Case Study

Save the Redwoods League & Partners: Launching CA State Parks Week

Challenge: 

In 2022, Save the Redwoods League initiated California State Parks Week, on behalf of their longtime partner California State Parks and in coordination with two other nonprofit partners Parks CA and California State Parks Foundation. The challenge was to put together a week of themed activities in park units across the state – and especially in the 49 park units that are home to coast redwood and giant sequoia forests that the League champions – and build public awareness and participation. With moderate success in its first year, the League turned to Landis Communications to capitalize on the momentum of the first iteration and generate significantly more attention for the fledgling program. The League also wanted to leverage Parks Week to generate increased funding for the statewide system from California legislators.

 

Strategy:

  • Conduct a two-pronged effort, kicking off the event with a media blitz in the Sacramento market – home to Parks headquarters and the state government – and then play out statewide through the rest of the week. This multi-level outreach plan simultaneously shared news statewide, regionally and locally. 
  • An official “kick-off” event near Sacramento was designed to showcase parks leadership and generate a nexus of media coverage to begin the 5-day program. 
  • The client also organized a party following the official kick-off event at which select lawmakers were honored for their longtime support of parks with award recognition and information about the important role of parks.

 

Tactics:

In the first year of California State Parks Week, Landis participated in a divide-and-conquer media outreach plan spread among the partners. That effort yielded modest results in part because there was not a critical mass of events within the initiative, and also because outreach efforts were too diffuse. 

 

In 2023, we knew that we needed to focus on specific park localities via local media to drive turnout at events, while at the same time bringing broad exposure via general media. It was also effective to have the State Parks media team and the League/Landis team working in parallel using collaborative materials, rather than separately. Landis implemented a 3 month plan targeting key markets with a special emphasis on Sacramento lawmakers.

 

Results:

Every TV outlet in Sacramento sent a crew to cover the kick-off event June 14, plus news radio from SF Bay Area:

 

KTXL-FOX 40 California State Railroad Museum offers first ever turntable rides

Good Day Sacramento State Parks Week

KCBS Radio CA parks offer free activities so you can be adventurous or try something new

KFBK California State Parks Week through June 18 “Try Something New”

KXTV ABC 10 Sacramento State Parks Week 2023 | Bartell’s Backroads

 

Other statewide media highlights:

NBC Los Angeles/NBC-7 San Diego California State Parks Week is here to remind us to embrace uplifting adventure

Mercury News California State Parks Week: Forest bathing, butterfly seed-bomb making and other events

KGET–Bakersfield California State Parks Week celebrates state’s great outdoors, history

Sacramento Bee Free train ride event at CA railroad museum in Sacramento

SF Standard Which California State Park Is Most Popular? You’ll Never Guess

Santa Cruz Sentinel State Parks Week kicks off Wednesday

Monterey County Weekly California State Parks Week

Redheaded Blackbelt California State Parks North Coast Redwoods District will be celebrating the 2nd annual CA State Parks Week June 14th – June 18th

North Bay Bohemian California set to celebrate second annual State Parks Week (cover story here)

Orange County Register California State Parks Week celebrates the great outdoors with activities, events

Coastal View News Celebrating California State Parks

 

Secondary goal: Legislative support for Parks funding

For the legislator event, titled Redwood Futures, the client team created a virtual redwood forest at a venue in downtown Sacramento, with redwood-themed décor, interactive features and refreshments. Landis team scripted a personal invitation video from League president Sam Hodder that was sent to all invited guests.  The event was well attended.

 

Additionally, CA State Parks Week and the League’s event helped to catalyze the timing of State Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s press conference, held at noon on June 1 and attended by League and Park leadership. Asm. Garcia announced bill AB 1567 which advances a Climate Resilience Bond that would include $500-700 million in funding for CA State Parks.

 

The League also issued a report with previously undisclosed funding needs for redwood and other parks following historic storms in winter 2022-23. That report was pitched to media on an embargoed basis and distributed in a press release via wire service. It resulted in substantial coverage in key outlets:

 

SF Chronicle The staggering toll of California’s stormy winter on beloved state parks

KQED With the huge budget shortfall California’s facing, Save the Redwoods is pushing for a bond measure on the 2024 ballot which could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars for parks 

Capital Public Radio Parks Funding (TV Eyes)

NewsDirect Save the Redwoods League Urges State Legislators to Deliver Urgent Funding for California State Parks via a Climate Bond in 2024

Mercury News (and other Bay Area News Group publications) Election 2024: California voters likely to decide whether to spend billions to defend state against fires, floods and heat waves

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