The Charleston Parks Conservancy is dedicated to opening doors to individuals and communities in Charleston, South Carolina who wish to “get engaged with their parks and greenspace in a variety of positive ways.” They accomplish this by partnering with the city and various organizations and communities who work, play and live around the parks. The Conservancy is a network of advocates who support the parks. By utilizing social media and more traditional communication approaches, they maximize their exposure to citizens while fulfilling their mission. The purpose of all efforts, both offline and online, is to engage individuals, groups, and communities in the parks. A variety of opportunities are available to citizens and groups including: community garden work, concerts, after school educational programs, a variety of garden classes, beautification, and much more. Social media is utilized as a tool to engage the citizens of Charleston by communicating upcoming events, promoting fundraising efforts, and providing educational information that supports conservation and environmental awareness.
The marketing campaign includes the use of Facebook, YouTube, Flicker, and Foursquare. Conservancy volunteers post blogs on various park activities and the official website is easy to navigate and visually pleasing. While it is difficult to find fault with the campaign, there is one area that is lacking. The Charleston Parks Conservancy does not seem to provide information or links to engage children and teens. Since this age demographic is more inclined to utilize the various components of social media, it is incumbent on the Conservancy to engage them in this way. By doing so, the Charleston Parks Conservancy can cultivate healthy relations with its youngest citizens and create relationships that will lead to a more engaged citizenry in the years to come.
While I have never visited the city of Charleston, I hope to visit in the near. When I do, I will be sure to visit as many parks as possible and will utilize the website to gain information on upcoming events. The Conservancy should be proud of their efforts and congratulated on the progressive manner in which they are engaging the public.