, unvieled a new model for Active Aging. According to an email from Colin Milner, CEO, ICAA, "This new industry-shifting model-the 'Nine Principles of Active Aging'-is designed to guide governments, product and service providers, employers, and the health care industry in implementing their active-aging strategies.
These principles, and a few of the many questions that need to be answered, appear below.
Nine Principles of Active Aging
1. Populations: The older population is extremely diverse, from ability and age, to income and culture, to sexual orientation. How will we meet the needs of these different individuals?
2. Perceptions: Ageism and negative stereotypes of aging are stalling the opportunity to empower older adults. To move forward, we need to leave the old way of thinking behind.
3. People: Who will serve the older population's needs? With fewer people entering the labor market, where will the workers come from? Will technology fill the gaps?
4. Potential: A society in which older consumers dominate purchasing decisions creates untold business opportunities. What are these opportunities, and how can businesses tap them?
5. Products: Whether due to a lack of interest or understanding among product or service providers, too few offerings today are geared to the older population. From technology to housing, the result is immense opportunity for those who respond strategically.
6. Promotions: Effective promotions are needed to inspire change. Yet marketers often earn a failing grade from older adults when they focus on the older population, perhaps because they have an inaccurate or incomplete picture of these consumers. To be effective, promotions must be rooted in the realities of today's older adults.
7. Places: Environments can encourage or discourage older adults in leading active, engaged lives. From indoors to outdoors, what environments support active aging?
8. Policies: How do policy decisions affect active aging? Consider how important policies are in areas such as age discrimination, and affordable care and housing.
9. Programs: As promoted by ICAA, the seven dimensions of wellness-physical, social, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, vocational and environmental wellness-are the backbone of active aging. They are also key to meeting the challenge of providing diverse programs and environments that fulfill the needs of the diverse older population.
Established in 2001, ICAA has led, connected and defined the active-aging industry for the past 11 years. More information about ICAA is available online at www.icaa.cc .
Not sure why the previous post and link didn't work but thanks to those of you who let me know there was a glitch. Rather than requiring a download I'm including the list that was used in this workshop at NRPA below. Happy browsing.
Here is a link to one of my very favorite lists of Awesome Apps by Brandon Lutz, author of the original 60 in 60 Presentation. Brandon's entire universe of resources is at his Wikispace page. Try setting aside 15 minutes each week to explore these links. Some will only take a second, others might suck you in and keep you there for a while. So set a timer on your phone to make sure you don't get carried away. You can always visit your favorites later.
I'm a Tom Searcy fan! I love reading his articles on CBS Moneywatch and find myself quoting (borrowing? stealing?) his soundbites. The least I can do is pass along the wisdom as a gift to my blog readers.
The article says that "before you can begin seriously attracting prospects, you must create a marketing genetic code that is attractive." Searcy is talking about creating physical magetism; Actually creating the kind of organzation, event, program or opportunity that sponsor prospects want or feel a need to be part of. Do people stand up, listen or even notice your selling messages? Do they tune in and perk up during networking discussions and presentations. Your sponsorship "pitch" is your selling message and must contain what Searcy refers to as marketing DNA.
Here are Searcy's ten steps to help create these all-important marketing genes:
1. Name it. Create a business, product, or website name that gives potential clients a hint at the results you can produce for them. The worst possible name or website name is your name. Sorry to say, clients don't want us, they want results.
2. Choose words wisely. Write a headline for your website and marketing materials that describes your audience and the results you produce for them. Do this in no more than 10 words.
3. Name your prospect's pain. What are your client's worries, frustrations, and concerns that you help solve? This is also called the FUD factor: fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
4. Pick a process. Describe your solution or methodology for solving these pains. What process do you follow to produce results? Offering a proprietary problem-solving process that you name and trademark is best. This answers the all-important question in their minds: "Why should I do business with you instead of one of your competitors?"
5. Mention the myths. State the common misperception or myth that holds many back from getting results. Why doesn't everybody do what you named in step 4?
6. Do this, don't do that. Get specific with prospects. Tell your prospects what they need to do in general to solve their problem. Pretend they weren't hiring you and you had to describe the steps they should take for success.
7. Include other good things. List any other benefits they get from following your methods. What other good things do people get when they do what you advise?
8. Name the numbers. Elaborate on your track record of providing measurable results for clients. This is not about years in business -- it's about quantifiable success. Be as specific as possible. Use numbers, percentages, and time factors.
9. Be helpful online. Create a website with free articles on how to solve these pains. Each article should be about 300 to 600 words. What's a good format? Consider the numbered tips approach you are reading right now (easy to write, easy to read).
