Plants at Work, the foliage industry's educational initiative developed to expand the size and profitability of the interior plant trade, has seen their consistent strategies to create a significant rise in overall interest in the human and environmental benefits of interior plants finally start to pay off.
"From our frequent editorial placements in national target professional trades to the focused visibility at key end user events, the campaigns' tactical efforts are hitting important impact milestones," says MJ Gilhooley, president of Gilhooley Consulting (GC). GC serves as the agency of record for the Plants at Work campaign. "We eagerly anticipate the results from two market surveys expected to reflect this consistent upsurge of interest in our message." Gilhooley adds.
The campaign celebrates a significant message buy-in from Madison Avenue, touting interior plants as “the” differentiating factor for added value. According to Bacons Media Monitoring, a company that specializes in screening and evaluating press coverage, the “plant benefit” core message hit a sharp saturation increase with both professional trades and consumer media outlets through the last quarter. With United Press International, The Associated Press and Gannett News Service all syndicating the message, the Plants at Work Web site server is reporting a consistent and steady pick up of activity over the last several months with January already recording a four-year high in unique qualified visitors to the site, according to Plants at Work.
"While major national consumer coverage and interest continues to play a critical role in our overall objectives, it is actually the repeated invitations to present the message to target market professional groups and exclusive target trade councils that we are most energized about," adds Gilhooley. The Plants at Work campaign has recently been fielding numerous appeals to present the campaign research from several national groups, including the Corporate Headquarters Council, the Public Sector Council of the International Facility Management Association and the United States Green Building Council.
In addition to securing editorial coverage valued at over $3.5 million last year alone, the multi-faceted educational campaign includes the delivery of presentations and presence at national target events and conferences; the dissemination of a sixteen page booklet published by the campaign to further quantify the benefits of interior plants; and, with help from the Florida State Department of Agriculture, the hosting and maintenance of a dedicated informational Web site with professional interiorscape providers listed geographically. The campaign also provides foliage industry business owners with a menu of customizable local action marketing and sales tools including a "Power Presenter Package" fortified by three focus tested customizable Power Points for each end user professional group and a corresponding research binder.
Under the volunteer direction of McRae Anderson, of St. Paul's McCaren designs, the campaign’s budget of approximately $175,000 per year is funded 100 percent by pledges from independent companies within the foliage industry and is administrated through PLANET (The Professional Landcare Network) out of Herndon, Va. For more information visit www.plantsatwork.org .