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tjwalters

What's up with IPS?

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tjwalters

What's up with IPS?

  • The web site is still showing information for the Biennial 2018 - Colombia - May 26 - June 2, 2018 event, along with a link to register.
  • The link to the "latest" newsletter pulls up the October 2018 letter. 

I also received a membership renewal notification 3 months late. 

Am I missing something here? 

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PALM MOD

I have sent this to a couple of Directors. I will post an answer if I hear back with anything.

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LJG

Liz that managed the site left Stansfeld (website manager) a while ago. Her replacement is leaving now. They are training a 3rd person. So site updates not being done. I believe there was an accounting issue that Stansfeld had to catch up on the last few months and that included renewals. 

A new website is done and ready for launch. The data import is being worked on right now. Depending on how fast the new website manager can get brought up to speed, it should be available end of month or early May - barring any hiccups. 

Ill pass along the newsletter and biennial info. Thanks. 

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tjwalters

Len,

I was referring to the link on the main page that says "Click here to read the latest newsletter."  It links to the October 2018 letter.

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waykoolplantz

Like it’s member...the IPS is dying slowly

neither cares to or knows how to market itself in the new age

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Cindy Adair

I for one still care greatly about the IPS and its mission and am very excited to have the lovely new website up and running.

 As to marketing, point well taken.

However we do have fresh ideas so stay tuned.

And I loved the latest issue of PALMS!

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waykoolplantz

This sinking ship will not be saved by one or two passionate shipmates with tea cups...

untill the organization approaches it from a different angle it is doomed. Biennials are cool ...a bit self-serving.  

aggressive programs need to be created to develop and encourage understanding..appreciating and growing palms to a younger audience

reverse engineer the palm society membership...and for Gods sake..develop the IPS as a brand that has value.

I had some communication with Bo regarding this some years ago....but don’t think the BOD gets it.

 

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LJG
On 7/5/2019 at 3:14 AM, waykoolplantz said:

This sinking ship will not be saved by one or two passionate shipmates with tea cups...

untill the organization approaches it from a different angle it is doomed. Biennials are cool ...a bit self-serving.  

aggressive programs need to be created to develop and encourage understanding..appreciating and growing palms to a younger audience

reverse engineer the palm society membership...and for Gods sake..develop the IPS as a brand that has value.

I had some communication with Bo regarding this some years ago....but don’t think the BOD gets it.

 

Honest question, why are you not volunteering your time? Bet the IPS would love and needs the help. Not being cheeky,  but it sounds like you “get it”, so please, jump on and help. 

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waykoolplantz

the solution is not found by any volunteer or single board member. 

The board should hire a company who can provide a plan to develop the IPS as a brand. Its not one persons recommendation to be debated by the board...they need to make the commitment to hire a professional .  This task becomes more difficult every day...the current generations'  'aint wattin around for shit to grow' attitude wont help. We wouldnt have gardens if we didnt plant seeds...we aint gonna have no members if we dont do the same.

We lost the opportunity to catch the rising 'Green' wave...If branding was developed IPS endorsed resorts/cruises could have the bonus of a 'green glow'

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LJG
25 minutes ago, waykoolplantz said:

the solution is not found by any volunteer or single board member. 

The board should hire a company who can provide a plan to develop the IPS as a brand. Its not one persons recommendation to be debated by the board...they need to make the commitment to hire a professional .  This task becomes more difficult every day...the current generations'  'aint wattin around for shit to grow' attitude wont help. We wouldnt have gardens if we didnt plant seeds...we aint gonna have no members if we dont do the same.

We lost the opportunity to catch the rising 'Green' wave...If branding was developed IPS endorsed resorts/cruises could have the bonus of a 'green glow'

I understand your frustration and agree with much of it. But you underestimate the value a single volunteer can have. Especially when coming with the right background and experience level needed. The IPS is looking to hire a third party to do what you suggest. However, quotes we get come across ridiculous in pricing and/or scope. Perhaps someone with a background and no vested interest offering help here could put the IPS on the right track. The BODs have tried in vain to recruit a director with a marketing background. We have great people in finance, compliance, editorial, etc. Marketing has always been lacking. We have come a long way the last few years propagating the platforms needed (new website, facebook, Twitter, Instagram, newsletter, palmtalk), now we need a person or company to tie it altogether so the IPS will get the best ROI. Groups (not just the IPS) are great at throwing darts when it is outside anyone members expertise.

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mike in kurtistown

What we have to beware of, and I think we have had this experience before (but the old brain hasn't retained the details), is that we solicit a proposal from a marketing agency, they request a big fee, but when we examine their proposal, it is vague and general, providing no evidence that they have any more idea than we do about how to proceed.

