Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Outreach and Education Committee
March 30, 2011Commission Hearing Room
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
BE IT REMEMBERED, that heretofore on the 30th day of March 2011, there came to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in the Commission Hearing Room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex, to wit:
THE TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION:
- Margaret Martin, Boerne, Texas, Committee Chairman
- Peter M. Holt, San Antonio, Texas, Chairman (absent)
- Ralph H. Duggins, Fort Worth, Texas
- Antonio Falcon, MD, Rio Grande City, Texas
- T. Dan Friedkin, Houston, Texas (absent)
- Karen J. Hixon, San Antonio, Texas
- Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., Beeville, Texas
- S. Reed Morian, Houston, Texas
- Dick Scott, Wimberley, Texas
THE TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT:
- Carter P. Smith, Executive Director, and other personnel of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
P R O C E E D I N G S
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The first order of business is to approve the minutes from the previous committee meeting called May 26, 2010, which have already been distributed. Is there a motion for such approval?
COMMISSIONER SCOTT: So move.
COMMISSIONER HIXON: Second.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: So moved by Commissioner Scott, seconded by Commissioner Hixon. All in favor say Aye.
(A chorus of ayes.)
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: All opposed? Ayes carry. Committee Item Number 1 — Update on TPWD Progress in Implementing the TPWD Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan. Mr. Gene.
MR. MCCARTY: At this point in time, we have no progress to report and would have more progress at the next Commission meeting where we’ll be talking about a number of our goals in Land and Water.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Thank you, appreciate it. Committee Item Number 2 — 175th Anniversary of Texas Independence. Ms. Cynthia Brandimarte.
MS. BRANDIMARTE: Good afternoon. My name is Cindy Brandimarte and I work with the Historic Sites and Structures program in state parks. I’m here to brief you a little bit on the 175th birth date of Texas. The Land and Water ‑‑ one of the Land and Water goals is to encourage the enjoyment of our historical resources and certainly this celebration is one of those opportunities.
Texas Monthly has declared the birthday celebration and it must be true if it’s in the Texas Monthly cover story. Right? And, they have some wonderful lists. They’re famous for their lists. They have 175 things that are great about Texas in this March issue, everything from Sam Houston to Farrah Fawcett, but I do tell you to look at Number 1 because it’s Dinosaur Valley State Park, reminding us although we’re celebrating the 175th, Texas is much, much older than 175. Many of you may remember the Sesquicentennial in 1986. Well, this is the Terquasquicentennial. So, for short we’re saying the 175th.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: We agree.
MS. BRANDIMARTE: Thank you. Parks and Wildlife and especially State Parks Division is very well positioned to celebrate. We have within our inventory some exceptional historic sites. The reproduction of the cabin where, on March 2nd, 1836, 59 individuals came and signed the Texas Declaration of Independence and it was at that time when they got word of the Alamo. You also know that we have San Jacinto Monument and Battleground. We also have Goliad State Park, an historic site and although that is not the exact site, we remember the Alamo and remember Goliad. Nearby, about 15 miles from there is the battleground where James Fannin and 350 men surrendered, were marched to the Presidio in Goliad ‑‑ which is in a stone’s throw from the Mission Espiritu Santo, which is our property. It’s another opportunity to celebrate.
But not only these three biggies but even at some of our smaller historic sites like Sebastopol State Historic Site has an Independence Day, as does Kreische Brewery and Monument Hill in nearby La Grange. But at ‑‑ last weekend, there was a huge celebration at the Presidio, which is owned by the Roman Catholic Church and in Goliad State Historic Site. And there was ‑‑ that’s the mission right there ‑‑ there was a re-enactment and over 1,200 people imitated the march to the Presidio re-enacting Fannin’s troops. This is a remembrance of the Fannin men who fell. They were executed in late March and there’s ‑‑ this is a much conflicted story. Certainly, under Mexican rule they were ‑‑ the executions could take place but it really fanned the flames of looking forward to April 21st of 1836.
