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Publicity poll to gain national media attention.

Results of an American Camping Association-sponsored national publicity survey, which focuses on the challenges of parenting today, is expected to gain national and regional media attention for camps.

The publicity poll, conducted by Fleishman-Hillard Research, revolved around our key public awareness theme that camps provide vital developmental activities for children and young adults. Survey questions incorporated the seven developmental needs that are met through camp.

Survey results will be shared at the national conference in Orlando. The information can be used to address parental concerns through camp programs and activities.

Gearing up for spring

Work continues on ACA's National News Bureau. Writers at national publications, including parenting magazines and women's magazines, have received calls suggesting a variety of camp stories for spring and summer editions.

Producers of radio and television talk shows in ACA's major media markets are being contacted to line up local interviews in recognition of National Camp Week in March and to arrange other interviews throughout the summer camp season.

ACA press kits -- which contain information on the association, interesting camp facts, and suggested camp features -- are being expanded and updated to include additional story suggestions and camp data.

ACA spokespersons representing the public awareness campaign's top 22 media markets will attend a day-long media-training workshop in Orlando in February. The workshop, to be conducted by Fleishman-Hillard personnel, will help prepare these spokespersons to work with the media and represent camp in the most effective manner.

Long-term plan

The public awareness campaign has a goal to increase the number of children who experience camp by 15% by the year 2000. For all ACA camps, the campaign represents an investment in the future of our children, our society, and our industry.

The campaign will use a variety of tactics to increase public awareness of the values of camp over the next several years.

Major publicity events. This includes studies and surveys with national implications, partnerships with child and youth development specialists, and an annual awards gala honoring businesses and other organizations that support summer camp through significant scholarship contributions.

Well-honed news bureau. We expect to generate more camp awareness through this publicity channel as news contacts are solidified and ACA gains increasing recognition as the authority in the summer camp field. We will continue to expand the list of major media markets and train additional ACA spokespersons.

Strategic alliances. We plan to partner with organizations who share ACA's interest in the successful development of children, including social service, educational, and therapeutic groups, to increase awareness of the value of camp, generate funding of camperships, and develop meaningful relationships with public policy associations.

Internal education. We will work to communicate the importance of child and youth development outcomes of camp through national and regional workshops and pre-packaged training programs for camp staff. The campaign will keep abreast of consumers' changing needs and communicate them to our membership.

Continued funding. A 15% increase in the number of children who experience camp will be financially, as well as humanly, significant. While a 5-year, national public awareness program will cost at least $2 million, the return on investment is impressive. Even using the most conservative figures (15% of 5 million = 750,000 campers x 8 weeks of camp x $200 weekly fees), a 15% population increase represents an immediate growth of $1.2 billion for America's camp industry.

To help raise funds for a long-term awareness campaign, ACA will establish alliances with businesses throughout the country in support of cause-related marketing and product promotions. For example, we can provide authoritative camp stories with an ACA credit-line to a business that sells camp equipment and clothing via catalogs. (ACA helps embellish their sales promotion piece and gets nationwide recognition in the process!) Or, we'll offer endorsement opportunities to reputable businesses to become "the official supplier of
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Title Annotation:American Camping Assn.'s national publicity survey
Author:Woods, Ann
Publication:Camping Magazine
Date:Jan 1, 1995
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