CISA Winter Workshop Series: Branding & Communication Strategies

Posted on January 2, 2015 // view all Workshops

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), our colleagues in the Pioneer Valley, are holding a seven-workshop series on Branding & Communication Strategies from January-March 2015. This series will provide farmers and business owners with effective communication strategies and one-on-one support to implement and improve direct marketing communications. Although examples in the workshop will be farm related, the skills and methodology will be relevant to all businesses. Participation in the whole series is encouraged, and to be eligible for free one-on-one support, you must attend a minimum of four workshops. Dinner will be served at each session. The cost to attend the series is $80 for CISA’s Local Hero members, or $15 each for individual workshops. The non-member fee is $100 for the series, or $18 each for individual workshops. Register online at buylocalfood.org or contact Devon Whitney-Deal at devon@buylocalfood.org or (413) 665-7100 ext. 22 .

Branding & Communication Strategies Workshops

Introduction to Brand Communications

January 28, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Avenue, Kittredge Center: Room 303

Come learn the concept of marketing and branding agricultural businesses and talk about the importance of developing and embodying a brand that works for the farm. In this session Rachael Colacino from Colacino Communications will introduce and help you develop or edit your farm “story” – an important backbone piece that is used when speaking to the public directly or via point of purchase materials, websites, press releases, etc. Michael Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick Family Farm, and Caroline Pam of The Kitchen Garden, will share their farm story and branding best practices with you.

 

Media Communications: Creating a Press Release & Farm Story

February 4, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Avenue, Kittredge Center: Room 303

As a farmer it is important to learn the value of developing relationships with the media and Rachael Colacino from Colacino Communications will walk you through press release development and ‘pitching.’ She will use some of this time to critique sample press releases and to develop farm ‘boiler plates’ to add to the end of each press release. You will also work toward creating a first draft of a press release for your farm/business and be provided with a media contact list to get you started.

 

Writing for Electronic Communications

February 12, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Avenue, Kittredge Center: Room 303

Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail newsletters are more and more popular and are becoming critical tools in direct marketing. Liz Provo from Mass Marketing Resources will review when to use different forms of electronic social media, guidelines for writing for each, and help you think through the cost/benefits of each medium. She will also give you an opportunity to hone your “voice” through sample writing.

 

Print Design and Critique

February 18, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Avenue, Kittredge Center: Room 303

This workshop will cover the basics of effective print communications such as Point of Purchase (POP), labels, brochures, advertising, etc. Devon Whitney-Deal from CISA, will review what information needs to be included on each piece and help you understand how the public responds to print pieces. This workshop is designed to help you develop your own print pieces, or enter into an informed conversation with a print designer. We will allow time for small group critiques of print pieces brought in by participants.

 

Website Design and Development

March 4, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Avenue, Kittredge Center: Room 303

This workshop will cover the basics of effective electronic communications, such as websites, blogs, social media, email newsletters, SEO, video, mobile, etc. Carey Baker, from Midnightson Designs, will review what information needs to be included in these communication tools and help you understand how the public typically interacts with electronic media. This workshop is designed to help you develop your own website or enter into an informed conversation with a web designer. We will allow time for small group critiques of participant materials/websites.

 

Place of Sale Design/Merchandising

March 12, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Avenue, Kittredge Center: Room 303

This session will introduce you to techniques that maximize sales once you get someone to your place of sale. Michael McCusker will review effective display options, store flow, and other aspects of point of sale design. He will review examples of good and bad designs through a power point presentation with lots of slides of marketing set ups. This is a great way to evaluate and improve your current market booth space, store layout, or farm stand.

 

Branding Communications Curbside 1×1 Final Session
March 25, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Avenue, Kittredge Center: Room 303

Final session for those participants who enrolled in the whole series. This session will allow participants to sign up for additional limited one-on-one support to begin to implement a marketing plan. Presenters will be available to meet with attendees through a “sidewalk” café type setting where presenters each have their own table and attendees rotate through presenters to ask specific questions, follow up or get feedback on aspects of their own marketing plan.

 

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