Communication Strategy

How to Tell the Natural Grass Story

Public Relations and Social Media Program Managed by Buffalo.Agency

Prepared by Buffalo.Agency

If you have an interesting story to tell, please feel free to email Tomás Silvani tsilvani@buffalo.agency

Summary: Beginning in November 2013, Buffalo developed a multiplatform communications strategy to generate ground-up organizational awareness. The goal has been to position SFMA as the global leader in advancing the sports turf management profession through education, awareness programs and industry development.

Public Relations

Through a turnkey robust public relations program, promoting members in non-endemic and endemic media outlets across North America and beyond has resulted in remaining “in the news.” Conducting in-person and phone interview with SFMA members continually revealed story ideas from professional, collegiate, K-12, youth, parks and recreation, academic and commercial segments.

Program tactics include: 

  • Developing a calendar to leverage major sports events throughout the year by pitching the sports turf manager’s involvement in management and preparation of the playing surfaces.
  • Packaging relevant story themes and pitching them via phone, e-mail and in-person to journalists working in the print, digital and broadcast media.
  • Crafting news releases on a variety of topics and distributing them to national, regional and local media outlets covering news, sports, business, lifestyle, environmental and other topics.

Buffalo.Agency has generated 18 billion unique public relations impressions, secured more than 839 publicity hits in an expansive list of representative publications.

Media placements in print, digital and broadcast outlets, include Bleacher ReportBoston GlobeCBS, Chicago TribuneDenver PostDetroit Free PressESPN, FanSided.com, FOX News, Forbes, Indianapolis StarMinneapolis Star Tribune, MLB Network, NBC Sports, NPRSports IllustratedThe Globe & MailThe Los Angeles TimesThe Players Tribune, Univision, USA TodayWashington Post, Yahoo!, and others.

Social Media

Internally, comprehensive social media community management allows the organization to engage daily with members, sports turf enthusiasts and avid sports fans around the world. It has also served as a value networking and educational tool, while extending the lifecycle of Buffalo’s publicity. The community has significantly grown across all @FieldExperts social media accounts. These include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn (Company), LinkedIn (Group) and Twitter.

A variety of strategic tactics and weekly themes include:

  • A wide-range of user-generated content, which includes the Mowing Patterns Contest and Stars and Stripes award.
  • Highlighting members and discussing player and field safety through hashtags that include #DayInTheLife, #MemberOfTheWeek, #TurfTips, #StadiumOfTheWeek and #GameOfTheWeek.
  • Promotion of career growth opportunity, online resources, certification availabilities and Annual Conference updates.
  • Dissemination of industry news, human-interest stories and regular engagement with fans.

Buffalo.Agency has generated upwards of 5 million unique impressions across all channels and grown the online community by more than 1,175%.

The team has received support from teams that include the Albuquerque Isotopes, Baltimore Orioles, Charlotte Knights, Columbus Crew SC, DC United, FC Dallas, Georgia Tech, Greenville Drivel, Green Bay Packers, New York Red Bulls, San Diego Padres and the Springfield Cardinals, to name a few.

SFMA Natural Grass Task Group:

SFMA has created a task group to focus on promoting the benefits and possibilities of natural grass for use on athletic fields. The task group is identifying the information and education needed to promote the viability of natural grass fields. It is also defining the decision-makers to target with this information and is collaborating with other organizations to advance this message.