Have you seen our educational ads on television? Or perhaps online?
We began our annual educational advertising program in mid-February, and it will continue through the first week of May. The ads run in the state’s three primary television markets – Portland, Eugene and Medford – as well as online throughout the state on sites such as Hulu, the popular television streaming alternative, and Pandora, a music streaming station. We also run Internet banner ads.
Using advertising to communicate to the general public has long been a tool in OFRI’s public education toolbox. There’s simply not a more efficient, cost-effective way to reach a broad audience.
In 1991, when the Oregon Legislature created OFRI, the state’s population numbered about 2 million residents. Now it’s nearly 4 million. That’s a ton of new people who are not familiar with Oregon’s deep historical, cultural and economic connection with forests, forest management and forest products. Television and online programming is a great way to connect, especially with new residents.
Many newcomers do not know that the state has strong laws that require forest landowners to replant after harvest, conserve wildlife habitat and protect drinking water. They drive past a fresh timber harvest, often a clearcut on their way to the Oregon coast, and assume the trees are gone forever – even though the stand has likely already been replanted.
The truth is that the trees do grow back. And as our recent publication, Oregon Forest Facts 2017-18 Edition, notes, “The amount of forestland in Oregon has held mostly steady at about 30 million acres for more than 60 years.” OFRI’s public education efforts help people realize that responsible forest management is sustainable and can provide us with forest products and ecological benefits in perpetuity.
I get a kick out of “Forecast.” It features actors who pose as meteorologists forecasting rain as the narrator asks the question, “You know that Oregon weather we’re always talking about?” The ad goes on to explain that Oregon’s weather is perfect for growing trees, especially evergreens. This is no doubt why our state tree is the Douglas-fir.
Our timing couldn’t be better for that ad, with record amounts of rainfall in February. It has been a wet one, and I agree with the ad’s conclusion: “The forecast calls for trees.”
For the forest,