RBFF outlines plan for the future

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) has developed strategic plans for the next five-years, 2003-2008, based on feedback from stakeholders, it reported in a recent statement.

From production to implementation

The first stage of the plan includes moving from the production of tools for stakeholders to use in growing fishing and boating to implementation of those tools, according to RBFF.

Throughout the planning process, RBFF stakeholders commended the availability and utility of the existing “suite” of tools developed by RBFF and provided to stakeholders for local level implementation over the last three years, the group stated.

The suite of tools includes: Water Works Wonders marketing campaign materials; state marketing workshops; cooperative agreements with partners; National Fishing and Boating Week event materials; Passport to Fishing, Boating and Stewardship; Aquatic Science, Fishing and Boating Education Directory; physical education grants; and Best Practices in Boating, Fishing and Aquatic Resources Stewardship Education.

Testing the tools

The second phase of the plan involves testing the suite of tools in regional target areas, set to begin in spring 2004, RBFF reported.

As part of the new implementation focus, RBFF will select a test area and facilitate a partnership with organizations and agencies from the public and private sectors to promote fishing, boating and aquatic resource stewardship.

The “regional test” will incorporate both marketing and grassroots strategies that use RBFF tools to grow fishing, boating and stewardship participation in the test area, RBFF reported.

Other strategic priorities

Other identified strategic priorities directed RBFF to continue to focus its efforts with emphasis in the following areas:

  • National Fishing and Boating Week (NFBW): RBFF said it will dedicate more resources and staff time to growing NFBW, making it a highly visible national celebration of recreational fishing and boating.
  • Grassroots: RBFF said it will dedicate more resources and efforts to improve rates of boating and fishing adoption, and to help resource management agencies, industry and educators use products, tools and services more effectively.
  • Accountability: The RBFF board will create an accountability committee to develop consistent metrics to measure RBFF’s success, the group stated. This committee will also work with the Sportfishing and Boating Partnership Council (SFBPC) to develop an independent accountability audit using these primary success measures and other indices identified by the SFBPC.
  • Market Research and Media: Based on ad campaign evaluation efforts and additional market research completed by RBFF since the launch of the ad campaign, RBFF said it will begin investigating the utility of new advertising creative. Although new creative will not be developed in 2004, future ad concept development will take advantage of what RBFF has learned over the last three years. Lessons learned from past advertising will help RBFF be prepared to produce new creative in years to come, the group reported.
  • RBFF set its strategic priorities within the 6-year plan, and the board of directors is in the process of approving the plan and budget. The plan will drive the first year of implementation, which starts with RBFF’s next fiscal year on April 1, 2004. More detailed results of the stakeholder survey and planning forum are encapsulated in the report “Stakeholder Feedback on the Strategic Direction of RBFF.” This information helped RBFF’s board identify strategic priorities for the next six years, which are condensed in the report “RBFF’s Final Report: Strategic Priorities for 2004-2009” available for review at www.rbff.org/research/sr.doc.

    Developing a plan

    The strategic planning process had three steps, guided and developed by RBFF’s volunteer Task Force Four. The first step was a stakeholder Internet survey with more than 1,600 participants. Participants included representatives from state and federal resource management agencies, boating and fishing manufacturers and retailers, aquatic educators, non-governmental conservation organizations and many more.

    The second step assembled 70 leaders from stakeholder organizations in a day-long forum to examine and discuss survey results and develop a set of strategic recommendations for the RBFF board of directors.

    In the third and final step, the board of directors fully considered the strategic recommendations from the Forum and provided RBFF with the three strategic priorities.

    “We’re grateful for the tremendous investment of time and effort from each of our partners,” said Bruce Matthews, RBFF president. “The planning process was multi-tiered, comprehensive and lengthy, and we received excellent participation from our stakeholders every step of the way. Each partner brought a different perspective to the table, and with all the input and positive feedback we received, RBFF is well prepared to forge ahead with a highly focused and integrated marketing/grassroots strategic plan.”

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