So, even smaller sites, like Fanthorp Inn State Historic Site, which is 15 miles from Washington-on-the-Brazos, they reinvigorated their stagecoach days, all in advance of March 2nd, 2011, and Washington-on-the-Brazos has this series of events. For example, quilt shows and all kinds of events at Barrington. You may or may not know that Anson Jones was the last President of the Republic of Texas and this is his house, which has been relocated again, as very close to Washington-on-the-Brazos, There were cooking demonstrations. My personal favorite was the candy making and some clothing costume exhibits, rope braiding but the big event was this ‑‑ it might not look like an historical event but over 10,000 people per day came to Washington-on-the-Brazos at the end of ‑‑ the last weekend in February to celebrate that March 2nd event. They were greeted to music, treated to all kinds of exhibits, so people came with organized groups, as well as re-enactors and area residents and families. It was all in advance of this replica cabin where the men recreated that act that took place 175 years ago.
Before I move forward to San Jacinto, Mark, will you do the video ‑‑ start the video? This is Washington-on-the-Brazos.
(Whereupon, a video was shown.)
MS. BRANDIMARTE: This is just one of the great products that the Communications Division does. This is just an excerpt from a longer video that’s about two minutes. Thank you, Lydia.
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: You might want to correct it. I think you said 1936.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Time flies when we’re having fun. Right?
MS. BRANDIMARTE: Exactly. I don’t know if any of you were around during the Sesquicentennial but certainly the catalyst was and the main event was at San Jacinto and these are a few photographs of what took place in 1986 but while I’ve been reporting on events and celebrations, festivities that have already taken place, you are all welcome to attend two celebrations that are coming up in April. One is April 16th and that is a large festival where they’re anticipating about 25,000 people. It’s a re-enactment and also it’s of historical exhibits at San Jacinto Battleground and then, on April 21st, which is a more somber ceremony. It takes place at the time the battle did and we remember the dead on both sides.
If you’re looking for a little preview of April 16th, the festivities, there’s a re-enactment of the Runaway Scrape, even an re-enactment of the Texans crouching behind the high rock ‑‑ the low rise in the ground and then the actual encounter ‑‑ 18 minutes’ battle that really changed Texas history and U.S. history.
Again, we invite you to come on April 21st when the ceremony remembering the actual battle and that particular event. I will welcome any questions or comments at this time.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Any questions? Thank you, Dr. Brandimarte. I appreciate it.
MS. BRANDIMARTE: Sure.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Hope to be at one of them ‑‑ one of the festivities.
MS. BRANDIMARTE: I hope so too.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Thank you. Committee Item Number 3 — Email Communication Efforts. Miss Darcy Bontempo. How are you?
MS. BONTEMPO: Good afternoon, Commissioners. I’m doing fine, thank you. Thanks for staying after lunch. I appreciate it. My name is Darcy Bontempo. I’m the Marketing Director and I’m here to give you a brief overview on Email marketing. And ‑‑ there we go. Email marketing communication efforts help us drive revenue ‑‑ as I was ‑‑ we were planning on telling you a little bit more about with the big time Texas Hunts presentation but you will get to hear lots about that come May in the May Commission meeting ‑‑ as well as establish ongoing relationships with our customers and our constituents so it’s a very important tool that we use.
What I’d like to do is start by giving you a snapshot of kind of how we began our foray into email marketing. We actually began back in 2006. We contracted with an Email provider that is called GovDelivery. They actually do ‑‑ handle Email subscription services for a lot of local, state and federal agencies, including the likes of NASA, Department of Defense and so forth. And they handle our list management; they handle our reporting; they ensure that our emails are delivered. To the relationships they have with other ISPs in their field and then they also provide ongoing consultation to us because technologies change, best practices change and so they’re an important partner in our effort.
