Do you find yourself searching for training and resources in marketing, branding and communication, yet finding the same tiring information told in different ways? That was me in 2012. It’s easy to hear of the latest and greatest, but difficult to find out what really works.
Well, Brand+Aid changed all of that.
I learned of Brand+Aid at the 2012 NRPA Congress from one of the founders, Gary Packan. At that time, I’d spent the previous 10 years at a Gold Medal award winning park and recreation district known for excellence and innovation. Their marketing, branding and outreach efforts are considered a model for excellence in the Pacific Northwest. I thought I knew a thing or two about best practices but quickly had my eyes opened to a whole new level of expertise and best practices when I attended the 2014 Brand+Aid Conference; I realized what I had been missing.
"This would prove to be the highest return on investment for professional development I’ve experienced in 20 years."
I joined a three-time Gold Medal award winning organization in 2013. One of my initial goals for my new job was to grow organizational knowledge in marketing, branding and outreach best practices. As a Gold Medal winner, Best Place to Live finalist and Top Digital City, the City of Westminster, CO maintains extraordinarily high expectations. I knew that the team needed something powerful to jolt our efforts. Feeling optimistic, but not with overly high hopes, I brought a team of seven staff to attend Brand+Aid. Little did I know, this would prove to be the highest return on investment for professional development I’ve experienced in 20 years.
Through the impact of Brand+Aid, our team is poised to become a true success story of pursuing and implementing best practices in marketing, outreach and branding. Just a few short and highly energetic months after Brand+Aid, the marketing team at the City of Westminster is about to launch their 18-month work plan in pursuit of excellence. The vast majority of this work plan is built from Brand+Aid concepts, discussions and case studies.
Some examples include work to begin on a website revamp with a fully integrated social experience (to launch in mid-2015), positioning to successfully inject over $100,000 annually and ongoing in new resources for grassroots marketing funds for the department (beginning with the 2015 budget), an engaging and influential shift in social media (with some work already underway), a branding/identity strategic plan for the City, and a highly capable and very energetic team of staff. Brand+Aid provided our team the tools and knowledge to create our future and I’m confident that we will be one of their success stories as we launch into implementation.
"Hands down, Brand+Aid is the finest focused-topic conference I’ve attended in my career. "
Hands down, Brand+Aid is the finest focused-topic conference I’ve attended in my career. I highly suggest any level of professional in our field attend. Because of the impressive example of knowledge, innovation and leadership I witnessed at the conference, I plan on sending staff on an annual basis to continue to grow as champions and team experts.
We’ll be at Brand+Aid. Will you?
This post was first published on August 12, 2014 on the National Recreation and Park Association Blog.
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