Advanced Training – UF Domain – Public Relations & Community Outreach Module

Course Description

Trees in a community are a collective asset comprised of trees located on public and private property. This course will teach you how to provide outreach, education and resources to members of your community so they can better manage and care for their portion of the urban forest resulting in a healthier, less risk prone, diverse forest that is an improved asset for the collective community. Recommendations will be provided for commercial/industrial residents, homeowner’s associations and individual property owners for how to gauge your audience, and effectively communicate your message.

Recommended Reading


Equipment Requirements


Day One

This one-day course will focus on effective communication and outreach strategies. We will begin by exploring some of the issues we face in the arboricultural industry, and how public perception of our industry is hurt by some very common behaviors and practices, and how we can be better ambassadors for our industry.

We will then walk through a number of scenarios brought into the classroom by the instructor, as well as participant stories, and work as a group to discuss how these real-life situations could have been handled better, or how they succeeded. Many classroom talks don’t want you to discuss specific issues, this one will focus on them, so we ask participants to come prepared with difficult communication situations they have faced before so we can discuss them and do a variety of role-playing exercises.

Finally, we will discuss the role of modern media such as new, television, and social media outlets, and how to interact with each. We will also discuss how to create a press kit for your organization that presents a polished and professional look and go through some successful public relations strategies that various organizations have employed in Illinois and abroad. A test will be given to determine a passing grade.


Upon completion of the course, attendees should be able to identify difficult public relations situations before they become an issue and know some strategies for how to respond to them or preempt them. They should also know how to present themselves professionally, and represent their industry and their organizations well, even under difficult and sometimes adversarial circumstances. Finally, attendees should be aware of resources available to help them in creating a PR strategy.