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How to tackle the Media Plan for Woodland Nature Center

To deliver an effective media plan, you need to tell and present a consistent story. To ensure there is consistency across the organization, you need to create a communications guide or handbook. The Foundation staff will need to be trained on using the handbook and management must endorse and enforce it. The handbook should include guidelines and examples of the following elements and features:

WF brand
Brand logo with examples of how to use it in every client communication - templates for letterhead, business cards, brochures, PowerPoint slide layouts, web page layouts, research papers, billboards, CD labels, email layouts, etc.
Color palette (including color schemes for graphs)
Typeface(s) to use in all media (include when bold, italics, underlining are used or not)
Photography library and clipart
Guidelines for radio and TV ads
Guidelines for sales promotion items (coupons, premiums - hats, clocks, cups, etc.)
Guidelines for call center automatic answer and staff answer
Guidelines for press releases, and
Any other pertinent information that would be useful to staff.
Include at least one element that will be marketed differently to individuals and business (conference center) clients.

Group portion: Come to a consensus on your overall approach to developing these materials. In addition, develop recommendations for a training program to teach the staff how to use the handbook and the approval process for producing any communications.

Individual portion (powerpoint format 5-7 slides) - Prepare a presentation outlining guidelines, justification, and design for one of the elements featured in the handbook. Use the approach generated during the group discussion.

Sophistication of the graphic design is not a priority at this point, but some attempts should be made to describe or present graphic elements that will be appealing to the target audience.

Background for organization:

The Woodland Foundation (WF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of the Woodland Nature Center. Several families who donated their neighboring farms to the local park district established WF 50 years ago.

Recently, WF completed their first business plan with the park district. The plan was undertaken to determine why visitors to the Woodland Nature Center have declined and what changes would be needed to bring them back. The plan includes improving the nature center's buildings, hiking paths and interpretive signage, and program offerings.

WF has decided to focus program development on teens and young adults who are not served by regular park programs. WF co-sponsors family programs with the park district with the objective of creating life-long conservation minded citizens. WF's program goals are to create activities that become "traditions" that all participants cherish and attend annually.

You are WF's new marketing director and are tasked with developing the integrated marketing strategy. Two sacred program offerings must be promoted - and hopefully - expanded in content and attendance.

There is no program for volunteers. So, all work is completed by the WF board or park district employees. The membership database is a list of names in a word processing document. And there has not ever been any informal or formal market research conducted. A new concert series and recent art exhibits were not evaluated to know whether the attendees would like to see more of these programs. In fact, the success of any of WF's programs is not known.

Fortunately, you are not inheriting any media contracts or legacy advertising programs. You need to determine what media mix will appeal to your audience, and then develop the action plan to implement the media plan. Your goal is to use an integrated marketing strategy to achieve the following vision.

By the year 2012, with the support of the local park district, the town's citizens, and generous donations to WF's capital campaign, WF will grow into one of the nation's premiere conservation areas. Specific goals include:

Facility: WF's buildings will be transformed into a handsome complex of meeting rooms, exhibit galleries and assembly spaces. The architecturally significant home will be restored and become a popular retreat location for the region's non-profit leaders and corporate executives. Business function attendees will return with their families and friends to enjoy the center's quiet beauty.
Programming: In collaboration and with the support of the local park district, lectures, conferences, musical performances, art shows and other activities in the facilities will attract visitors and devoted supporters.
Education: Expanded classroom facilities in the original buildings will accommodate a growing number of environmental education offerings for school children from the town.
Community: The Woodland Foundation will be an important player among the region's nature-oriented institutions. WF's energetic volunteers have launched several successful special events.

Solution Preview

This assignment is an overall marketing/media plan for the Woodland Foundation. This plan is represented by and encompassed in the booklet your professor mentions below.

My comments in red highlight the key points in this assignment and what your professor expects you to do as well as what direction I am going in covering the various points of the assignment. In essence these are my plans for how to go about completing this assignment.

In the solution, which will come attached to your other posting in the form of a Power Point presentation, I have focused on only one topic as your professor specifies and that is: WF Brand.

This should be the focus of the branding effort:

WF has decided to ...

Solution Summary

This solution is basically a plan on how to execute the assignment so it will fulfill course instructions. I would recommend that students examine the attached Word document for a better understanding as it contains highlights and other color elements that emphasize important points to be covered.