Episode 44: Creating a compelling story through marketing and communication with Mark Eller from Leave No Trace

Here at Relish, we try hard to adopt sustainable practices, recycle, and reuse as best we can. Generally speaking, we do our best to minimize the impact we have on the planet.

I bring it up because I had a fun conversation today with Mark Eller, the Memberships, Major Gifts, and Foundations Director at Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. Leave No Trace is easily one of my favorite organizations because they teach people about interacting with our natural spaces with more care and consideration.

Mark brings a ton of expertise to the table at Leave No Trace, having as he does a career steeped in communications AND marketing. So, as you might imagine, we talked a lot about these subjects. We both feel every nonprofit can benefit from understanding how Communications and Marketing intersect to tell stories that compel transactional relationships.

One of the biggest takeaways from our conversation was about measuring success. Yes, it’s important to use data to identify trends and information—but it’s also important to pair your data with observations and watch people’s behaviors.

That will help you identify whether their actions match up with your organization’s mission, so you can learn where you can better educate and train your stakeholders. Using anecdotal evidence paired with data makes for a stronger plan of action going forward.

Check this one out. It’s a ton of fun.


What could I do better the next time I go into our natural spaces? Be a steward with a protection ethic.