What’s in a name…
William Shakespeare famously wrote, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” A beautiful line in a tragic tale about star-crossed lovers. I’m reminded of this line, not because of any tragic love story involving two Envirothon participants from rival programs, but because of the many names associated with the Envirothon…Canon, National, North American, NCF and so on. The Envirothon has had a bit of an identity crisis in the last decade or so, but through it all, it has remained steadfast in what makes Envirothon the Envirothon. And just as Juliet declares to Romeo that it doesn’t matter what his name is, she loves him just the same, it doesn’t matter what the Envirothon is called, it’s still the Envirothon and we love it just the same.
However, Juliet wasn’t a PR/Marketing or Fundraising Specialist and they will tell you that name consistency matters. Branding matters.
Why am I bring this up? Well as I’ve learned more about this job and about the various state/provincial events across the U.S., Canada and China I have heard the NCF-Envirothon called everything in the book and most commonly listed as the North American Envirothon on state/provincial websites and documents.
However, it is officially the ‘NCF-Envirothon’ and it is more than a national or North American program…it is an international, annual competition. I know how it is… when I look back on notes or documents I drafted when I worked with a state Envirothon program I did the same thing. Even today, I find myself consciously stopping to make sure I’m stating the correct name ever time. Its a habit and like any bad habit, to break it you have to be aware and consistent.