Lessons Learned at TOCA 2019

The following articles contain valuable professional development tips and education, as presented at the 2019 TOCA annual meeting. Read on to learn more!

Leveraging Market Research

By Amy Jones

According to Kynetec market research specialists Liz Vickerman and Kim Meyer, there are two primary sources of data: secondary research developed by an outside company and research compiled by yourself using a variety of tools.

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Turning Analytics into Action

By Dawn Rigby, Xylem Marketing

Use analytics to set a bar and try to beat it. The metrics that you choose as important are your KPIs (key performance indicators).

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Ten Takeaways on Interviewing Skills

by Debbie Clayton

Mick Mixon, the play-by-play announcer for the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers, delivered a rousing session on interviewing techniques at the 2019 TOCA Annual Meeting. Saying he was “cheated” out of the genes needed for playing sports, he decided covering sports was the next-best thing. Mixon strongly suggests preparing for interviews by thoroughly grounding yourself in the subject matter. In addition, he recommends:

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Digging Deeper into Digital Tools

By Scott Covelli, EPIC Creative

As a follow-up to Ren LaForme’s crowd-pleaser presentation last year at the 2018 TOCA Annual meeting, the Poynter Institute digital specialist returned in 2019 with more tools and updates. The digital tools he highlighted are designed to help us avoid misinformation, tell better stories and make our overall lives easier. There’s even one that helps you drink more water.

Click here to see the list of tools

Branded Content and Native Advertising

by Jill Odom

Consumers aren’t fooled by branded content. They know when they’re looking at something sponsored. The key is to tell a story that is created for the audience and is real. Customers want transparency and they want to form a connection with the company.

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Read about lessons learned at past TOCA meetings by scrolling down.

Lessons Learned at TOCA 2018

The following articles contain valuable professional development tips and education, as presented at the 2018 TOCA annual meeting. Read on to learn more!

Roundtable Roundup

By Britney Riggs, Digital Marketing Specialist, Xylem Marketing

The TOCA roundtables were a great way for us all to share and learn best practices and tips from each other. Below is information from two roundtables:

  1. Measurement + Evaluation; and
  2. Productivity + Hacks to help make your job easier.

See the detailed information.


Lessons Learned at TOCA 2018

(Note:  Ren LaForme, from the Poynter Institute, gave a two-part presentation at the 2018 TOCA Annual Meeting. Scott Covelli recaps through his observations the first part –Digital Tools for Modern Storytelling — while Jill Odom summarizes the second part — Tools for Connecting with Audiences.) 

Filling Your Digital Toolbox: Poynter Keynote Presentation

By Scott Covelli, EPIC Creative

No tool is going to turn you into a good storyteller, but a unique digital tool can help take your story to the next level. However, Ren LaForme asked TOCA attendees, “Is there a better, more interesting way to tell this story?”

Pointers from Poynter – Engaging with Your Audience

By Jill Odom, Total Landscape Care

Ren LaForme, from the Poynter Institute, shared pointers on the digital tools for connecting with reader audiences, as well as presented information on improving modern storytelling and transitioned to his new topic by saying once you have shared the story, you need to engage with your audience.

Lessons Learned at TOCA 2018

Lessons in Content Marketing

By Dawn Rigby, Managing Director, Xylem Marketing

Lessons Learned at TOCA 2018

(Note: As a first time attendee to an annual TOCA meeting, we asked Courtney Mullen to give us her impressions of the Cincinnati meeting and the impact it had upon her. This is what she had to say.)

First Time Attendee

By Courtney Mullen, Xylem Marketing

2017 TOCA Professional Development at the TOCA Annual Meeting

Planning for the Worst — Communicating in a Crisis

Lisa Lochridge shares tips and information about preparing for a media crisis.  Now Director of Public Affairs for the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, she advises planning ahead for any event that could disrupt operations and/or damage the reputation or credibility of a company or publication.

Words on Writing from Roy Peter Clark

One of the highlights from the 2017 TOCA Annual Meeting was the writing workshop hosted by Dr. Roy Peter Clark, senior scholar emeritus, musician, author, editor, and Poynter Institute writing instructor since 1979.

Mitigating Stress to Pollinators

In recent years there has been a lot of discussion about the decline of the bee population worldwide. Dr. Frank Wong, the Bayer CropScience senior regulatory affairs consultant and the 2017 TOCA Environmental Communicator of the Year, shared his insights on “Pollinators, Pesticides and Public Perceptions.”

End-Users In Green Industry See Social Media as Powerful Communications Tool

The 2017 TOCA Annual Meeting held a panel discussion on how professionals in the green industry use social media and the verdict is clear: Innovative social media end-users find use of this communications tool a benefit for their business.

A Visit to the Social Media Country Club

Social media platforms and tools are evolving every day.  To help members stay ahead of the curve, Scott Covelli and Andy Parmann with EPIC Creative took TOCA to the Social Media Country Club during this year’s annual meeting. Attendees picked up their clubs (pencils) and walked through nine holes of trends, duffs and industry hole-in-ones.

Editor/PR Relationships in Green Industry

This year at the TOCA annual meeting, a PR/Editor panel discussion addressed industry trends and provided insight.  Here are some highlights.

Techniques for Excellent Writing

Stephen Wilbers, a writing consultant, columnist and award-winning author, shared his writing techniques and exercises to improve our writing skills.  Find out his five elements of effective writing, and easy three-step message and more.

Telling Your Story Through Infographics

Using the skills we learned at the 2016 TOCA annual meeting, member Dawn Rigby created an infographic illustrating the presentation by Jim Novak and Matt Strelecki.

What the BugDoc Said

This year’s TOCA Environmental Communicator of the Year, David J. Shetlar, Ph.D., the “BugDoc,” gave a great presentation focusing on urban biodiversity.