Author Topic: Not optimistic about continuing AS Program at Leetown next year  (Read 2725 times)

Offline Bruce in WV

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The title says it in a nutshell.

We have poor participation by club members and folks from nearby communities. Shoots have been "lightly attended" (to put a polite spin on it) and club members don't like giving up their nice 22lr range when it looks like we're not really using it.

I'd say the problem is primarily in making folks aware of the AS program, and that it is available right here in their backyards. I push it at monthly membership meetings and have flyers and posters on our ranges and in some of the local gun stores, and we post reminders on the state-wide forum of AR15.com, rimfirecentral.com AS forum, and of course, the WV forum here...but its not getting the job done. I'm one-deep, already have a full time job that keeps me busy every waking hour, frustrated by our slow start, and don't know what to do to fix the problem(s).

I need some suggestions about getting my BoD to add volunteers who know something about public relations, and then giving those volunteers approved materials and articles to push out through social media and local and tri-state news outlets. The BoD is willing to allow us to continue if we don't ask too much of them, but I'm not sure how enthused they'll be if I ask them to spend money on various forms of advertising.

I need helpful ideas, please, or I believe the AS program at the Leetown Gun Club will die on the vine next year. We have three shoots left this year and it would be great to show a successful Fall program and build some momentum before presenting the 2016 proposal.

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Re: Not optimistic about continuing AS Program at Leetown next year
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 04:51:50 PM »
Bruce,
Any seasoned Appleseeder knows yer pain sir. We have to find ways to get the word out within our limited time and treasure. There's a fellow in GA who is doing amazing things without really leaving his PC. He goes by "Roswell" and he might have some workable ideas. Maybe send him a PM and tell him how old PHenry was talking him up so much you just had to speak with him.  ^-^

We are blessed in FL with a young lady who has professional experience in writing press releases and she has done us very well with nothing more than some time and a working PC.

Keep the faith sir.
PH
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Offline BeSwift

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Re: Not optimistic about continuing AS Program at Leetown next year
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 07:33:57 PM »
Bruce... No need to throw money at advertising.. Keep doing what you're doing.. we just gotta reach the right folks with the right message..

FREE to LE, Active Duty Military/Guard/Reserves... Kids only $20....  Get the message to home schoolers, scouts, 4H,   Isn't there a Federal LE training site nearby (Customs)?   Does the club have a Jr Rifle program? Any nearby clubs?

Just brainstorming here.. Don't give up the ship! We'll talk soon.. B
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Offline FiremanBob

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Re: Not optimistic about continuing AS Program at Leetown next year
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2015, 07:40:35 PM »
Bruce,

As PH said, broad-scale marketing and promotion of Project Appleseed in general and our specific events is weak (to put it mildly). For your July event I posted a notice on vagunforum.net and saw that the number of participants grew markedly in the following days. I just made a post about this weekend's shoot and will track to see if it seems to have any results. The fact that your events are one-day is a big selling point for many potential students.

My local IWL (Harrisonburg) does not have any shooting. I wonder if publicity to the IWL network within a commutable distance of your club would yield results.

I'm about to send some press packets to the leaders of Tea Party groups in my local area. I'll let you know if that works.

There is a discussion forum specific to West Virginia here: http://wvsportsman.net . It seems to be focused on hunting and fishing but I wonder if posting here might help.

I wish there were a systematic method and materials for promoting Appleseeds in our local areas, but I haven't seen one yet.
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Offline TOMINCT

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Re: Not optimistic about continuing AS Program at Leetown next year
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2015, 10:23:05 PM »
 Hello Bruce, just a few thoughts.

Are there any events in Md, Va. or Pa. that are being held the same weekend or within a couple weeks? Sometimes one event can draw from a wide area, especially if well established. I've run into this a couple times.

 Is 22 ammo available in the area at reasonable cost? It is a 22 only shoot and this could be a large part of the problem. Try to have reasonable priced ammo available, if it's something you wouldn't mind doing.

 IIRC this is a new venue, correct? It can take some time to be a known quantity. Sometimes you'll get a few members the first event and it tapers off quickly. Then it will be local promotions to get the line busy.

 Holding one event a month is an ambitious undertaking but you can run into "if I miss this one there's one next month." thought pattern. I hate to say it but sometimes holding fewer equals better attended shoots.

