The profile of turf in the media has received a major boost recently with the new Turf Marketing Plan starting to swing into action. The engagement of media personality Jody Rigby as Turf Australia’s new ambassador has also significantly strengthened the campaign roll-out. Well known for her Backyard Blitz days, Jody has also appeared more recently on The Outdoor Room and Garden Angels. Jody currently operates her own Horticultural Consultancy business and has developed contacts with many in the turf industry over the years. Lawns and lawn-care were the focus of a series of media briefings for “home and lifestyle media” at a series of briefings held last month. Hosted on the lawn of a graceful Sydney home, media discovered how turf creates a home and met industry development manager Matthew Holmes, turf grower Anthony Muscat and turf ambassador Jody Rigby. Highlights included Jody’s turf laying demonstration which encouraged media to promote the ease of turf laying. Other key elements included a heat lamp demonstration that showed the cooling value of turf over pavers and artificial grass as well as discussions on the features and qualities of different turf varieties. Briefings were attended by Burkes Backyard Magazine, Handyman, Gardening Australia, The Lifestyle Channel (pay TV), Radio 2GB and Graham and Sandra Ross’ Garden Clinic. Journalists from Burkes Backyard Magazine used information from the briefing session in their presentation at Grand Designs Live – attended by some 250,000 house-proud renovators. “Research showed that the media has “forgotten” the importance of turf. These briefings were just the first step in a larger media outreach to promote environmental and lifestyle value of a beautiful lawn,” says Matthew Holmes. The next phase of the campaign will see Jody Rigby undertake media interviews to advise homeowners on preparing their garden for summer, followed by the announcement of research on the additional value that turf can add to a home.
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