We started actually ‑‑ we met with GovDelivery staff back in 2006 and what we did was we looked at our webpages that were the most visited and from that we developed a topic item list so that if people were going to a page on land and water conservation, there was an item for that. That was the way at that time that things were being done. It was very automated. We didn’t have staff handling it. We didn’t have the staff to handle it, as well. And, most of the emails were sent out on an automated basis. In other words, when a webpage was updated, an email went out to the group that had signed up for that particular topic.
As you can imagine, that was very random. It was not a very strategic way to do emails. It had a lot of flaws with it. You know, you might have to go back and correct a date and there you would be getting another email just because the webpage had a correction. So, in addition, it was text only so they were not the most appealing or promotional emails that we could have been doing.
So, where are we now? Well, in 2006 to 2010, we made mostly very small enhancements, to be honest. Last year we really began to ramp up our efforts, spurred on by several factors. One was rising postage costs, which continued to be a real issue for us in marketing. Ever shrinking budgets, in terms of doing promotional marketing. We had an online licensing system which was finally stable enough for us to push more online traffic there through emails and, to be very honest, a strong encouragement from Commissioner Duggins, which definitely played an important role in having us re-prioritize and focus on this.
So, we took many steps. It was kind of a multi-faceted approach. The first thing we did is we stepped back and we researched best practices. We, you know, had many conversations with GovDelivery as well as with, to be honest, other email providers, LIRAs, EMAs, others. We attended many web webinars, seminars. We really tried to bone up on what were the best practices in email. We then set about simplifying our sign up process so we made it much easier for people to sign up. Then we looked to the ‑‑ took a hard look at our content and we culled out the email topic items to a much more manageable number and also to a number that we felt confident that we could actually deliver regular, ongoing communication for, as opposed to random and really not very meaningful to our customers. And then, once we had that in place, we began to develop some strategies to build the number of email subscribers we had, expand our reach of this tool and also build some strategies to do email marketing more effectively.
I’m going to take you quickly through. First off, we made it much easier for people to sign up. On our webpage there is an envelope icon. There are also many other spots throughout the website so you can click on that and go to a new sign up page and there you see there’s an image of the outdoors. We’ve changed the language to be very non-governmental, hopefully very customer friendly and straightforward in terms of what they should expect and when they enter their email address they go to sign-up page. Now this sign-up page ‑‑ you can’t see the entire thing here ‑‑ but this is ‑‑ we culled down the 178 items to 39 items so ‑‑ I would have shown you what it looked like before we improved it but it would have taken five slides and probably have given you a headache so I opted just to show you the improved slide. And we also added the ability for someone to hover over each of these items and to get a description of what it entails and how often they’d be receiving it.
We also asked the customer for additional data. That’s so we can, you know, continue to improve our messaging to customers and following best practices we ensure that they can opt out. We have a double opt out process so we are requiring them to confirm that a second time that they definitely do want to receive emails from us. And then we send them a welcome email, which lists the particular items that they have signed up for so they can see and be sure that’s what they want and, of course, at any time they can go and change those preferences. You might also notice that we have ‑‑ we’re promoting all the social media in our emails and we have, as I said, the option for them to ‑‑ if they do unsubscribe we also take survey data so we can understand what the reasons for that are.
Sorry. So in addition, what we also have done, is we have moved to using templates and by that I mean instead of having very time-intensive HTML e-newsletters that would need to be done with a web developer, with very simple HTML that the marketing staff knows, we actually use, create the e-newsletters with the templates and we do that with ‑‑ by actually leveraging some high quality resources that we have, and by that I mean, frankly, our communication tools or products. We have four new e-newsletters that we do and what we do is, we re-purpose, if you will, the television show, the Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine, the Passport to Texas radio program, the press releases and former press releases that our staff already does and we actually make those work much harder for us because what we do is we re-package them into an e-newsletter template that is relevant to those customers, whether they be hunters or anglers or state park visitors or just general conservation ‑‑ outdoor recreationists and we use that to provide really relevant ‑‑ customer relevant content.
