The shift in the political makeup of state legislatures to one-party majorities — except one — in the 2018 elections resulted in many pesticide-focused bills and longer active engagement by more people on those bills in 2019 legislative sessions. Bills focused primarily on single active ingredients or classes of chemistry, including rodenticides and neonicotinoids, along with bills seeking to amend school and other integrated pest management (IPM)-related laws.
As 2019 began, many pest management professionals (PMPs) began talking with newly elected legislators and their staffs about our industry and its benefits. Those conversations continue, and are equally important as we look to 2020 legislative sessions.
In addition to talking directly with newly elected policymakers, RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) continued its social media conversation about pest control and plant health around the house and yard on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. For the past three years, our And not Or program has connected with millennial homeowners in a relatable way, by providing resources for home and lawn care for both the do-it-yourself and the hire-a-professional consumer. We’ve learned homeowners need and seek advice and personalized solutions to create the home and lifestyle they want.
Video messaging success
As we think about the best ways to engage and make a personal connection, video rises to the top. RISE had nearly 6 million views of its how-to video content, and created nearly 50 million impressions and 9 million engagements with its content from 2016-2019. These engagements tell us people are open to a conversation with us, and information about our products and services that are relevant to their lives. We’ve learned being active in the social conversation makes a big impact on perceptions about pesticides and their value.
Engagement and storytelling also were the focus of this year’s RISE annual meeting (Editor’s Note: For additional coverage of the meeting, please see RISE holds 29th annual meeting). Two hundred members and partners, including National Pest Management Association (NPMA) leaders, met to set strategy for 2020 and increase direct on-the-ground engagement in our industry advocacy. RISE Governing Board Chair Gilles Galliou, Bayer Environmental Science, told his story, touching on personal and professional milestones to kick off our advocacy engagement program for 2020. He highlighted the impact of making personal connections by sharing firsthand relatable experiences that can lead to a conversation about our industry and its important work — building trust one conversation at a time.
As the year ends, RISE continues to engage with next-gen consumers and new legislators, and we’re asking everyone in our industry to take time between now and January to tell their personal story to family, neighbors, friends and those we’ve elected to represent us. The NPMA has excellent resources to help start the conversation, and we have resources, too, at DebugTheMyths.com.
REARDON has led the communications and public affairs efforts for RISE for more than a decade. Based in Washington, RISE is the national association representing the manufacturers, formulators, distributors and other industry leaders involved with pesticide and fertilizer products used in turf, ornamental, pest control, aquatic and terrestrial vegetation and other non-food/fiber applications. Learn more at PestFacts.org and DebugtheMyths.com.