 

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Kim

IPS has been unwilling to make the investment in marketing. You might say that made sense because the web site (a crucial element) wasn't ready to be promoted (5 years to completion - fell off lots of cliffs on the way). Maybe now that it's live, the Board can see the value to invest in marketing the site they spent so much to create.

IPS paid a substantial fee for the web site. It would be foolishly short-sighted to drop any attempt at professional marketing due to similar cost.  Just my opinion, and doubtful the majority on the board will agree.

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PersistentPalms

I volunteered to do some PR/Marketing for IPS back in the day...  I was given a title, responsibility, and I perceived expectations; BUT I was given no authority or power to effectuate changes or even a few bucks to do so, it was a waste of my zeal, heart, and efforts.  Stonewalled.  That coupled with small town sewing circle politics, infighting, and an external personal character assassination (people believe anything without verifying truth) switched me off to the IPS pretty solidly.  Even kinda knocked my palm obsession down a couple notches...  Just my 2 cents, for what it's worth. 

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LJG
8 hours ago, PersistentPalms said:

I volunteered to do some PR/Marketing for IPS back in the day...  I was given a title, responsibility, and I perceived expectations; BUT I was given no authority or power to effectuate changes or even a few bucks to do so, it was a waste of my zeal, heart, and efforts.  Stonewalled.  That coupled with small town sewing circle politics, infighting, and an external personal character assassination (people believe anything without verifying truth) switched me off to the IPS pretty solidly.  Even kinda knocked my palm obsession down a couple notches...  Just my 2 cents, for what it's worth. 

When was this? Had to be before me, because I have been on the Board for about 6 years and have never seen or heard anything to the level you describe. I can say that when I first volunteered help back around 2007-2008, I did find the IPS leadership to be too much of a mess for me to offer any additional help. But much has been cleaned up, and I can say for certain, it isn’t what I first observed. Sure, there are still many things to be worked on, and there are many differences of opinion, but I can tell you the Board all shares one desire, and that is to see the IPS grow and move to our goal of being more of an educational/conservation focused organization rather then a garden club. 

One thing that I have learned over time with groups/organizations I volunteer, is that there is a unique dynamic in each group of diverse people. Some people can work within the dynamics, and others cannot. Just the way it is. 

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PersistentPalms

Totally before your time on the board; (before you went RO irrigation!) and I’m not blaming any one person (except for the character attack of course, just one bad seed in the bunch).  Moreover the “standard [group] dynamics” , the collective collective persona of the group; beurocracy (whatever its called) is what stopped my efforts and therefore progress for the society on this front.  If the society does get someone on board again who understands marketing it seems to me to be wise to take their advice, hand over the wheel, and let them do the job they were selected for...  again not finger pointing just offering hands-on insight. :beat_deadhorse:   :shaka-2:

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PersistentPalms

Haha!  and maybe I’m just over group bs too and don’t care to walk the same path as the lemming herd. :rolleyes:

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LJG

That dang thing stopped working last year. Need to get it fixed. The RO system  :)

I'm with you on marketing. It is very frustrating. But to be fair, no one on the BODs has a background in it. We are covered just about everywhere else and running solid, but marketing is lacking. I have sat in on a few people’s proposals when they got bids, but really the cost were very high and the ROI appeared to be very small. Not the person going out getting the bids failure, just that it’s not their background to know what to look for. As you know, people/businesses throw out we need “marketing” like it is a plug and play. I can tell you that I blew more money on bad marketing with my businesses than I did combined everywhere else. 

Im just the low-end of the totem pole on the Board, but I am pretty certain if you had a marketing strategy that has shown to work with other groups like ours, the BODs would certainly listen. 

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PersistentPalms

Keep up the good work, I’m sure y’all will get it figured out.  I’ll be over here watchin mah trees grow...

752E04C6-EC17-462A-8CE8-EF825CA1BCCD.jpeg

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Missi

BAH! I don't want IPS to die! I love PalmTalk, the Palms publication, etc. I haven't joined in on any biennials yet because I never travel anywhere more than a day trip (I have a zoo to tend to). I'm on the "younger" side of the IPS spectrum (I'm 36). What can I do to help?

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LJG

Missi, don’t listen to much of what you hear from others. The IPS isn’t going to die. There are some talented volunteers helping steer us in the right direction. Understand, I’m just a new director with limited pull, but I seem to be one of few that uses PalmTalk and replies here. Personally, from what I see, it took a long time for the Board to see the dangers of becoming irrelevant in today’s fast-paced online world that is crowded with non-profits like ours. We are playing catch-up. 