And, that allows us to do it in a way that we can manage and provide on a regular basis. So it’s a whole new approach to how we deliver the information. So I’d like to share with you the four e-newsletters first and then we’ll get into the email last. Hopefully, most or, if not all of you are receiving these. If not, let us know, and you’re familiar with them but, just quickly, here’s the Life’s for the Outside e-newsletter and, as you can see, there’s a video. We also embed a lot of videos, as I said, from the TV show. This is "The State of the Gulf," the documentary that just aired last month. And we’re promoting that ‑‑ encouraging people to view it online, for example.
This e-newsletter is very broad. It includes hunting, fishing, all these kinds of information, parks ‑‑ so it’s a broad e-newsletter and it goes out to 115,000 subscribers so it’s a lot of bang for the buck. We also have a State Park Getaways e-newsletter and there, as you can see, we’re giving people information about what to do in state parks come springtime. 35,000 subscribers get the Getaways e-newsletter every other month and we, as you can see, we also promote online reservations there. We drive online reservations, which now account for about 40 percent of all reservations. We also make sure that people can easily click over to the Events Calendar and see the events that are taking place so that is, I think, working very well for state parks.
Our fishing e-newsletter that you see there reaches 30,000 subscribers and that’s sent out every quarter and there we were able to keep fishing and fisheries conservation issues top of mind. And the Hunt Texas e-newsletter, which reaches 93,000 hunters, the issue that I’ve shown here is from fall and I just thought it was interesting because you can see that we also did an Ask an Expert Live Chat and we did that in fall and we had a really good participation in that so we’re able to promote a lot of things that are going on in addition to the fall seasons and hunting seasons.
In addition to these e-newsletters, we also offer our email system, we also offer the opportunity to receive news letters. Now, these are online versions of publications that are original content and we have put them online, either in the form of an HTML document or as a PDF and we are ‑‑ this enables us to reduce printing costs. Obviously, some people can opt to receive them by email and, in addition, we were able to really promote the readership of these publications because we include links to them in our e-newsletters that reach a much larger audience. So it’s another way for us to promote it to a new audience. And this is one of the examples. Eye On Nature is probably the most popular specialty e-newsletter and that reaches about 12,000 subscribers but, again, we’re hoping to build that number by including it in our Life’s For Outside e-newsletter, et cetera so people can become aware of this.
So, beyond the e-newsletters that I just went through and the specialty news letters, we have what are called email blasts and those fall within two general categories; informational topics and promotional topics and people sign up for these, again, as you saw in that signage. They sign up for them based on their interests. Now I’m just going to quickly run through some examples. First, I’ll show the informational types of email blasts and these are, again, enhanced. We’ve added graphics. Wherever it made sense to do a digest, we moved to that. We used to send out news releases every time they went out. We’re like, Let’s go ahead and do weekly digest. You know, unless people request it as it comes out, we’re going go ahead and do it on a weekly basis. This goes out on Friday and this reaches 27,000 subscribers once a week.
Our job postings ‑‑ a little different. Every time a job or an internship is posted on our website, the person who subscribes to a job postings gets an immediate email. They don’t wait a week to find out there’s a job opening so, again, you have to look at each type of email to determine what’s best and this goes to approximately 11,000 subscribers. Obviously, that number changes over time but it’s an un-automated type of email blast.
We also offer a Saltwater Fishing report, for example. These are the fishing conditions and we have also freshwater fishing, we also have a regional fishing report that you can select where you can look at saltwater and freshwater, based on what region you’re interested in and this goes to about 11,000 subscribers.
And Big Time Texas Hunts, which, again, I was thinking I would be alluding to their presentation you saw earlier but let me just say that this has been a very, very successful effort. We actually had a marketing budget to focus on this. We do a lot of new things this year and one of the things that we did with email marketing is we actually were very, very successful. We had a lot of tests. We drove 35 percent of all the website traffic to Big Time Texas Hunts webpages, where you could buy an entry. It was driven by email marketing. And, 41 percent of all entries for Big Time Texas Hunts were bought online.