10. Make them an offer they can't refuse. No, not an offer that might remind anyone of Don Corleone in "The Godfather." Offer prospects a free special report on your website. You are offering to trade a valuable piece of information for their email address. Tell them they will also receive a tips eNewsletter from you. Assure them you will maintain their privacy and that they can easily opt out of your list anytime they want.
Don't sound like everyone else and you won't be treated like everyone else. Follow this advice and you will get the last laugh.
Although I have no affiliation with The Active Network, I know they offer an ever-growing inventory of on-line registration and "integrated marketing" solutions. I, however, have come to appreciate their ability to condense and share information with our shared customer base.
For example, but they have a host of talented writers who share practical marketing ideas and customer retention strategies via a wide array of on-line and offline resources. LIKE their Active Communities Facebook Page to keep up on trends and ideas specific to parks and recreation agency needs and concerns.
I've also become a huge fan of Henry O'Loughlin who, among other things writes spot-on articles for Active Network Communities Blog. The blog, according to its homepage, "helps parks and recreation agencies, campus recreation departments, YMCAs, and other community organizations get more participants, manage their operations better, and build stronger customer relationships." Sounds like we (Little Red's Big Ideas and the Active Communities Blog have a lot in common!
Here is an excerpt from an article by O'Laughlin which highlights the POP (Point of Purchase/Participation) concept for park and recreation agency facilities. The article asks:
How many people visit your facilities each year? Between pools, rec centers, parks, and gyms that number is probably pretty high. It’s also your total yearly reach if you use walls, benches, and counters as places for marketing messages. Here are some things to consider before investing in display advertising:
Places to put marketing materials
Trash cans and recycling bins
I can also think of many more places to promote your brand inside and outside your parks, recreation and community centers. Here are some of my ideas...
Interior and Exterior Murals
Waiting areas (people will read ANYthing while their waiting)
Fence and field signage
LCD Screens/Video Displays
How do you take advantage of your on-site marketing opportunities. Please comment below
I must admit that I love strangers! I love learning about new people and hearing their stories. I'm not afraid of asking questions. But I also know that this is an unusual trait since most people don't love the idea of striking up conversations with complete strangers. So when I read this story, Rules of the Road: The Quick Guide to Better Networking by Tom Searcy (an accomplished salesperson who admittedly hates face to face networking), I was curious about the ways Searcy has gotten more comfortable with the process.
The article from CBS Moneywatch shared four specific rules for effective networking. While I think I adhere to these roles pretty naturally, I thought others might benefit from the short list:
1. First and foremost, it's not all about you. Keith Ferrazzi's book, Never Eat Alone, taught me a lot about networking, and the most important point is that it's not about you. If you spend your time meeting people and trying to see if there is a way you can be of help to them, you put your mind in the right order, and it is easier. Why? Because you may not be a great networker, but you are a great problem solver. If you can help someone else with an issue, idea or contact, you are working in the sweet spot of your skills. Along the way, good things will happen for you, too.
2. Set your goals. When I attend an event, I typically have between one to three people I specifically want to meet who I've picked out in advance. If they are not there, or they are completely encumbered, I go to my back-up goal. Set a number of new people, let's say five or 10, who you are going to meet, ask two questions, and swap cards with. Once you have hit your number, you are off the hook. You met your goal and you can go home, see a movie, catch the end of the game at the bar, it doesn't matter. You set a goal and you hit it. These networking events are not a prison-sentence if you don't make them one.
3. Ask good questions. "What do you do?" "Tell me about your company" and "How long have you been with your company/this industry/this association?" are all typical openers and they get typical answers. Boring. Try a few other questions instead:
-- "What business problem does your company solve? What is the best example you have of how you are doing that?"
-- "What has been the biggest win for you/your company in the last six months? What do you think it will be in the next six months?"
-- "What is the most interesting initiative you have planned at your company this year? How will that change your company the most?"
The point is that you want to pose questions that provoke and initiate conversation out of the normal routine. These questions should help you achieve that. Once people have answered your questions, you have just one more to ask: "That's great. Is there some way I can help you?"
4. Exit gracefully. I watched a real pro work a room at a cocktail party the other night. She would introduce herself, ask a question or two, ask if she could help, and then she would simply put her hand out to shake and say, "It has been so nice to spend a few minutes getting to know you. I hope you have a great spring." She would smile graciously and just move on. She took the initiative to introduce herself, controlled the conversation with a few questions, and then she left. There is a courtesy to be observed at a networking event that involves not monopolizing someone's time. The rhythm she set was at just the right tempo to accomplish what a networking event should do.
Share your networking secrets below or share a story about a memorable networking experience!
