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Differentiating Yourself In The Marketplace: Using the ASCA Brand _____________ Chuck Fitzgibbon, APR Weber Shandwick Worldwide. What Is Your Brand?.

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Differentiating YourselfIn The Marketplace:Using the ASCA Brand_____________Chuck Fitzgibbon, APRWeber Shandwick Worldwide

What Is Your Brand?

  • A set of assets (and liabilities) that are linked to your company’s name that add to (or detract from) the value provided by your service to clients.
  • Should not be confused with "identity" or "image."
    • Identity refers to an organization's name, logo, slogan,

even colors (IBM blue)

    • Image is the public's perception of the organization –

for good or ill (The Body Shop as a protector of animal rights)

  • Brand equityis more than just name awareness. It is the result of building brand loyalty, perceived brand quality and positive brand associations.  

What Does A Brand Do?

  • Embodies the true character and purpose of the company.
  • Creates . . .
    • an auraof trust
    • an appreciationof uniqueness
    • a preference for purchase
    • an affirmation of the user’s good judgment
    • a set of expectations among customers, stakeholders, employees, influentials and the media

ASCA Brand Map


at a Crossroad

Brand Mapping Project for

American Society of Consulting Arborists


ASCA Brand Promise

The American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) is a resource for the tree industry’s leading authorities who provide expertise in hazard assessment, appraisal, planning, damage mitigation and restoration of tree and plant life for the enhancement of the community.


ASCA Brand Personality

  • Top quality; “best of the best”
  • Professional
  • Qualified to take on the biggest challenges
  • Leading the industry
  • Cutting edge; progressive and adaptable
  • A good value
  • Useful; serves a real need or purpose
  • Low profile and understated, but seeking more visible status

ASCA Branding

  • Branding Materials
    • New ASCA logo
    • Key brand messages
    • Interview talking points

ASCA Branding

  • Web Site – Developed a new ASCA web site containing sections for general information, media resources and member resources. Web project also included search engine optimization, to ensure that the ASCA site would place high on various web search engines. Specific resources include:
    • Description of a consulting arborist
    • When you use a consulting arborist
    • Industry examples of consultants at work
    • Glossary of arboricultural terms
    • Standards for using the ASCA logo

ASCA Branding

  • Media Materials – Developed and produced an ASCA media kit containing the following:
    • Board leadership bios
    • ASCA overview
    • Arboriculture glossary
    • Arboricultural industry overview
    • ASCA industry examples – “ASCA members at work”
    • ASCA logo graphic
  • Tips for Using Media Materials – Developed tips for ASCA members in utilizing media materials for their own local marketing efforts.

ASCA Branding

  • Byline Article Campaign – Developed five articles under the byline of ASCA members. Articles have appeared, or are anticipated to appear, in the following publications:
    • Arborist News
    • City and Town
    • National Underwriter
    • Tree Care Industry
    • Claims
    • Lawyer’s Weekly USA
    • Construction
    • Public Management
    • American Gardener
    • Arbor Day Foundation newsletter

Media Targets


Green Industry News

ANLA Today

Landscape Architecture

Landscape Mgt.

PGMS Forum


Arborist News

Arbor Age

City Trees

Tree Care Industry

Tree Farmer

The American Gardener

Arbor Day Foundation

Land Development


Area Development


Landscape Contractor

Land and Water

Urban Land

Enviro. Health & Safety

Enviro. Protection

Real Estate

RE Magazine

Commercial Investment RE

National RE Investor


Real Estate Forum

Property Management

Journal of Property Mgt.

Business & Industrial Properties


Public Utilities Fortnightly

Energy Decisions

World Energy

Electric Perspectives

Electric Light & Power

Energy Managers

Energy Markets

Energy user News

Platts Energy Bus & Tech

Public Power


Law Reporter


Litigation News

ABA Probate & Property

ABA Trends


Lawyer’s Weekly USA


National Underwriter P&C

Property/Casualty Ins.


Municipal Planning

Nation’s Cities Weekly

City & Town

Municipal World


Public Management

American City & County

Enviro. and Climate News

Urban Land



Story Topic Bank

“An Ounce of Planning is Worth a Pound of

Damage Control”

“Who Stole My View?”

“Preserving Trees is an Art and a Science”

“If A Tree Falls During Construction . . .”

“Expert Tree Appraisal Saves Dollars and Makes Sense.”


ASCA Branding

  • ASCA Newsletter – ASCA marketing newsletter for customization and distribution by members in their own branding and promotions with targeted prospect audiences.

Why Be An ASCA Brand Ambassador?

  • Mutual Benefit – You build the ASCA brand as you build your own brand in the marketplace
  • Whole is Greater Than The Parts – When you use the ASCA brand to support your own brand, you gain a net benefit that is greater than the sum of your own branding efforts, and ASCA’s own branding efforts.

Why Be An ASCA Brand Ambassador?

