The Offseason: Reinvigorate & Market Yourself
Make the offseason a productive one through rest and relaxation, but also marketing yourself and your golf course. Actively look for opportunities to distribute positive messages regarding the turfgrass industry and the work you’re doing at your course. We’ve compiled two approaches to offseason activities. Kevin Hicks, former Golf Course Superintendent at Coeur d’Alene and now apart of the EarthWorks team, described his experience – in Golf Course Industry’s December issue – with an unexpected change in his career after 14 years as superintendent. In addition, John Fech of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln outlines an offseason plan to control and convey positive messages through various media channels.
Now What? Kevin Hicks, Turfheads Take Over | Golf Course Industry – December 2017
After 25 years of work as a Golf Course Superintendent, Kevin Hicks found himself in a peculiar, unknown place: Out of a job. Now what?
- First things first, take care of yourself. There isn’t a time you’re not thinking about work or what can be done on the course — you can finally rest and relax for a few days. Kevin began hiking a mountain behind his house to not only improve his physical shape but to refresh and reinvigorate his mental endurance.
- Over the last few years, a wonderful community of turfgrass professionals has developed on Twitter – don’t be afraid to reach out for product recommendations from your peers or retweets in hopes of getting your “fresh start” noticed. The insightful and helpful nature of contributors is extremely valuable and exciting for the future.
- Put yourself out there with association service, writing, blogging and social media participation. You never know which connection might lead you to your next job. I sure didn’t.
Find his full column in Golf Course Industry’s – December 2017 issue.
Telling your story: Media relations for golf course superintendents
John C. Fech | Read the full piece in Golf Course Management – December 2017
In marketing, controlling the message is critical, and as technology has expanded, so have the avenues to distribute that message. Golf industry groups such as GCSAA and the USGA have done a wonderful job in promoting the important ideas surrounding the industry such as water conservation, responsible chemical use and environmental impact in general. Messaging that originates from an organization is valuable. However, there can be a separation between local communities and industry associations. Now more than ever, golf course superintendents have a powerful tool at their disposal to influence local legislation and improve public opinion: self-marketing.
John Fech, horticulturist and Extension educator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, breaks down self-marketing into three components: the elevator speech, engagement of media professionals, and the interview.
The Elevator Speech
Your elevator speech should be a short, less than 1-minute explanation to the often asked question, “So, what is it that you do?” This can be used in various situations such as meeting a salesperson, new committee members or members of the media.
There are a few key points you’re going to want to be sure and cover:
- Your name
- Your golf course or company name
- What you do
- Why you do it
The Engagement of Media Professionals
Using the media to distribute positive messages about your course and industry has many benefits. Utilize a media professional to achieve increased awareness of your course, improve public perception of your facilities and practices, and generate public awareness of issues affecting the golf course industry. On a similar note, you should also consider creating a blog to document course projects and updates or invest some time in a Twitter account. Blogging and social media interaction can connect you with industry leaders and peers while spreading positive messages about the work going on at your course.
The big dog — don’t be intimidated, now! Landing an interview with a TV station, student reporter or local paper is a great opportunity to put a face to the name of your course or in more general terms, to the golf course industry. Sure, everyone knows that someone is responsible for maintaining golf courses, but who are they? John recommends preparing three main talking points, being sure to explain why these topics should matter to the audience.
It’s best to wear company-branded clothing, keep it short and be yourself — nobody wants to hear from a robot!
Follow Kevin on Twitter — @GolfSuper1992