Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

UPDATE POST:

I have attached the draft plan which I held a week to think about.  I will share my view but please comment and share yours.  

In my humble, we are a volunteer run site.  My aim has always been to educate individuals about how easily you can grow your own food.  My idea is that those individuals will impact on larger groups like shops etc through their purchasing decisions.  Given our limited resources, I figured it better to empower folks to live ethically and let their choices make a difference.  

Feel free to comment about the doc - I'm not worried about typos etc.  The aims and message is important though. 

Brisbane Local Food - PR Pitch-original.docx

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ORIGINAL POST:  I was contacted by Sarah, a uni student with an interest in self sustainability and food growing.  She needs to find an non for profit that does not have a marketing or communications plan. That's where we come in.  

Her message: 

I have been meaning to ask you about some of the goals/target (short and long term) of the Local Growers organisation and what are some of results that you would like to see out of a Public Relations plan (noting it is very communication and engagement focused). I’d love to come and see what the organisation does if there is an opportunity to do so. Otherwise it would just be great gain a strategic direction from you.

 Just to keep you in the loop, as part of my assessment criteria – I am required to submit the plan outline to you in the next 2/3 weeks, receive feedback from you and then complete the final document for submission to the uni and returned for your perusal.

My response;

I’ve attached the only promo material the group ever produced (to my knowledge). It was for a pamphlet used at a display of local gardening groups at the RNA during the Ekka.

Clearly, our goals are around helping people to live sustainably. This is most obvious through our focus on growing your own food.  The site has the aim of reducing food miles, increasing food security at a household level and improving the earth (even if just at a household level).  We encourage organic practices: recycling and reusing, composting, rainwater collection, and solar power to improve the health of our soil and crop yields and to decrease our negative footprint on the planet.

Brisbane Local Food doesn’t mind how much or little its members want to contribute, and everyone with an interest is welcomed.  There are members with expertise in most areas so people should feel free to ask for help, and to equally to share their successes.  The informal nature of the group makes it a great place to connect with heaps of like minded people, or just a few who share your specific interests.  “Groups” within the site make this easy. For example, we have cheese makers, bakers, fish farmers, and a poultry group.

So:  I have asked Sarah to come to Kathie's garden visit to talk about her proposal and to see how we operate (and what amazing, wonderful, talented, good looking folks we really are!). 

Views: 147

Replies to This Discussion

Well described Andy. I hope Sarah's visit to the GV provides the info she is looking for and she comes up with something genuinely useful to BLF.

I have updated this to include the plan if you want a look.  Please comment below. 

As a matter of interest, did Sarah come to Cathie's GV?

I've downloaded the doc, it's a lot to wade through. :-\

She did Elaine.  Aww come on, it's not that big. 

Wonderful to see the group defined and described this way :) I always have problems "defining" and love to see it put into words.

Brisbane Local Food is a not for profit community group with goals centred on buying and living sustainably. The group collectively aims to collaborate and share tips on optimising the growth of their own gardens which they take turns in visiting as a group. At these events, plants, seeds, tips and friendships are shared.

The objective of this Public Relations Plan is to further develop the intrinsic goals of this organisation through the expansion of the group’s philosophies to a broader community. Centric to this success will be the enhancement of a two way communication model.  The focus of the group remains around the development of capacity in the Brisbane community for growing, buying, sharing and living sustainably (Brisbane Local Food, 2011). It remains of utmost importance that this group maintains focus on sustaining close relationships and educating the community on the importance of growing and eating locally as well as the psychological and physiological benefits that stem from gardening.

The group wants to build capacity in the region for growing, buying, eating and living sustainably. The group has already highlighted their focus on growing and distributing food locally with the following stipulated in a brochure previously distributed at the Brisbane Ekka (attached in Annexure 1). By growing and eating local, it reduces food miles, increases food freshness and security, improves social outcomes and reduces the unused outputs of our living environments, like stormwater and green waste. This supply chain minimising tool (eating locally) inherently reduces carbon emissions which results in sustainable solutions.

This group centres on the concept of sharing excess rather than disposing of it and optimises the seasonality of crops which produce large amounts at once. The general goal of the plan is to gain exposure in the Brisbane community in order to educate people of the importance of participating in environmental initiatives with a cradle to cradle philosophy. The focus will be on an online community, school children and corporate environments. 

A far greater vision than anything I've thought of. Needs much more flexible people than I am to see the future in such broad terms. 'An online garden forum' is my description. 

Thank You Andy, you have described our group well.

I have been on the Merry go Round of Public Relations, doing interviews, radio panel and TV talk shows and handing out brochures in Brisbane, as a Public Relations Officer for a large Australian Garden Group. Whilst it was fun at the time (I was younger than) I have no intention of belonging to a group with committees, that is one of the reason I found joining BLF so inviting.

Public Relations needs money, where would that come from? We are a non-profit group. Also people are needed to volunteer to hand out brochures and stand for hours at booths. I recently sent out 92 emails asking if someone could bring Margo to Dave's, I had no replies, not even a sorry can't help, I already knew Andy was unable to help due to a prior commitment, though Lissa did offer her services the trip to Dave's never came off due to Margo having to cancel due to a personal matter coming up.

I guess what I am saying is, I would like to see our group continue as it is, we are gaining members gradually, they don't come to all GV's and Events but they do come along and participate in the group Discussions from time to time. I could however see that more discussions would be a good thing.

I'm with you Dianne. From my limited perspective, what we are doing now seems to work well. As with all volunteer organisations with which I have been involved, the 'work' is done by the few willing. I'm at a point in my life where I want to divest as much as possible involvement and complications. It's tough enough just keeping our garden in order. At all costs, no committees and no one being paid! We raise money for the site by advertisements and that's enough from where I sit.

I can understand some of the younger members (and 50 is young when you're 75) want to branch out and that is fine by me.

Very well done, Andrew. 

The focus will be on an online community, school children and corporate environments. 

It seems to me that the overall message is great.  I think we are all saying this last bit worries us.  I like the focus on the online community but would suggest

"The group has requested that the focus remain on the online communities (remember I also run the BLF facebook page); and engagement through shared events such as the group's garden visits and other relevant events in the wider "local green" community.  The group is committed to furthering its aims by growing the passion of its members and helping them by sharing information and knowledge."

Whadda ya reckon?

To the point. I like the idea of being involved in children's activities on top of our online forum.

Not sure what you mean by 'corporate environments'. Until - I should live so long - the legislation covering corporations changes tack from 'increasing shareholder wealth' to 'equal focus on environment and workers conditions' nothing in corporate-land will change. I doubt most of us will live that long.

Elaine - what I just said was... 

"The group has requested that the focus remain on the online communities (remember I also run the BLF facebook page); and engagement through shared events such as the group's garden visits and other relevant events in the wider "local green" community.  The group is committed to furthering its aims by growing the passion of its members and helping them by sharing information and knowledge."   

I cut the corporates out for that reason.  I also can't see us having time to go helping around a heap of schools - unless you count what Dave does.   Remember, I did not write this document. I am trying to adapt it to our needs. 

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