Just a few weeks ago, the Council of Western State Foresters (CWSF) hosted their annual Communications Network Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. Forestry agency communications leads from across the West joined representatives from NASF and the southern and northeast-midwest regional state forester associations to share organizational updates, discuss common challenges, and set regional and national messaging goals.
The meeting’s sessions covered the Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives campaign and Shared Stewardship (the concept and the initiative), in addition to providing attendees with ample time for peer-to-peer learning and timely discussion of internal communications and social media strategy. At the close of the meeting, a field practicum on video production took the group to various urban and rural sites across the greater Salt Lake City area.
“The Communications Network is a resource for state forestry communicators to share ideas, tools, and best practices,” said Kelsey Cruickshank, associate communications and operations director for CWSF. “It’s also a venue where relationships are formed and strengthened, and as a direct result, one of our best opportunities for supporting collective engagement on shared issues.”
The following week in Alabama, the Southern Group of State Foresters’ (SGSF) Communications Committee met for their annual winter meeting (they hold a second business meeting in the summer each year as well).
“Our meetings are always energizing, but this meeting was particularly so,” said Meredith Hollowell, the communications specialist for SGSF. “Being new to the committee’s work, it was important to meet all its members face-to-face and engage in in-person discussions. There’s really no substitute for that kind of interaction when you’re out to get things done, and done well.”
The southern communicators’ meeting covered federal grant status (the committee manages several), the release of a new seven-part source water protection video series, and content strategy for the region’s social media channels.
Later this spring, specifically May 27th and 28th, the Northeast-Midwest State Foresters Alliance (NMSFA) will hold its communications meeting in Milwaukee. Kristen Miller, communications and policy director for NMSFA, is encouraging at least one representative from the western and southern communications groups to attend.
Interested in engaging regionally or nationally with state forestry communicators? Contact NASF Communications Director Whitney Forman-Cook.