Marketing in the Forest Service: a focus on agency image

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Virginia Tech

This paper examines the issue of a popularly held negative image of the USDA Forest Service. Examples from a variety of media vehicles are included to support the claim that a negative image is prevalent. There is also considerable anecdotal evidence to suggest that many people have only the vaguest idea of what the Forest Service is all about.

The adoption of a marketing perspective is proposed to increase awareness of the agency and its functions. An agency-wide customer service orientation is suggested and a public relations effort is proposed. The goal of a public relations campaign for the Forest Service is to provide an accurate depiction of the agency.

Suggestions are offered for implementing a marketing perspective in order to overcome the Forest Service's negative image. These suggestions include adopting a customer service orientation, implementing an internal marketing program, providing more information to the public, and making changes in Forestry education.