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Candlebark is a community nursery situated in Mooroolbark that sells local indigenous plants across Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

As a community organisation, Candlebark is supported by volunteers, including a voluntary committee of management.  This afternoon I was invited to the Candelbark Nursery AGM to discuss marketing and social media.

Unfortunately there was a power outage earlier in the day, meaning I was unable to provide live demonstrations of social media tools.  As a result I re-framed the discussions to deliver a marketing workshop, providing opportunity to discuss the aims of Candlebark and its key stakeholders.

As a community nursery, Candlebark seeks to achieve a number of aims, including community education on the importance of locally indigenous plants, encouraging sales and recruiting volunteers.

We worked through the key messages that should be developed by Candlebark, including the importance of educating the community on the importance of locally indigenous plants to protect biodiversity and to support local flora and fauna.

The focus on indigenous plants and the role of the nursery in strengthening the local environment is unique to Candlebark and distinguishes the nursery from its competitors. This key message should frame Candlebark’s discussions with prospective customers and in seeking volunteers who wish to provide a positive impact on the environment.

Social media can assist in reinforcing this message and promoting the nursery through networks.  In addition, social media can assist in conveying volunteer stories to reinforce the importance of volunteering for the organisation.

It is important however to use a combination of marketing tools to support these key messages.  For example websites, brochures and content at information stalls should reinforce this message as it differentiates Candlebark from its competitors.

Candlebark Nursery is supported by a strong team of volunteers who are passionate about the environment.  Reinforcing the key messages and strengthening its points of difference will assist in reaching further volunteers and raising the profile of the organisation.

Today’s presentation highlighted the importance of being able to improvise, due to the power outages  Fortunately a whiteboard was available and participants readily volunteered their thoughts on marketing Candlebark Nursery.

 

Alex Makin

Author Alex Makin

In a career spanning over fifteen years, Alex has been instrumental in transforming, reinvigorating and growing the capacity of businesses and not-for-profit organisations. He is a visionary who understands the big picture. Alex's expertise is a Certified Practising Marketer and as Chair of the Victorian State Council of the Australian Marketing Institute. Alex is also an accomplished speaker, author and mentor and former Mayor and Councillor for the City of Maroondah.

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