When municipal monies shrink, park and recreation departments look for new ways to develop their operations and budgets. Park and recreation professionals need to learn how to go after their market share so their departments can continue to expand and compete with other community services.
That’s where Creating Community: An Action Plan for Parks and Recreation comes in. You can use this text as a blueprint for achieving your vision for your park and recreation department by implementing the VIP (vision, insight, and planning) action plan as created by the California Park & Recreation Society. This text will help you
position your department to increase, rather than decrease, your budget;
implement a strategic plan with measurable outcomes; and
reposition your department as a key player in developing and supporting the community.
Creating Community presents 22 core competencies that will help park and recreation professionals (and those preparing to become professionals) perform better and work more effectively in a rapidly changing society. As such, this book serves as an all-in-one resource for working professionals and as vital preparation for pre-professionals.
The book shows you step by step how to implement a VIP (vision, insight, and planning) action plan, from vision to strategic planning to implementation and it provides the framework to develop a communications plan that works in all sectors and settings. It also provides 15 easy-to-use worksheets and forms to help you prepare, implement, and communicate your VIP plan to your community. This thoroughly tested VIP plan was the catalyst for a successful fiscal turnaround for park and recreation departments throughout California.
Part I describes the VIP action plan and identifies the 22 core competencies for the profession. It provides 8 strategies with detailed implementation lists that will help you start using the plan right away, and it presents all of the background information and tools you will need in order to create a plan specific to your community. You’ll also find practical tools, such as forms and checklists to use in planning and implementing your VIP project, real-world examples of how other agencies have put the plan to work, and tips on researching your local audience to develop appropriate programs. Part II focuses on the communication aspects of the plan, showing you how to make a case for your programs by communicating to policy makers, residents, and other decision makers in your community. It describes the 7 steps to creating a communications plan and gives examples of how effective plans work. You’ll learn how to write press releases, create media kits, plan a press conference, choose a spokesperson, and give interviews. You’ll also find information on using other media outlets, including op-eds and letters to the editor, radio and TV talk shows, PSAs, and the Internet.
Creating Community: An Action Plan for Parks and Recreation is a road map that current and future professionals can use to shape their careers and that departments can use to flourish. It provides a tested model that adapts well to any setting and that will help you increase department funding and secure jobs now and for the future.
Part I The VIP Action Plan
Chapter 1. What Is the VIP Action Plan?
Overview of the VIP Action Plan
VIP Action Plan as a Tool
Cornerstone Philosophies of the VIP Action Plan
VIP Project Objectives
Overall Benefits of the VIP Project
Who Can Use the VIP Action Plan
Chapter 2. Core Values, Vision, and Mission
Articulating Our Core Values
Stating Our Vision for the Future
Identifying Our Mission
Using the Values, Vision, and Mission
Recognizing the Importance of Values, Vision, and Mission
Chapter 3. Key Trends and Opportunities
Summary of VIP Trends Analysis
VIP Action Plan Trends Revisited
Implications for Park and Recreation Providers
Chapter 4. Core Competencies
Identifying Professional Competencies
Incorporating Competencies Into Employee Training and Management
Evaluating Employees Based on the Competencies
Taking on New Roles
Chapter 5. Strategies for Achieving the Vision
The Eight Strategies
Strategy Implementation Plans
Chapter 6. Action Steps and Performance Measures
Form an Action Team
Develop Action Steps
Choose Performance Measures and Select Goals
Part II Communications
Chapter 7. Researching the Audience
Research Highlights of Partner Survey
Research Highlights of Print Media Audit
Highlights of Public Opinion Research
Highlights of the Interviews
Theme and Variations of the Public Relations Plan
Chapter 8. Developing a Communications Plan
Following the Steps of the Plan
Putting the Communications Plan Together
Evaluating Results of the Plan
Chapter 9. Working With the Press
Is Your Story Newsworthy?
Who Are Your Spokespeople?
Creating a Media Database
Writing a News or Press Release
Writing a Media Advisory
Contacting the Media
Creating Media Kits
Setting Up a Press Conference or Media Event
Fielding Calls From Reporters
Chapter 10. Using Other Media Outlets
Op Eds and Letters to the Editor
Editorial Board Meetings
Radio and TV Public Affairs and Talk Shows
Public Service Announcements
Reference for park and recreation and other community professionals and for recreation and leisure professors. Supplemental text for community recreation, management, and issues courses.
Jane H. Adams, MS, is executive director of the California Park & Recreation Society (CPRS). Ms. Adams was heavily involved in seeing the VIP concept become a reality in CPRS. As a member of the VIP Steering Committee, she participated in creating the vision, values, and mission of the plan as well as in the training and education of CPRS members about the plan. In addition, she made more than 50 VIP plan presentations to CPRS, the National Recreation & Park Association (NRPA), and state associations.
Ms. Adams is a long standing member of the National Recreation & Park Association and the American Academy for Park & Recreation Administration, for which she served as president in 1998-99. In her leisure time, she enjoys participating in sprint triathlons, traveling to national and international parks, and cooking.