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Your System Development Toolkit

System Development Toolkit | PEFC International

Other Promotion Activities

Promotion activitiesOne of your key objectives is growing certified forest area and/or Chain of Custody certifications in your country. Not only does this contribute to the promotion of SFM and the growth of PEFC, it can also be a valuable source of income to further strengthen your organization.

Select your target groups strategically. Naturally, it makes sense to first target the groups that manage the forest resource and follow along the supply chain to those who will have first access to PEFC-certified timber, such as those involved in primary processing, for example at sawmills and at pulp and paper mills. Secondly, consider targeting individuals involved in secondary processing and trade, such as paper wholesalers, timber traders and manufacturers. However, you should also contact the final users, such as decision-makersin construction and retail companies in order to increase demand.

Some of your stakeholders who have an interest in certified forest products will probably be keen to raise awareness of your efforts in the market. Make sure to leverage your common ground for joint promotions, thus sharing your costs. As your System matures, your objective in reaching out to these target groups will most likely shift from introducing and encouraging certification, to motivating and equipping them to also promote and communicate certification throughout the marketplace.

There are several proven ways to increase interest for certification, for instance:

Outreach meetings: set up appointments to meet with specific representatives amongst your target groups. Provide them with information, listen to their perspectives and needs, and look to identify areas of mutual interest. While face-to-face meetings can be time consuming, they provide a great opportunity to meet objectives and deliver results while fostering relationships.

Seminars: invite your target group to a “certification seminar”. For instance,a seminar may feature a diverse range of speakers to discuss the advantages, experience and process of becoming certified. As you plan a list of speakers for your seminar, include yourself so that you can present your organization and your System; the Certification Bodies who can explain the process of certification; certified companies to speak about the advantages of having certified products; and professional end-users who value certification. If organizing your own seminar is too expensive, consider a webinar or offer to speak at someone else’s event. As your organization starts to build a reputation, you will receive increasingly more guest speaker invitations.

shoppingTrade fairs: consider exhibiting your organization and System at a well attended trade fair. Consider collaborating with other PEFC members, or certified companies, to share the expenses, design requirements and staffing arrangements. If exhibiting is too onerous in the early stages of your organization, rather target the well-attended trade fairs covering sectors relevant to your outreach priority. As a visitor, you can have conversations with all the exhibiting companies, distribute information, attend seminars and make valuable contacts.

Articles and advertisements: articles in selected local or trade publications can inform potentially interested parties of the existence of your System and the advantages of forest management and Chain of Custody certification. Look for opportunities to communicate your work, bearing in mind that local press will most likely be interested in subjects such as local forests becoming certified.

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