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TurfMutt has had a banner year

January 19, 2018
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The spokesdog for the living landscape has been spreading his message far and wide.

TurfMutt’s momentum in 2017 reached a new high: The platform’s media relations program was named a finalist in the PRNews’ Corporate Social Responsibility Awards and won a coveted Cynopsis Award. TurfMutt’s youth curriculum is now part of USGBC’s global Learning Lab, and TurfMutt is featured in the forthcoming National Geographic book Love Unleashed: Tales of Inspiration and the Life-Changing Power of Dogs. TurfMutt also was chosen to represent Earth Day in Parade magazine. All of these results were in just the last year. Add TurfMutt’s television appearances, well-received youth curriculum in schools, solid government partnerships, regular and robust media coverage, and social media presence and we can safely say TurfMutt has reached a pinnacle.

What was once a singular education campaign focused on the benefits of the living landscape (http://www.livinglandscapesmatter.com) now has evolved into a multi-communication channel platform – including a blog (https://turfmuttblog.com), Twitter (https://twitter.com/turfmutt), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/turfmutt), YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/TurfMutt) and broadcast television (http://www.cbsdreamteam.com/lucky-dog/episodes/) that draws attention to several messages important to the outdoor power equipment industry. With this success has come positive impact on government, NGOs, the environmental community, and the consumer marketplace.

Here’s a selection of the publicity and press TurfMutt has garnered in the fourth quarter alone:

In the fall, TurfMutt awarded a $10,000 grant to Guardian Angels Catholic School in Clearwater, FL, which was used to install an outdoor classroom at the school.

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  • The story earned a front-page story in The Clearwater Times, a Tampa Bay Times paper.

    OPEI CEO ¬¬Kris Kiser received a texting lesson from the winner of the contest.

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TurfMutt media outreach is picking up steam, with each release earning about 250 media clips per release within the first few days of distribution. TurfMutt’s media relations program received national recognition when being named a finalist in the PRNews’ Corporate Social Responsibility Awards program.

In fourth quarter 2017, media coverage included:

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  • The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Global Learning Lab continues to grow, and it continuously showcases TurfMutt on its home page.
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  • National Geographic Books will publish Love Unleashed: Tales of Inspiration and the Life-Changing Power of Dogs, featuring Lucky the TurfMutt, on March 6, 2018. The book is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com.

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History of TurfMutt

Launched with one, pilot youth curriculum in one school district in Sacramento, CA, the program has evolved into a multi-communications channel platform with television appearances, youth curriculum in schools, solid government partnerships, regular and robust media coverage, social media presence and now awards to back up its effectiveness in impacting people and educating them about the importance of managed green space.

As evidenced by the following developments, TurfMutt’s messages fundamentally impact how government, NGOs, and the environmental community view the managed landscape

Major developments in the 2016-2017 timeframe included:

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  • TurfMutt Wins Cynopsis Award
    Litton Entertainment won the coveted Cynopsis Kids Imagination Award for Best Interstitial Series for the TurfMutt animated series for OPEI and Scholastic. The Cynopsis Kids Awards honor the year’s best in children’s, tween and family content. This year’s category also included work from Disney and Viacom/Nickelodeon.

In addition to the interstitial series win, Litton also won Best Educational Series/Special for Lucky Dog, which features TurfMutt and OPEI CEO Kris Kiser.

Throughout the 2016-17 season, airing on CBS, Litton created a series of complementary animated videos for partners OPEI and Scholastic that were distributed in classrooms and via YouTube channels and taught students, teachers and families how to take better care of the green spaces around them and the importance of living landscapes.

  • TurfMutt Joins USGBC
    The United States Green Building Council solicited OPEI for over a year to include the program in their global Learning Lab, including changing their legal contracts to meet our requirements.
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  • TurfMutt Solicited By Publisher
    The author of a National Geographic-published book series, Devoted, Best Friends and Loyal (tales of extraordinary dog relationships with people) requested TurfMutt be included in her latest book.
  • TurfMutt Featured by PARADE
    The overall program was featured in PARADE magazine’s Earth Day issue, with a circulation of 22 million.
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  • The Urban Habitat Council featured TurfMutt for the second time in their annual calendar.

Nielson and Scholastic research** showed TurfMutt’s messages change hearts and minds.

Because of our deliberate strategy to engage the most vocal, robust consumer groups—families (especially mothers) and pet-lovers—we have been able to leapfrog over the crowded home and garden consumer space. By piggy-backing on well-received consumer topics, including environment and stewardship, education, family, safety, pets (including rescue and rehab), and entertainment, the TurfMutt messages reached more consumers, more robustly, with the message that a healthy life included managed landscaping. Thusly, the developments above happened faster and more efficiently.

As TurfMutt approaches its tenth anniversary, the platform is positioned to be taken to the next level.

** According to Nielson Research conducted in Spring 2016 by our Lucky Dog TV Show partner, Litton Entertainment, 91% of respondents reported the TurfMutt messages about lawns and yards were very effective. 90% learned something new from the content once exposed to the messages, and 86% reported the messaging made them think about their yards and were encouraged to take care of them.
According to a Crux Research study conducted in winter 2016-2017 by our education partner, Scholastic, a 22% to 28% gain in positive attitude toward the managed landscape was achieved when exposed to the TurfMutt messaging.