The areas we need help in are volunteerism and marketing. We have tons of ideas, but few to do the work to implement. As I stated above, we also lack someone with marketing expertise. I’ll message you as I have an idea you could help with.

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NC_Palms

As a young adult, I would like to give my input on the situation. 

I would be devastated if the IPS died. Palms are a passion of mine and I have met a ton of wonderful and intelligent people through the IPS services. I would be more than happy to give my time and help volunteer for the IPS. I also have experience in marketing as I operate an online plant nursery. 

 

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Cindy Adair

Thank you to all those who have written in support of the IPS and even offering suggestions and volunteering to help!

I agree that the IPS has room for improvement, but has enriched my life and is still worth my volunteer time. 

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waykoolplantz

To survive the IPS must develop itself as a brand...and that brand must have some value

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joe_OC

Looking at the numbers...

PalmTalk:  14,400 members

Facebook IPS Group:  4,000 members

Facebook Membership:  2.41 billion monthly active users.  

Mathematically, that is 0%.  

 

If there were people interested in palm trees, you figure they would have found the IPS group on Facebook.

In comparison, here are the numbers for the American Orchid Society...Just "America":

 

American Orchid Society (AOS):

Facebook AOS Group:  31,800 members

AOS Membership (2011):  10,000 members

 

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LJG
10 hours ago, joe_OC said:

Looking at the numbers...

PalmTalk:  14,400 members

Facebook IPS Group:  4,000 members

Facebook Membership:  2.41 billion monthly active users.  

Mathematically, that is 0%.  

 

If there were people interested in palm trees, you figure they would have found the IPS group on Facebook.

In comparison, here are the numbers for the American Orchid Society...Just "America":

 

American Orchid Society (AOS):

Facebook AOS Group:  31,800 members

AOS Membership (2011):  10,000 members

 

Joe, can you grow a palm tree on your windowsill in Norway? :) Sadly, palm trees are a niche thing. Orchids, cactus and succulents, etc will always be much more popular. Look at the Rose Society - it’s huge. No sense comparing numbers. Just need to do a much better job of reaching the people that do love palms and provide a reason for people to support our cause. 

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joe_OC

I get that.   But I was trying to illustrate that the AOS group on FB is much greater than their membership.  I would have assumed that the IPS group on FB would be substantially larger than Palmtalk, but it’s not. 

Also, the AOS appeals to hobbyist.  The IPS is more academic-centric.  

Just look at Palmtalk...It’s casual, fun.  People get more from it than the IPS.  That’s why you have almost 4X more members here.  

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mike in kurtistown

The cited statistics don't include the IPS membership total, so the comparisons aren't parallel.

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joe_OC

Hi Mike,

Yes, it's not a direct comparison (could not find any data on IPS membership totals), but it still drives the point that with 2.41 billion facebook members, there is such a small percentage that are interested in palms.  My assumption is that the FB IPS group would have MORE members than the IPS membership.   

Are you looking for marketing to let the general public know that there is a palm society or are you looking for marketing to create more interest in palms?  Two very different things.  FB is a great platform to get organic inbound marketing.  

Here is an example of IPS being academic-centric:

 

image.thumb.png.fc1ff275bd0bc97b76a58a1911757447.png

Does that description of the group sound interesting?  

 

 

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LJG
On 8/14/2019 at 10:24 AM, joe_OC said:

I get that.   But I was trying to illustrate that the AOS group on FB is much greater than their membership.  I would have assumed that the IPS group on FB would be substantially larger than Palmtalk, but it’s not. 

Also, the AOS appeals to hobbyist.  The IPS is more academic-centric.  

Just look at Palmtalk...It’s casual, fun.  People get more from it than the IPS.  That’s why you have almost 4X more members here.  

I agree that PalmTalk is casual and fun. That is why the IPS spends so much money to provide it. It is a very important part of the IPS. But it is also a forum and many people have moved away from that type of social medium. In fact many once very active PT users now only post on FB. So both are very important, and each has their own set of positives and negatives. As do our Instagram and Twitter accounts. As far as the size difference, PalmTalk was started in like 2004. The FB page didn't start until Nov 2015. Regarding the FB Group page, yes, it is hopefully geared toward educational purposes. In fact as a non-profit, we are guided by our bylaws. The current mission statement states "The International Palm Society, Inc. is operated solely and exclusively for scientific and/or educational purposes related to the study of palms, their propagation, culture, conservation, care, and development.".  Education will always be a main focus, but we are shifting towards a conservation heavy push soon too.

