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Making Parks and Recreation More Relevant for your Community

No matter how thorough your parks and recreation program offerings may be, your organization can always benefit from taking a step back and reassessing whether a refresh is required.


Due to the constant stream of health and wellness trends, it can be hard to keep up with your members’ latest interests. However, staying relevant is crucial for a parks and rec organization, as high or low usage of your programs can make or break the entire organization.


There are several avenues your organization can explore that will help you become more relevant for your community. Not only do you hope to see more participation in your programs, but these actions may also garner a greater interest in health and wellness throughout your community.



Train Your Staff to Suit Your Demographic


Keeping your demographic in mind is important to running a successful, effective parks and recreation department. In addition to providing programs catered to your demographic, it’s also important to have your staff properly trained, so that they can better connect with the community. Perhaps you have an older staff member who could benefit from training on how to communicate effectively with your millennial demographic, or a younger staff member who needs to understand how to better serve an aging community. Be sure that your team is adequately equipped with the appropriate skills, language, and knowledge to suit your demographic.



Consider Changing Your Messaging


Social media has become an influential piece of almost any successful organization. It gives organizations the opportunity to reach a large audience with persuasive messaging, which can translate to more new community members signing up for parks and rec programs. A successful marketing campaign can even justify allocating more resources to your department, such as increased state and federal funding, if your organization has higher usage as a result.


With the internet’s ever-changing trends, it’s important to ensure that your content is also fresh and engaging, so that your parks and rec department can attract new members. Video content, for example, has seen a vast increase in popularity across social media channels in recent years. Seeking out the competition and comparing your own messaging with that of other organizations – to see what works and what doesn’t – is a great first step.



Adopt New Programs


While there are staples within your parks and recreation programming that you should always offer your community, it’s necessary to consistently add new classes and events.  Do a bit of research on popular physical activities in your area to get you started, then determine whether those activities would be a good fit with your existing programs. Whether it’s martial arts classes, hiring a new spin instructor, or starting community garden projects, parks and rec organizations are continually enriched through the introduction of new fitness and wellness opportunities for their communities.



Alter or Add to Old Programs


Breathing new life into existing programs can also benefit your community’s parks and recreation experience. This can include adding perks such as a discounted buddy pass or trial pass, adding technology like virtual reality and motion sensor games, and adding running groups for those with long-distance running goals.


A community ambassador initiative can shine a new spotlight on an existing program. These mutually beneficial agreements are often held between an organization or brand and an individual, and help create increased exposure through that individual’s influence on social media channels. Through your chosen influencers, you may see an increase in usage. Learn more about how to utilize influencers here.


Parks and recreation organizations should strive to stay at the forefront of health and fitness trends, while staying true to your community’s interests. As your organization evolves with invigorating program offerings, let PerfectMind’s cloud-based parks and recreation software help you better connect with your community. Experience our management software and request a demo here.


What else should a parks and rec organization do to become more relevant in its community? Let us know on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Google+, to stay up to date with all of your PerfectMind news.


PerfectMind is an industry-leading member management and facility booking software provider. Its robust Platform as a Service (PaaS) serves organizations of all sizes in parks & recreation, health & wellness, fitness, and education sectors. With over 5,000 customers in 21 countries, PerfectMind streamlines business processes so organizations can focus on supporting and growing their communities.

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