One kind of interesting factoid is, just the email blasts that we’ve sent to last year’s license holders who had not ever purchased a Big Time Texas Hunts before, that email, which we could track because we had a customer ID for these individuals, resulted in $30,000 in that revenue. That more than pays for our annual GovDelivery contract. Lifetime license drawings. Two weeks ago we sent out our email blast on this and it resulted in a 4,000 ‑‑ 4,000 percent increase in sales versus the week prior. Conservation license plates. We ‑‑ this is a revenue-producing program. I think you’re all familiar with it and we were able to drive people directly to the Conservation license plate website where they are able to purchase a specialty plate through the DMV; the Department of Motor Vehicles ‑‑ excuse me ‑‑ website.
The magazine we also promote and we sent a blast out last year to 14,000 people. We had ‑‑ it was opened by 14,000 people, excuse me. We sent it out to almost ‑‑ about 35- or 40,000 but 14,000 of those people opened the email and about 3.4 percent of those clicked through into the offer. Unfortunately, we don’t have customer IDs on those folks. We’re working on that. I’ll tell you a little more about that in the future, kind of where we’re headed, but, you know, very, very high ‑‑ well above industry average in terms of click-throughs.
Youth hunting partners, this is interesting. This is a situation where we sent out email blasts fairly recently to 6,000 managed deer land permit holders and we were asking if they land and we needed land for the youth hunting program and we actually got more than 20 inquiries, just based on this one email, interested in leasing their land for the program.
Paddling trails. We sent notifications that are high profile. We also send out ‑‑ and here you see a paddling trail notice, which is another way for us to keep that top of mind, let people know that there are more trails that they can go out and paddle.
So, this gives you, hopefully, a little overview of the types of emails and so we ‑‑ once we had the content to deliver, we’ve moved now to focusing on the list-building strategies and so I want to talk to you a little bit about that. Within the past year, we have grown our subscription base pretty significantly from 41,000 subscribers to 120,000. We’re going to try to grow that by the end of this fiscal year to 150,000 subscribers; that’s about a 25 percent increase and we’re going to work hard to try to get there.
One of the most effective ways we’re going to try to do this is by increasing our email collection efforts and we’re going to be looking at all of our key customer databases and trying to import those into a GovDelivery system, along with their custom IDs so we can track and find out what kind of conversion we’re having when we send out emails. We’ve already ‑‑ and you can see ‑‑ here are these different types of customers that ‑‑ databases that we have. We’ve already started. Here you see an angler invitation that went out a couple of weeks ago and we sent this out to 5,500 anglers who had purchased the license but they hadn’t yet subscribed to GovDelivery, so we made sure they weren’t already subscribed and this email resulted in about a 10 percent conversion. About 10 percent of those anglers signed up for GovDelivery and that brings our current percent of resident fishing license holders who have given us their email, about 24 percent of them have now signed up for GovDelivery.
Obviously, we need to do much better than that but these are the kinds of efforts that we’re making. We’re going to be following up with a email to park customers; about 131,000 park reservation customers and then we’re going to be ‑‑ in late summer ‑‑ looking at our hunting folks because that’s a good time to reach them with the invitation, when they’re ready to start the hunting season.
So, now, you know, one of the things after increasing the collection of emails and the number of people that we’re reaching, one of the most important things we’re going to be doing ‑‑ this is a really big next step ‑‑ is, we’re going to be looking at database integration with a SAS LURES, which is ‑‑ it’s an acronym for a license utilization revenue enhancement system or something none of us will remember in about ten minutes but it is a very, very powerful system. The agency has invested significant dollars in this ‑‑ into this very recently. We’re in the process, a cross-divisional team is working on uploading all those database directories into this very powerful software system and that will begin to allow us to really integrate our database so we can look at a customer from what I call a holistic perspective.