I think you might be comparing apples to oranges with the AOS. They are hobby-centric and even sanction shows and judging plus have webinars to prove this. Their magazine is great and I wish we could move the Journal with a hobby side as well. But understand, Palms is a scientific,  peer-reviewed journal. It can never be like the PSSC version or the AOS Orchid "Magazine". Just my opinion again, but making the IPS a hobbyist organization also runs us up against our affiliates - which we could never compete against. Too many do an amazing job at that. 

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LJG
8 hours ago, joe_OC said:

Hi Mike,

Yes, it's not a direct comparison (could not find any data on IPS membership totals), but it still drives the point that with 2.41 billion facebook members, there is such a small percentage that are interested in palms.  My assumption is that the FB IPS group would have MORE members than the IPS membership.   

Are you looking for marketing to let the general public know that there is a palm society or are you looking for marketing to create more interest in palms?  Two very different things.  FB is a great platform to get organic inbound marketing.  

Here is an example of IPS being academic-centric:

 

image.thumb.png.fc1ff275bd0bc97b76a58a1911757447.png

Does that description of the group sound interesting?  

 

 

Joe, the FB page does have more members then the IPS. Also, here is the AOS FB group description:

DESCRIPTION

UPDATED APRIL 2019

AOS Policy Guidelines for Posting on the AOS Facebook “Group” page

The American Orchid Society's mission is to promote and support the passion for orchids through education, conservation, and research. Our Facebook “group” page reflects our values and is a place where information of a non-commercial nature may be shared in support of our goals. If you love orchids we encourage you to join our Facebook community.

The AOS does not endorse any vendor or business on its Facebook site. We ask that members abide by the following policy guidelines, to conduct themselves in a civilized manner, and be respectful and supportive of a diverse learning environment:

1. The AOS Facebook site is for posting information about orchids, non- orchid related material will be removed.

2. When sharing images, proper credit must be given (if possible) to the original photographer, or the originator of the image. Please include the identification of the image shown, genus, species or hybrid, and variety, (if known). If you don't know, feel free to ask for help to identify the flower/plant; perhaps someone in our community will be able to provide the answer.

3. The AOS reserves the right to delete posts that contain, spam, offensive or vulgar language, non-orchid-related posts, or posts containing links to third party commercial products/services (including re-posts, shares and comments).

4. Community members are subject to suspension or permanent removal from the group for repeated posts outside these guidelines. The decisions of the AOS moderators are final.

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joe_OC

Yup, saw that on AOS' FB Group after I posted. 

 

If the focus on the IPS is more scientific and about conservation,  it is targeting a very niche demographic.   I don't know how much help a marketing company can provide.  

Edited by joe_OC

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Missi

For what it's worth, I'd rather be part of an academic-minded group and learn as well as share my own knowledge and experience, than a massive group of people who get off-topic and ask basic questions. Quality over quantity, if you will. :greenthumb:

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waykoolplantz

Missi...we are probably running 1:5...one new member for every 5 we have lost.

 

step back and view being a ‘palm hobbyist’ as a virus...for survival you need to infect others.

How do you do this ?  

I have suggested developing a liaison with the tropical resort industry as our ‘virus’ thrives in that climate and the throughput of possible victims is high.  I believe the IPS could provide welcome guidance..education & embellishment to the tropical look that would be embraced by these resorts and add value to their guests’ enjoyable experience. Various extensions of this could include group discounts during specific weeks that could include a IPS representative as guest tour guide. 

I do know one of the major resort chains in the Caribbean has as its goal to reduce its environmental impact and our agenda could dovetail nicely with their plans.  

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kinzyjr
1 hour ago, waykoolplantz said:

Missi...we are probably running 1:5...one new member for every 5 we have lost.

 

step back and view being a ‘palm hobbyist’ as a virus...for survival you need to infect others.

How do you do this ?  

I have suggested developing a liaison with the tropical resort industry as our ‘virus’ thrives in that climate and the throughput of possible victims is high.  I believe the IPS could provide welcome guidance..education & embellishment to the tropical look that would be embraced by these resorts and add value to their guests’ enjoyable experience. Various extensions of this could include group discounts during specific weeks that could include a IPS representative as guest tour guide. 

I do know one of the major resort chains in the Caribbean has as its goal to reduce its environmental impact and our agenda could dovetail nicely with their plans.  

I like the idea of the partnership with tropical resorts, especially here in Florida.  My first experience with palms in person was a result of a family member moving to Florida.  Anyone ever approach one of the resorts?

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waykoolplantz
43 minutes ago, kinzyjr said:

I like the idea of the partnership with tropical resorts.  Anyone ever approach one of the resorts?

