Sharing the Good News

Sharing the Good News

by Danny Summers

Sharing the "Good News" of Joy and Knowledge of Plants and Gardening is a wonderful gift that our Garden Centers do every day. In its very purest form, it is sharing a love for nature.

We all have a favorite teacher we can remember who made a big impact on us growing up and we also have friends and family that influenced us with their talents and interests in hobbies and treasured activities.

When you talk with plant-lovers it seems that there is a common thread in their stories of one special person who shared the Joy and Knowledge of Plants and Gardening with them that propelled them on their journey and love affair. Many remember a grandparent who first introduced them to flowers, maybe a vegetable garden, and just overall love for plants. Whomever it was that first planted the gardening seed in us, they are very special in our hearts and minds, especially this time of year when spring is knocking on our door.

Having the ability to share the Joy and Knowledge of Plants and Gardening positions you as a servant for your guests and community. This opportunity is a unique one that we should value and honor. Take a minute to look around and consider just how few other people that have the same ability as you. Then you will realize how special your position really is for sharing the Joy and Knowledge of Plants and Gardening. It can position you and your Center in a unique position in your community.

This past week, I saw an email from Van Wilgen's Garden Center where Ryan Van Wilgen was sharing knowledge of lighting for plants. They have created a name for this educational outreach... it's called VanWISDOM! Very clever. In this edition, titled "Shedding Light: Be the Plant" Ryan shares advice for determining the right amount of lighting for houseplants.
The idea of sharing useful information your audience can use and be drawn to has great merit. Helping them be successful makes an important connection with you. It is encouraging and helps them think of you as a reliable teacher/professional they can depend on. For young children, coming to your Center with their parents can create special moments that will be with them for a lifetime. It will be one they will pass down to their children. So be sure to think about how you create learning experiences for your younger guests.

And remember, these learning experiences don't have to be classes or workshops but can simply be signage or displays that share the learning message in creative ways. If you have heard Florence Williams' messages in our recorded sessions from her book The Nature Fix, she says children can recognize very small "Awe Moments" in nature where adults pass it by. We're too busy looking for the "top of the mountains." She described these small snippets children see as micro-doses of "Awe." Be sure to create small "Awe Moments" for your guests. If you remember what we shared a couple of weeks ago here in GROUPtalk, Dothan Nurseries' new banner in the staff rooms says, "You are not here just to do a job but you are here to create a moment." It can be the simplest things so don't overthink it. Keep it simple.

Van Wilgen's created their VanWISDOM message in their email but many are also producing videos to help share the Joy and Knowledge of Plants and Gardening. Here are just a few to give you ideas on video messaging:

And one of the most-followed garden video messaging efforts is by Laura and Aaron at Garden Answer! They have been with us at The Fall Event and a GROUPtalk LIVE session. You can find a session recording in our WebSystem. Login and go to the Clients-Only menu and then down to Training - Garden Answer - Leveraging Social Media link. One thought when trying to come up with topics is to think about the many questions you get every day from your guests. Have a location for your team to make notes of those questions and refer to them weekly. Be sure to date the ideas so they can be a resource for messaging in the coming years.

These are just a few ideas from four great Garden Centers. You have some as well ... I know you do! Share them this week in our new Marketing eList. If you are not subscribed to that, let me know and I can help you get connected.

Share the Good News this Week!

Sharing is at the heart of The Group and your ideas are very important. If you have any trouble logging into The Group WebSystem, please let me know. Are you and your staff all subscribed to our eLists such as GroupEs, Retail-Grower, Retail-Landscape, Owners-Only, and a number of others such as Tropicals? Need help subscribing? Let me know so I can show you how you can sign up.
Thanks for sharing!

Danny Summers
[email protected]
Tel: 678-909-7770
Cell: 678-761-7145

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Tim Quebedeaux, Steve Bailey, Sid Raisch, John Kennedy, Jean Seawright, and of course Danny Summers are included in your retainer!



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