So, you know, Commissioner Hughes, we’ll know if you’re buying a fishing license and a magazine or you also have a boat that you’re registering, when you tend to buy your fishing license so that we know when to send your renewal. These are the kinds of things that we’re going to be able to know with this system and really do more ‑‑ much more targeted, intelligent marketing because we’re going to know our customer better. This is a very exciting next step for us.
So, you know, in summary, what we plan to do is we plan to continue to fine-tune our email system with the intent of driving more revenue, in particular, with some target email marketing efforts, as well as continuing to use this low cost tool to increase awareness of our programs and our efforts. And we’re going to be targeting renewal and retention efforts. We’re going to be looking at cross-promoting products. We’re also going to be looking at some email acquisition promotions and that was also going to be touched on a little bit in the Big Time presentation but, essentially, we’re looking at offering ‑‑ doing a drawing for lifetime licenses ‑‑ to win a lifetime license if you provide your email address to us and allow us to, you know, send you an invitation for GovDelivery, to be part of our email system.
So we want to do more to encourage people to sign up for ‑‑ to provide their email so we’re going to be doing that. And, of course, we’ll be also just continuing to follow those practices, doing a lot of testing on when is the best time to mail people, what is the messaging we should be doing, what kinds of images or no images appeal to them. There’s a lot of that sort of interim testing we’re continuing to do. And, that concludes my email communications presentation and I’d be very happy to answer any questions or hear any comments that anyone might have.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Any questions, Commissioners?
COMMISSIONER HIXON: Just congratulate you on all your efforts. It’s fabulous. It really is going in the right direction.
MS. BONTEMPO: Well, we have a lot further to go but we appreciate that. We’re going to try our best. We really are ‑‑ we are very excited by this tool and we really do want to continue to make a lot of progress.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: I wanted to ask you, is there a way of knowing, kind of putting a dollar figure on how much it’s costed and I was, as well, putting this together versus, you know, with the increased traffic. Is there any way ‑‑
MS. BONTEMPO: Well ‑‑
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Well ‑‑ around that, just to track it and say, you know, because of these extra efforts, X amount of monies have been generated or X amount of people ‑‑ extra individuals are visiting our sites.
MS. BONTEMPO: Well, I think ‑‑ that’s a really good question. I think that there are some isolated examples where we have, for example at Big Time we work closely with our licensing folks and were able to get ‑‑ we went a long ways to track through and we have customer ID if they buy online. We probably won’t be able to do a very good of that until SAS LURES ‑‑ until we’re able to integrate everything and have the database talking to the email and customer IDs loaded into that email service. Until that time, it’s very difficult. Also, all of our purchasing systems are managed by different ‑‑ they’re all on different platforms.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: I was just curious if there was a way ‑‑
MS. BONTEMPO: Yes.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: ‑‑ of having ‑‑ because ‑‑
MS. BONTEMPO: And we want that. Yes. That’s something that we’re very ‑‑ we want to be able to track what is the result of our efforts but getting, you know, all the platforms are a little bit different and so it’s quite a technological challenge actually to be able to be able to get Google analyst to follow and go all the way through onto a system that we don’t own.
For example, with the, you know, boating or with licenses Verizon handles that so we have to work through a vendor so it’s something that we’re working towards, I guess, and it’s a good question and we’re trying to get a better handle on it.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Just the increase in the traffic is, you know, it says it all right there. I was just curious because it’s always kind of interesting when you can put a dollar figure to it but truly test out the numbers or ‑‑
MS. BONTEMPO: Yes. We do have dollar figures that I mentioned. For example, on the Big Time, I mean, we were able to track those because we had a customer ID with their emails so we could exactly track that those folks that went and clicked through that they were they ones ‑‑ that they bought as a result of that and that is just one example but that more than pays for the service. Of course there is time involved and, you know, absolutely but we believe it’s one of the most cost effective things we can be doing. So.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: It’s exciting. It’s exciting to see it, you know, come together and see how it’s grown just ‑‑
MS. BONTEMPO: And are all of you signed up for ‑‑
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: I am. I love it. And the digest is really great. It does give you kind of a quick overview.
