37 Parks & Recreation Goals to Keep in Mind

No matter what field you are in, sometimes your job simply gets in the way of your job. All of the day-to-day tasks or paperwork can blind you from your ultimate goals or mission. It’s the same at a parks and recreation agency. Managing programs, parks, facilities, memberships, child care programs and a lot more takes a ton of time and effort. We work with hundreds of P&R organizations who deal with this balance every day – managing the day-to-day while keeping the mission in mind.

Today is a refresher. For this post, we’ve compiled 37 real goals from tons of parks and recreation agencies across North America (some may sound very familiar). Take a look, incorporate some at your organization, and most of all, make sure you’re not letting your job…get in the way of your job:  Continue reading

Top 70 YMCA Twitter Accounts to Follow (and Imitate)

However you feel about the little Twitter bird, it’s not going away any time soon. Hundreds of millions of users access it everyday for information, and a lot of them could be your members and potential members. They look for news and information that fits their life, and what your YMCA offers should be a part of that mix.

Whether your YMCA has a Twitter account or you’re looking to create one soon, all Y marketers need a few role models. The following 70 North American YMCA accounts are the best and biggest on Twitter. They use Twitter to connect with members, answer questions, make announcements, discuss fitness and health, release registration dates and more. Consider following these accounts to get ideas for your own Twitter strategy. (The list was compiled based on number of followers, content provided, number of tweets, interactions with followers, recent activity and overall use of Twitter to connect with customers. From there, the list was ordered from most followers to least followers.)  Continue reading

We’re Giving Away $500 at General Assembly for YMCAs

General Assembly for YMCAs is just two weeks away! Are you heading out to Philly for the exhibition? A few of us from ACTIVE Network will be there and we’re excited for the networking, sessions, tradeshow, socializing, and more. We’re also giving away $500 to one lucky YMCA through a random drawing at booth #834. Be sure to stop by, look for the sign you see to the left, and enter your YMCA into the drawing!

We’ve done this $500 giveaway at each of the last two NAYDO Conferences and are proud to share with you how the donation money was spent. Here’s how the last two YMCA winners used to donation:  Continue reading

Canton Commits to Community Wellness with ’100 Days to Health’ (GUEST POST)

31052956This is a guest post from Jessica Levine, Marketing Coordinator at Canton Leisure Services in Canton, Michigan.
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The figures are staggering: More than one-third of American adults and children are obese,  resulting in conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Canton Leisure Services (CLS), ACTIVE Network customer and winner of the National Recreation and Park Association Gold Medal Award, is helping to relieve this epidemic on a local level through its four-month ’100 Days to Health’ program.

Supported by a strong partnership with Southeast Michigan’s Oakwood Healthcare System, 100 Days annually begins in January and wraps up in late April at the popular Summit on the Park community center located in Canton, Michigan.  Continue reading

How Apple and Starbucks Can Improve Your Customer Experience

Tim SandersA few weeks ago, hundreds of customers came down to San Diego for ACTIVE World, our customer conference. One of the keynote speakers, Tim Sanders, is the CEO of Net Minds and founder of research firm, Deeper Media Incorporated. Tim is also the author of four books and works to improve the intersection between technology and people.

Tim talked about creating an experience around your product or service and used two stories:

1. Less stuff, fewer steps – Steve Jobs  Continue reading

Why You Need The City of Calgary Recreation’s Thank You Page

When a customer registers for a program or books a facility online, what happens? Do you thank them? Do you recommend other similar programs or point them to your Facebook page? Don’t squander this opportunity to turn a new customer into a loyal one.

We covered this idea a few months ago in this article: 3 Critical Web Pages You Are NeglectingOne of the three we covered was the thank you page. To summarize, each web interaction with a customer is a great opportunity for your P&R agency to take the next step. On the thank you page, can you turn that customer into a Facebook fan? Can you point that customer to other similar programs (upsell)? Designing goal-oriented thank you pages should be a part of your marketing strategy.  Continue reading

Top 5 Things You Can Pickpocket from e-Retailers

As a recreation professional, you may be wondering, “What does my website have to do with Amazon and eBay?” Although you probably won’t be selling billions of dollars online, you share the same strategy. Whereas Staples.com wants a website visitor to buy a printer or reserve paper for in-store pickup, you want customers to sign up for a Yoga class, buy a membership to the gym, or book the indoor soccer field for a birthday party.

Since four of the biggest e-retailers have this process down to a science, it’s time for you to steal some ideas. Check out these five website strategies you can implement today:  Continue reading

Manhattan Beach Parks & Rec Switches to Web-Based Software

Manhattan Beach is a coastal city in Southern California with about 35,000 citizens. The Parks and Recreation department recently switched from a client-based solution (Class®) to a web-based software system (ActiveNet™). Here are some details about the department:

  • 12 full-time employees (plus part-time employees)
  • 3 community centers
  • 200 – 600 activities per season
  • Swimming, fitness, cultural arts, sports leagues, special events and more run through the P&R department     Continue reading

6 Great Community Organization Websites You Can Learn From

Source: nichewebsites.com

A website should be the centerpiece of your marketing communications. For all you hear about social media or the amount of money you spend on print materials, all marketing roads lead to your website. For that reason, it’s important that your website is attractive, well-written, easy to use, and can tie directly to how you make money. Depending on what kind of community organization you have, your website should be able to process registrations, sell merchandise, collect donations, take volunteer applications or all four.

Here are six great community organization websites (in no particular order) for you to check out and learn from:   Continue reading

How to Manage Your P&R Agency Better, Faster, and Easier

parks and rec softwareBuilding a healthier community is the ultimate goal for a parks and recreation agency. But in the past few years, budget and staff cuts have made it harder to focus on that goal given the time spent on day-to-day rec management. However, technology can help parks and recreation agencies manage processes better, faster, and easier:     Continue reading