Might be wise to develop a plan of what we can offer. 

Every time I hear “AARP is compensated for the use of their intellectual property “  I wonder why we ain’t doin similar.

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Dypsisdean
On 8/16/2019 at 8:26 AM, Missi said:

For what it's worth, I'd rather be part of an academic-minded group and learn as well as share my own knowledge and experience, than a massive group of people who get off-topic and ask basic questions. Quality over quantity, if you will. :greenthumb:

There is no reason it has to be one or the other - it can be both. Many of the academic and scientific botanists do no have gardens, and are not interested in cultivating palms. But I would suggest that most of us here on PalmTalk are here because we cultivate palms, and want to grow and see them in landscapes and our own gardens.

And while we may not be interested in detailed morphology, classification, and DNA analysis, we like to have a name and are interested in new discoveries. We like to know where our palms came from and if they are in danger of disappearing from our planet.

These differing agendas can and should co-exist. And that is very much what the IPS is about.

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Dypsisdean
10 hours ago, waykoolplantz said:

I have suggested developing a liaison with the tropical resort industry as our ‘virus’ thrives in that climate and the throughput of possible victims is high.  I believe the IPS could provide welcome guidance..education & embellishment to the tropical look that would be embraced by these resorts and add value to their guests’ enjoyable experience. Various extensions of this could include group discounts during specific weeks that could include a IPS representative as guest tour guide. 

I do know one of the major resort chains in the Caribbean has as its goal to reduce its environmental impact and our agenda could dovetail nicely with their plans.  

To whom have you suggested this? We have a "Public Relations" Committee that is tasked with pursuing ideas like this. But why stop there? Why not liaison with Botanical Gardens, Zoos, other plant societies? Advertise on their venues? And they in exchange advertise on IPS venues. They can offer discounts for IPS Members when visiting their locations, joining their organizations, or buying/using their products. Have an IPS Membership Card that offers its Members such benefits along with discounts when purchasing products/plants from sponsors who wish to support the IPS and its Members in that way.

Would you buy your gardening products from a major online greenhouse or nursery supply company if they offered IPS Members 10-15% discounts. Would you buy your plants, fertilizers, supplies from purveyors that supported the IPS by giving you a discount? Lowes offers 10% discounts for Vets. How about the same for an organization involved with conserving endangered species and habitiat? I would think that would promote sales for them, boost IPS Membership, and spread the "palm virus" as well.

In other words - expose people to the "wonderful world of palms," while offering concrete and tangible benefits for supporting the IPS and being an IPS Member.

I would suggest you contact that IPS Committee mentioned above and ask to join. We ask for,  accept, and appreciate monetary donations. But where we are really lacking is in Members who are willing to donate their time. By contributing your time you could see to it that your suggestions become reality.

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LJG
2 hours ago, Dypsisdean said:

 

I would suggest you contact that IPS Committee mentioned above and ask to join. We ask for,  accept, and appreciate monetary donations. But where we are really lacking is in Members who are willing to donate their time. By contributing your time you could see to it that your suggestions become reality.

 

This is something I have mentioned many times to a lot of people. The easiest job around is that of the idea’s person. I have heard literally thousands of ideas in the short 5 or so years I have been on the Board. Ideas are never short. People willing to donate their time to work the ideas to reality are few and far between. Take Mike's idea above regarding the Caribbean resort chain partnership.. Great idea, but who is going to take lead for example? Maybe someone else steps up to run with the idea, but that is highly unlikely as their time is already tasked out with other projects or life.

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LJG
3 hours ago, Dypsisdean said:

There is no reason it has to be one or the other - it can be both. Many of the academic and scientific botanists do no have gardens, and are not interested in cultivating palms. But I would suggest that most of us here on PalmTalk are here because we cultivate palms, and want to grow and see them in landscapes and our own gardens.

And while we may not be interested in detailed morphology, classification, and DNA analysis, we like to have a name and are interested in new discoveries. We like to know where our palms came from and if they are in danger of disappearing from our planet.

These differing agendas can and should co-exist. And that is very much what the IPS is about.

It’s important to point out that I don’t feel the IPS is against any of that from what I have seen. The fact that the IPS funds PalmTalk and manages other social media platforms proves it. The new website has a News area for any articles about palms. Scientific and hobby-centric. 

Really the only place I see possible kickback is with the Palms journal - which I was talking about above but seems some took it as a broad policy belief.  Regarding the journal, even it has had some less scientific write ups recently and the Editors request/look for worthy articles for the peer-reviewed, scientific journal. 

If someone has an article more on the hobby side, send it to the editors. They are very approachable and are always looking for quality, educational content. 

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