  • Added Credibility – As the ASCA brand continues to grow and gain additional credibility with key audiences, you can borrow on that credibility and make it your own.
  • Professional Branding Tools – ASCA’s branding program is creating a variety of useful, professional tools that can assist you in your own local branding efforts, while building a consistency for our industry segment across the country.


  • Logo may be used by all members
  • provided that the ad, business card,
  • letterhead is personal and doesn't
  • include other non-members
  • Cannot be used with a company name
  • that implies having employees or
  • associates


Name of Business




Name of Consultant, RCA

Member, American Society

of Consulting Arborists




  • Letterhead
  • Business cards
  • Pamphlets/brochures
  • Press kits
  • Signage
  • Web site
  • Apparel
  • Trade show booth
  • Speaker handouts
  • Direct mail
  • Yellow pages listing
  • Print advertising

The Media Challenge

Effective media relations requires building

good relationships with those who write and produce

the news. The more you are viewed by them as an

effective, useful and authoritative resource, the

greater your chances of getting good coverage!


Media Opportunities

  • One-on-one informational interviews
  • Feature pitches
  • On-going press releases

(personnel, programs, awards, etc.)

  • Letters to the editor
  • Op-ed articles
  • Trend stories

Media Opportunities

  • Press conferences
  • Media roundtables
  • Deskside reporter briefings
  • Mini-media events / photo opportunities
  • Talk show appearances
  • Trade shows / special events

The Media’s Job

  • Decide what’s news, and what’s not
  • Decide what to cover, or not to cover
  • Decide which angle to pursue
  • Decide which information sources to use
  • Decide whether or not to use your source, or your information
  • Decide how and when to run the story -- if they decide to run the story at all

Your Job

  • Provide necessary background to prepare reporters
  • Communicate your messages clearly, concisely, and


  • Correct misperceptions
  • View each interview as an opportunity
  • Influence the outcome of the interview
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare

Things to Know About The Media

  • Editors, news directors, producers, and assignment

editors are the primary decision makers, not


  • Most journalists are competent professionals,

interested in presenting fair, accurate reports

  • They want to tell compelling stories
  • They may have a very limited knowledge of your subject area

“News Checks”

  • Is it local?
  • Does it relate to the news of the day?
  • Does it impact a lot of people?
  • Is it a conflict?
  • Is it human interest?
  • Does it involve someone prominent?
  • Is it outside the norm?
  • Is it timely and current?
  • Is there a visual appeal?

What To Know About Reporters

  • They generally aren’t for you, or against you
  • They distrust blatant promotion
  • Their editors wield the greatest power over the story
  • They accept nothing at face value
  • They are generalists
  • They need it concisely, factual and fast
  • They don’t care if you’re an advertiser

What To Know About Reporters

  • Their errors are caused mostly by sloppiness,

not malice

  • They depend on the accessibility and knowledge

of their sources

  • They have firm deadlines

Media Realities

  • What is news today, may not be tomorrow
  • Those outside your organization may not be as

interested as you are in your business or industry

  • When reporters dig for bad news, it gets more

attention than if you volunteer it

  • Those quoted in stories are the individuals who offer the best

“quotable quotes” and interesting insights – not necessarily the

most knowledgeable people on the subject

  • Those pictured with stories are the individuals in settings that provide the most visual appeal

Take Time To Develop Your Messages

  • Take from the ASCA Message Bank
  • Choose 1-4 main points
  • Summarize each point in 5-10 words
  • Support each point with 1 illustrator or example
  • De-jargon your messages
  • Shorten sentences
  • Test your messages on a 12-year-old

Key Message Bank

  • Preeminent Authority on Arboricultural Consulting. ASCA is the only professional or trade organization dedicated solely to the advancement of the arboricultural consulting industry and its members, and is the preeminent authority on the issues and practice of those who are consulting arborists.
  • Ultimate Achievement for Consulting Arborists. ASCA membership, and even further the designation of Registered Consulting Arborist earned through successful completion of ASCA Consulting Academy requirements, is the ultimate achievement for those whose careers are dedicated to the practice of arboriculture and who seek additional status and expertise as consultants in the industry.

Key Message Bank

  • ASCA Membership is a Good Value. No other professional or trade association in the arboricultural industry offers a better value for consulting arborists than ASCA, providing the best return on membership investment in the form of educational and professional development opportunities, conference offerings, opportunities for collaboration among fellow consultants, print and online resources, and the prestige and status that comes with the industry’s only true designation for those engaged in professional arboricultural consulting.

Key Message Bank

  • Building Skills and Expertise for Arboricultural Consultants. ASCA offers a variety of opportunities and resources for its members to build and hone their skills and enhance their expertise in ethics, reporting, oral communications, negotiation, dispute resolution and forensics. In addition to the ASCA Consulting Academy, the association offers conferences and workshops, as well as opportunities for collaboration among its professional members.

