The Marketing Mission

In a 2010 research paper titled “Measuring the Economic Impact of Park and Recreation Services,” Crompton explains how to measure the economic return residents receive from parks and recreation department investments. It provides statistical data with which to inform local audiences about the need for the services you provide.

Emulate Business Models

I am just beginning to delve into this subject in a serious way, but the limits of this column do not allow me to expound too much on findings. The point is that events–particularly in the last three years–have put the parks and recreation field into a very different economy from what most are accustomed to.

Instead of doing the same things over and over, public recreationists need to take some cues from successful business models, and find out what customers need in the current economy and how to give it to them with the resources available.

I am confident that there are some departments–especially those with marketing divisions–that are doing this quite well now. Then there are others (and I put my organization in this category) that can do much better.

If any of you have found successful strategies, would you share them with the rest of the field? Please call or e-mail me or the PRB editor.

Randy Gaddo, a retired Marine, is Director of Leisure Services (parks, recreation, library) in Peachtree City, Ga. Contact him at (770) 631-2542 or e-mail dls@peachtree-city.org.

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