Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the nursery marketing levy into a range of activities to drive awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Nursery Fund.
Read on for a snapshot of how the nursery marketing program will adapt to the new consumer and retail landscape created by COVID-19.
The Hort Innovation Nursery Fund marketing program is centred around two programs:
- Plant Life Balance, a consumer and retailer program which encourages Australians to live a life filled with green. Key activities include the Plant Life Balance app, social media, e-newsletters, website, consumer events, media releases and a retailer education program.
- Greener Spaces Better Places, a national initiative that brings together together academia, business, government, community groups and the green industry to share knowledge and find new ways to work together to make sure that as cities and towns grow, so too do green spaces.
These programs have continued largely as planned with additional activity developed in direct response to COVID-19. Furthermore, all content has been adjusted to reflect the current social and economic situation impacting consumer, business and government, with a four step plan developed for industry to ensure strong demand for green life and green spaces during and also post COVID-19. This plan includes:
- Promoting positive media stories that support green spaces staying open for the physical and mental wellbeing of communities
- Encouraging consumers to buy nursery products to green their home and provide education on plant care to support long term demand
- Supporting retail nurseries by providing advice around how to operate within social distancing guidelines as well as online marketing options and click & collect solutions
- Maintaining government demand for green life by understanding how leading councils are seeking to maintain their urban greening programs.
Plant Life Balance has garnered fantastic media coverage in the past few weeks with content on how to take full advantage of the health and well-being benefits of gardening during the current climate. This has included being featured in nine media outlets including the Australian Financial Review and ABC Radio, as well as lifestyle outlets such as Pedestrian TV and Time Out Sydney. This provided the program the chance to highlight the Plant Life Balance app as well as point consumers to the list of PLB accredited nursery finders. This coverage drove over 6,400 visitors to the PLB website, where the PLB blog has been updated with relevant information.
Other media-related activities have included:
- Greener Spaces Better Places secured media engagement with a feature in international horticulture title, Floral Daily about urban greening. Several radio interview with green space advocates have also aired.
- An online piece featuring key findings from the Plant Life Balance Trend Report, that highlights the importance of having access to nature during the COVID-19 outbreak. The marketing program worked with the journalist to share the benefits of indoor plants, manage interviews with two Plant Life Balance ambassadors, Jason Chongue & Jana Stewart and include Plant Life Balance imagery. The online piece reached over 86,000 plant buying Australians, with the print piece due to go live this weekend in the Domain magazine found in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
- A feature in the Australian Financial Review, one of Australia’s most influential daily newspapers. The story will explore the benefits of bringing the outdoors in, in the times of Coronavirus with an interview with Dr. Dominique Hes, as a biophilia academic expert and Jason Chongue, Plant Life Balance ambassador, on how to style your space with all your new plants. This story has the potential to reach 2.5 million Australians through print and digital readership.
- The Green Hub: One of Australia’s top lifestyle hubs and eco directories for females dedicating their time and money towards a life of wellness. Next week the editor will publish a piece on indoor plants to purchase to bring solace to your isolation, whilst highlighting the mental wellbeing benefits through the Plant Life Balance simple science.
- A podcast featuring Plant Life Balance lead researcher, Dr. Dominique Hes, who will unpack the exciting world of music and plants. Coming off the back of the PLB Plantasia event series, Dr Hes will reach a millennial audience of up to 10,000 music and plant lovers.
Plant Life Balance Virtual Home Tours
To keep the PLB audience engaged with green-thumb creatives across the country, the usual home tour series has gone 100 per cent digital!
The first virtual home tour star is Melbourne-based prop designer and stylist, Kitiya Palaskas, who has been involved with PLB over the past year and previously presented at a panel event. Kitiya is a micro influencer with over 22,000 followers on Instagram – an excellent audience for the Hort Innovation Nursery Fund marketing program to tap into.
Kitiya will host two videos – the first a home tour style Q&A where followers will able to peak inside the plant-loving artists abode while learning more about her plant collection, her career and some of her favourite styling tips.
The second video will be a digital led workshop that showcases some of Kitiya’s craft and teaches the PLB audience how to make an adorable felt plant of their own - to add to their real plant collection.
The virtual home tour series will be held live on PLB’s Facebook, Instagram, and blog, with the opportunity to be promoted through Kitiya’s social channels and potentially through media.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Nursery Fund