Trade association publicity

Trade association publicity

Client: Professional Landcare Network (PLANET)


PLANET has held a pro-bono national day of service at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) for the past nine years. PLANET members travel from around the country each June to care for the 200-acre cemetery and provide extra services that Arlington National Cemetery is not always able to afford. Prior to 2005, the annual event received little media attention.


To secure national and local media coverage of the event and of the members who traveled to Arlington, Va., to participate.


Arlington National Cemetery undergoes regular upkeep and maintenance. It is not uncommon to see people planting and pruning. The challenge was to interest media in this particular volunteer project and to highlight the efforts of PLANET and its members.

The Solution...

image description


Our strategy was five-pronged: a grassroots campaign for participants with their hometown media, a local media relations campaign for Washington, D.C. media, a campaign to industry trade press (lawn and landscape publications) and allied industry press (builder, architectural publications, etc.), and outreach to national media. In additional to a media relations campaign, a pubic relations campaign was conducted. Signs were created and set up at key spots throughout the cemetery to inform visitors about the project. Literature was handed out at the Visitor Center that explained who the Professional Landcare Network was and what they were doing. Consumer lawn care and landscape tips were also made available to visitors.


The campaign was a huge success with broad coverage across the United States. More than 10 million people saw or read something about the event. National coverage was also outstanding. Willard Scott opened the day with a spot on the "Today Show" on the event, the Associated Press spent the day interviewing and photographing as did COX Broadcasting. The ABC radio network did an advance interview that ran on July 18. CNN ran a package during "Live From", CNN Headline News covered it in their 9pm hour, and USA Today ran a photo. Many hometown papers covered their local member's participation, trade press coverage was extensive, and all the local D.C. television affiliates covered the event as well