Key Message Bank

  • Consulting Arborists are the Highest Authority. There is no higher authority – nor a more objective voice – in the arboricultural profession than a Registered Consulting Arborist on matters involving the legal, environmental and aesthetic considerations of trees and plants. Those who earn the RCA designation are the authorities of choice for expert testimony, damage assessment and appraisal, municipal and commercial landscape planning and development, tree preservation, hazard assessment, and other situations requiring expert knowledge and experience in the arboricultural industry. Businesses, government agencies, organizations and individuals engaging a consulting arborist can have confidence that their consultant adheres to the highest standards of professional practice.

Key Message Bank

  • Enhancing the Community, Protecting the Environment. ASCA members are dedicated to the enhancement of the community and the protection of the environment through their work as authoritative consultants on matters related to tree and plant life – ensuring through their expertise and objectivity the safety, preservation, functionality and beauty of our natural surroundings.

Key Message Bank

  • Welcoming to All Who Are Qualified. ASCA welcomes as members all experienced professional arborists who meet the association’s eligibility requirements, including five or more years of industry experience, and either a four-year degree in arboriculture or related field, or 240 or more approved continuing education units (CEUs) earned for degrees, course work and industry conference attendance. Membership eligibility is determined through an independent, objective review of these qualifications.

Key Message Bank

  • Wealth of Resources for Members. ASCA members enjoy a wide range of resources and benefits, including informative and collaborative conferences and workshops, online educational programs, a member listserve, a website referral section, a quarterly newsletter, and special discounts on industry publications and conferences. Overwhelmingly, however, ASCA members consider the opportunity to be part of a professional arboricultural consulting network, as well as the prestige of having a consultant designation in the industry, to be the greatest benefits of ASCA membership.

What’s In Your ASCA Media Kit?

  • Overview of ASCA, including a description of the organization, industries served by its members, and the value of using consulting arborists.
  • Overview of the Arboricultural Industry, including a description of the consultant’s role.
  • Industry Examples illustrating the types of projects undertaken by consulting arborists.
  • Glossary of Terms commonly used in the arboricultural industry.
  • Talking Points for ASCA members to use in discussing ASCA and the role of consulting arborists.
  • Biographical Briefs on individuals serving on ASCA’s Board of Directors.

How Can You Best Use Your Kit?

  • Brief your local reporters
    • Environmental, real estate and land planning stories.
    • Forward the kit with memo stating your interest in serving as a resource for future stories about the industry or arboricultural issues in general
    • Establish a working relationship with a reporter that will increase the chances of your being included in a future story.
  • Pitch a feature idea to a local reporter
    • Choose topic that is substantive and of interest to readers/viewers/listeners.
    • Present story idea in concise, factual and objective language
    • If they reject your idea, don’t badger
    • Use the media kit can serve as background information.

How Can You Best Use Your Kit?

  • Look for opportunities to use today’s media stories as a springboard for getting coverage for consulting arborists and you, specifically.
    • Print and TV news stories about power outages due to untrimmed trees
    • Legal cases arising from tree view disputes
    • Disaster recovery following hurricanes or storms
    • Controversy over local land development
    • Occasional letter to the editor
    • Guest editorial for the community or local business publication

How Can You Best Use Your Kit?

  • Get “Rolodexed” -- send note to TV assignment editor to provide your perspective on the topic and offer yourself as an industry expert for future stories
  • Offer yourself as an expert guest to the producer of a local community service talk show
  • Use facts and language from the media kit in drafting your correspondence, articles and letters.

How Can You Best Use Your Kit?

  • Use the kit in preparing presentations to local industry, trade or community groups
    • Weave into your talk the data and information contained in the kit for a more factual and compelling presentation
  • Beef up your media releases and articles with facts from the media kit, increasing the chances that your news will be noticed and used by reporters, and the articles you submit for newsletters and trade publications will get published.

Seek Speaking Opportunities

  • Develop your own topic bank
  • Send letter to local trade and community groups
  • Follow up with phone call to secure a spot on the agenda
  • Utilize ASCA web materials and other ASCA resources to

create dynamic presentations

  • Turn your presentation into an article for group’s newsletter
  • Turn article into a resource on your own web site

Other Thought Leader Opportunities

  • Letter to prospects following this conference – wisdom learned, issues on the horizon, new developments in the industry, etc.
  • Seasonal “tips” series to prospects, local reporters, homeowner

and trade assn. newsletter editors, etc.

  • Letter to editor on current issue or controversy
  • Op-ed article for local newspaper
  • Monitor and participate in online discussions related to industry
  • Send out your own newsletter to clients, prospects, reporter

contacts, business/trade/community groupleaders


Crusade For A Cause

  • Disaster mitigation
  • Community beautification with a higher purpose
  • Community/neighborhood planning projects
  • Tree trimming programs
  • Arboriculture education / scholarship program
  • Tree preservation projects
  • Land development controversies
  • Sponsor an environmental cause
  • Give away some consulting for a charitable auction
  • Read the papers – look for problems you have the unique ability to solve