by Abra Lee
In 2003 Bravo network launched a television show called “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” It starts out with a team of men hopping into an SUV. Their mission: work together using their collective talents to help revamp the image of a straight man.
Known as the Fab Five, the team gets ready to take action and make positive change. Tossing on designer sunglasses they march off in formation and the work begins. By the end of each episode their client has become a better more refined version of themselves. The show was a hit and in season three Bravo network recognized the need to evolve its name to “Queer Eye.” The new change broadened the scope of its audience to allow makeovers of individuals regardless of gender or orientation.
The premise of this show sums up the best way to introduce the GWA “New Corporate Entity” taskforce. Led by C.L. Fornari and Kirk Brown, we are group of nine individuals from diverse personal and professional backgrounds. Instead of hopping into an SUV, we hopped onto a conference call and a chain of emails to discuss our mission: rebranding the image of GWA. In order for this beloved association to attain a higher level of success in the future, positive change must be made.
So how did this rebrand thought process work? In January we will officially merge two organizations into one (GWA and the GWA Foundation) and will have to file the paperwork (go to law) as a 501C3. This makes it the perfect time to call our organization what it is, a group of communicators.
We started by taking a multipronged approach to reassess our name, logo, and how to market ourselves moving forward. It did not take long to realize we needed to lean in and own who we truly are, an association of garden communicators. So why not just call ourselves that? Well, we already have a name GWA. However, standing on its own without any descriptors the acronym GWA does not reflect garden or communicators. In addition The Association for Garden Communicators is fourteen syllables long, a whole mouth full, and difficult to use in a fluid way for branding purposes. We needed a name that was to the point and stayed true to our authentic self. The end result was the suggestion GardenComm.
Shortening communications to comm makes sense. Step on any college campus and you will see buildings filled with MassComm majors, simply students learning to communicate with the masses. If that visual doesn’t resonate take a look at the ColorComm Network (www.colorcommnetwork.com). In seven short years, what started as an invite only luncheon of thirty-four women has turned into a thriving international organization for Women of Color in Communications. Even more engaging their association takes the name comm beyond a word for communications and uses it as an inclusive term that represents community.
Let’s be clear. GWA is a democracy. No name or logo change happens without a consensus of the creative minds of this association. We must look at ourselves through a critical lens and determine if this is our makeover moment. On behalf of the taskforce I am asking your support to get behind this positive change. With thoughtful consideration we can evolve to become the best version of ourselves. So put on your designer sunglasses, get in formation, and let’s continue the work to build an international community of garden communicators known as #GardenComm.
Meet the Author
Abra Lee is a Horticulturist Extraordinaire speaking truth on plants, fashion, and culture. You can follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @conquerthesoil