Western National Parks Association

Challenge

Helping a sprawling Federal Government partner recapture its reason for being.

Since 1938, WNPA has been a partner of the National Parks Service to help people learn about nature, history, culture, and recreation in over 70 national parks. WNPA grew organically and successfully over decades but, after an internal reorganization, its core mission became murky.

Visitors had become more complex in their habits and sophisticated in their expectations. As a result, the non-profit’s lack of focus was hindering its ability to engage visitors in new ways and grow revenue in its stores.

WNPA’s creative director turned to OpenForm to provide additional capacity to his internal staff. The initial deliverable was an oversized outreach brochure for fundraising, education, and awareness, in conjunction with a national campaign and essay contest, “Why Parks Matter,” leading up to the NPS’s 100th anniversary. Our team designed the piece, crafted the copy, and expanded the custom photography.

Approach

Based on the success of the piece and other design and technology deliverables, the Executive Director asked OpenForm to develop a marketing plan. Our team questioned the need and instead recommended a narrower-scope exploration, which revealed latent needs for fundamental strategic planning and consensus-building around purpose and messaging. These investigations became the foundation for the development of a marketing strategy.

Collaborating with far-flung park managers and the headquarters leadership team, we constructed a comprehensive plan that addressed the organization's core strategic goals, and provided a framework for the marketing function. During this time, we continued to improve the website and developed an innovative kiosk prototype for park visitors, to enhance their in-store experience. Other team members crafted a brand identity for Junior Ranger, a program with a long history, targeted toward children to encourage their engagement with national parks.

Outcome

The overall result was to equip WNPA with vital tools that work as a springboard for WNPA employees to be more effective and impactful.