The week of February 18-22 is awash with all things red, white and blue, as it recognizes not only Presidents’ Day, but George Washington’s Birthday. As we celebrate, let’s not forget the profession Washington was a part of before becoming our nation’s president: surveying!
The week in which we celebrate great American presidents is also the week recognized by the National Society of Professional Surveyors as Surveyors Week, a week to educate the public and promote the profession. If you’re interested in promoting the profession but short on ideas, look to the NSPS website at www.acsm.net/nsps/publicityhandbook.pdf. There you’ll find the Surveyors Week Publicity Handbook, which suggests a variety of ways to promote the profession:
Start in Schools
Surveyors Week is a good opportunity to introduce elementary, junior high school and high school students to surveying. Surveyors can:
- demonstrations of new surveying technologies and historical surveying instruments. Let students know how they work and how you use them in your job. Bringing something students can handle is also helpful.
- Order the NSPS Trig-Star program, which offers a ready-made activity in a kit than can be ordered from the NSPS office. The kit is designed to help surveyors promote a trigonometry competition at local high schools.
- Present scholarships to students during Surveyors Week and invite the press.
- Offer tours of surveying firms, or offer students the opportunity to become “Surveyor for a Day.”
Look for opportunities to speak to important groups in your community. According to the handbook, one method is to set up a speakers bureau consisting of members in your professional surveyors society.
- Contact local chambers of commerce or boards of trade to help find organizations seeking speakers.
- Develop your own list of potential speaking opportunities in your community. You’ll also want to develop a list of topics suitable for each speaking engagement.
Get Government Involved
To get involvement from local governments, the handbook suggests that local surveying society executive directors or Surveyors Week chairs organize efforts to obtain proclamations from mayors or governors recognizing Surveyors Week. Scheduling a ceremony for the signing of the proclamation can offer a good photo opportunity for news outlets.
Become a Newsmaker
However you choose to promote and celebrate Surveyors Week, be sure to alert the media. It is important to begin to work with media professionals as early as possible and provide them with press releases and chronological lists of events.
- Do research to determine the media contacts most likely to cover your event.
- Learn the deadlines of media outlets you have chosen and how the timing of your event is likely to fit into those deadlines. This will also improve your chances for coverage.
- When planning an event, make sure it is important to the community or has some community involvement beyond the surveying profession. (For good examples, see the schools section.)
- Send media advisories for each event about four days in advance of the event. Limit the written copy to one typed, double-spaced page. Follow up by getting in touch with the media contact you sent the release to a day or so before the event.
For more tips on news releases, when to hold news conferences, and methods of tailoring your message for print, radio and television media, take a look at the handbook at www.acsm.net/nsps/publicityhandbook.pdf.
Have fun, and be sure to tell POB how Surveyors Week was successful for you! Send an account of your activities to firstname.lastname@example.org.