COMMISSIONER HUGHES: Margaret, can I ask a question?
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Oh, I’m sorry. Yes, go ahead, please.
COMMISSIONER HUGHES: That’s all right. Are we asking fishing license ‑‑ when people file a fishing license, hunting license, registration of boats ‑‑ are we asking for email addresses at that time?
MS. BONTEMPO: Yes, we are. When they’re buying online, we are asking. Not when they’re buying at retails. When they’re buying online, we actually, you know, now ‑‑ changed the email collection from an opt-in, which meant you had to check and say, I would like to give my email to receive information. We changed that to an opt-out, meaning you had to check yourself out, basically, and say, No, I do not. And that change alone resulted in a dramatic increase from about 19 percent of our license holders opting in to now we have about 48 percent of our online license buyers are ‑‑ we have their email address.
But, we have still a fairly small percent of those buyers buying online. So, by 4 percent of the total fishing and hunting. So we have been talking ‑‑ actually, we had meeting early this morning with Commissioner Duggins and we are going to be ‑‑ for this coming license year ‑‑ we’re going to be working on an initiative to try to collect those emails at the point of sale at retailers ‑‑ excuse me ‑‑ and, as I mentioned, this sort of promotion that we’re looking at, we’re hoping to use that to really have some results that will make a difference because we don’t control the clerks at the Walmarts and Academys. We’ve got to do something where the customer says, Wait a minute, I want to give you my email ‑‑ because we’re not real confident that the clerks are going to take the time ‑‑ especially how long it takes right now ‑‑ to buy a license at a retailer ‑‑ three minutes or so ‑‑ they’re going to add that additional step, without the customer kind of insisting on it.
COMMISSIONER HUGHES: Okay.
MS. BONTEMPO: Does that answer your question?
COMMISSIONER HUGHES: Yes, thank you.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Any other questions, comments?
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Follow up to Dan Allen’s questions and this is a great question. As Darcy said, they’re looking at ways to increase the collection effort. One place we certainly do that is in our own offices. We need to talk about that ‑‑
MS. BONTEMPO: True.
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: ‑‑ because there’s no excuse for us not doing it in our own offices.
MS. BONTEMPO: Yes, sir.
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: While a commercial employee may have some push back ‑‑ although we’re not sure of that ‑‑
MS. BONTEMPO: Right.
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: There shouldn’t be any push back at our ‑‑
MS. BONTEMPO: Well, that’s a very good point.
And so, Commissioner Duggins has promised to keep us on our toes. Right?
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: It’s very good to have someone interested in this at this level so ‑‑
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: I think everybody ‑‑ I don’t speak for the rest of you but I think we all are very much interested in supporting you.
COMMISSIONER SCOTT: Going forward, you’ve got to have ‑‑ there’s no other way you’re going to compete and keep track without the IT. It’s just not going to happen. Got to have it.
MS. BONTEMPO: I appreciate that.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Thank you so much for your time.
COMMISSIONER HIXON: Thank you, Darcy.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Mr. Chairman, this Committee has concluded its business.
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Mr. McCarty, in place of Mr. Smith. Unless anyone has anything further, this Commission is completed and so I’m going to declare us adjourned.
(Whereupon, at 2:10 p.m., the Outreach and Education Committee was adjourned.)
C E R T I F I C A T E
MEETING OF: Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, Outreach & Education Committee
LOCATION: Austin, Texas
DATE: March 30, 2011
I do hereby certify that the foregoing pages, numbers 1 through 27, inclusive, are the true, accurate, and complete transcript prepared from the verbal recording made by electronic recording by Penny Bynum before the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.
On the Record Reporting, Inc.
3307 Northland, Suite 315
Austin, Texas 78731