As Google celebrates its 13th anniversary (who could imagine life without the grand-daddy of search engines?) Mashable.com, in an article called "10 Great Google Accessories," has put together a fun list of promotional items which take Google's visual brand identity to unusual offline places and spaces.
My favorite are the Google Sneakers, but who would love a Goggle Lamp (with or without lava?)
Our nation\'s rapid increase in childhood obesity is starting to affect not only kids\' health, but also our military\'s preparedness. A 2010 report published in the journal Military Medicine stated that, 'Failure to meet weight standards is the top reason for medical disqualification for service, with approximately 10,000 enlisted applicants disqualified for this reason in 2007' and 'as the percentage of overweight and obese applicants has steadily risen over the past two decades, the percentage of recruits who meet the military\'s age-specific weight for height accession standards has declined.'
Retired Major General Paul D. Monroe, testifying before congress on behalf of the children\'s organization Mission: Readiness, stated 'Make no mistake about it; the obesity epidemic poses a genuine threat to our national security.'
There is, however, some good news on the fight against childhood obesity from the military itself. Installation of playgrounds to increase fitness is increasing at military family housing, in child development centers and at youth centers. The July 2010 issue of Government Recreation & Fitness reported on success stories with playground equipment at military installations across the country.
Here at BCI Burke, we have a military playground success story of our own. Our local representative for southern California, Innovative Playgrounds, worked together with Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to create an exceptional playground on the east end of Mills Park that would meet the needs of both children with special needs as well as able-bodied kids. The playground provides ample play opportunities including ramps, accessible panels, freestanding music panels, benches, tables, trash receptacles and shade canopies to protect the children\'s delicate skin from the sun, as well as safety surfacing and fencing.
'The main goal was to have activities that were both educational and developmentally appropriate for a wide range of ages and ability levels. There are even activities that allow parents and children to interact on and off the structure,' says Deanna Angel, Miramar Exceptional Family Member Program Manager.
We are proud to assist our nation\'s military and other government agencies and can provide full support from start to finish on projects for playground equipment, adult fitness equipment and site furnishings such as picnic tables, grills, benches and other items. For more information, contact your local Burke representative. We also offer GSA purchasing through Premier Playgrounds, contract GS-07F-0081M.
BCI Burke Company manufactures the nation\'s highest quality and most innovative playgrounds for schools, parks, day care centers and other institutions. With its industry leading Generations Warranty™, Total Cost of Ownership Package™, and reputation for superior service, the family-owned business has grown since 1920 into a major force in the playground industry.
Some Online Marketing Ideas to Improve your Fitness Business
Author:fitness studio The fitness business is one of the best businesses ever created. Online marketing on the other hand is the best way to promote it because its owners could utilize actual visuals for anyone to see so to convince the public. Unlike local marketing that people will still speculate and in doubt to decide whether to buy the idea of enrolling in a fitness program or not because radio advertising, fliers or posters are not hundred convincing. As busy as we are today, people may forget after a while though interested and have plans to involve themselves in a healthy program.
In online marketing, owners could post or show videos of their establishment and what it could offer. Other than the actual program, they invest by hiring models demonstrating parts of the fitness program with the use of their facilities. In reality, people can be deceived by what they see, especially when they hire video editors to edit, creating a more convincing visual effects. They should give the idea that their business is open to all yet give more emphasis to those having bigger physical problems.
Moreover, their target emphasis are to those who seem to be hopeless physically and morally. Their ad should be subtly showing sympathy and understanding of their emotions like self-pity, the longings for the best things and experiences, and then give the assurance that what used to be an obese person’s dream is not impossible to attain but can surely come true in their in establishment, and add that these individuals can still continue their decadent cravings reassuring them further that their freedom will not be jeopardized.
Being soft-hearted to the “fat” people and trying to give the idea that you are the humble solution, that yours is the place where they could freely open up and discuss their problems and/or fantasies, and what they will do is to give the simplest effort of putting their foot forward towards the fitness establishment and start to make their dreams come true.
This way, owners need not slash down price rates but convince the public further by with “gimmick” promotions like discounts on the first 10 clients. Other concepts would be like a valentine promo price good for two, summer promos and so on. Another very effective ad are those having actual experience. These are clients who were once in bad shape but can now attest to the business’ effectiveness.
About the Author Dominate Your Market and <a href='http://www.fitnessstudiodomination.com/';>Grow Your Business</a> the Right Way. Fitness Studio Domination will teach you how to grow your Fitness Studio. We do not wish to pass out fish, we are interested in creating fisherman.Some Online Marketing Ideas to Improve your Fitness Business.