 I ran some events in Maine and at a promotion at Cabela's the standard answer was "I already know how to shoot." You'll hear this a lot if off the main drag. If the area is sparsely populated and anyone can shoot in their backyard it is/will be a tough sell. Best thing is to hand them a square and give them the sales pitch on 5 rounds touching, prone with a sling only. It may be an eye opener for some. If this can be done at a club meeting and you're taken up on it you could see a few show from the challenge of it.

 Maybe next year start by holding one event there, when local conditions seem a fair time to hold a shoot. If it fills then the interest will be stronger for other events to follow. And you won't get the membership all fired up about loosing their range for 3 shooters over a weekend.

 I've had graduation weekend, the county fair weekend, you name it. Could be all or none of the above that affect it. Had one on Mother's day a few years ago and it sold out. Go figure!
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Offline jmdavis

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Re: Not optimistic about continuing AS Program at Leetown next year
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2015, 01:43:10 PM »
A rural area and a range with a large number of Appleseeds scheduled may not be conducive to good attendance. When the WV program started we had good attendance at the events at Putnam COunty Gun Club, out near Charleston. But it was close to alot of people, new to the state, and had buy in from the club and a number of excited IIT's, red hats, Shoot Bosees, Senior Instructors and a Master Instructor. Much has changed since then.

But one thing that you might consider is lowering the number of shoots at the range, particularly if you have complaints. Even near a metro of over a Million, you can run too many shoots, which will exhibit low turnout. Virginia runs 6 shoots a year in the Richmond Metro (over 1 million people) at 2 different clubs. Generally they draw at least 15 shooters per event and the high in 2009 was 65 shooters, the low in the summer of 2011 with temperatures over 100 was 6 shooters.

If you don't want to lose access to the range, you should consider fewer shoots for next year along with implementing for the tie-ins suggested above. If you can build attendance, then try to schedule more shoots.
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Online Roswell

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Re: Not optimistic about continuing AS Program at Leetown next year
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2015, 01:08:33 PM »
Bruce,
Any seasoned Appleseeder knows yer pain sir. We have to find ways to get the word out within our limited time and treasure. There's a fellow in GA who is doing amazing things without really leaving his PC. He goes by "Roswell" and he might have some workable ideas. Maybe send him a PM and tell him how old PHenry was talking him up so much you just had to speak with him.  ^-^

As they say, "flattery will get you everywhere".  :) Let me see what I can do...

I push it at monthly membership meetings and have flyers and posters on our ranges and in some of the local gun stores, and we post reminders on the state-wide forum of AR15.com, rimfirecentral.com AS forum, and of course, the WV forum here

^^^Yes! Good stuff and keep it up!

Bruce... No need to throw money at advertising.. Keep doing what you're doing.. we just gotta reach the right folks with the right message..  [...] Get the message to home schoolers, scouts, 4H,   Isn't there a Federal LE training site nearby (Customs)?   Does the club have a Jr Rifle program? Any nearby clubs?

^^^ All good ideas and he is right, no need to put money into it. Just time and effort.

vagunforum.net
http://wvsportsman.net

^^^ More good free ideas.

I wish there were a systematic method and materials for promoting Appleseeds in our local areas, but I haven't seen one yet.

My counter part in Florida has made huge headway towards this, specifically for Press Releases.  I'll be getting with her soon and combining my social media knowledge.

Is 22 ammo available in the area at reasonable cost? It is a 22 only shoot and this could be a large part of the problem. Try to have reasonable priced ammo available, if it's something you wouldn't mind doing.

^^^ That is definitely something to mention in your publicity. We have mentioned it before and it does sway some folks.

But one thing that you might consider is lowering the number of shoots at the range, particularly if you have complaints. Even near a metro of over a Million, you can run too many shoots, which will exhibit low turnout.

^^^ This is actually a very good point and I have seen it happen. If you do 5 shoots and 5 show up to each, that is 25 shooters. You do 1 shoot and also get 25 shooters then you have the same number of shooters, but A LOT more profit for RWVA. This in turn helps out other events.


The event on August 29th has 4 shooters and 8 instructors signed up and being so close, it will be hard to change those numbers much. If I was the shoot boss though I would use this event to get my instructors promoted and give them all a chance to re-qualify. The line doesn't look as empty if you add 5 instructors or so. Also, don't forget in addition to LE, Active Duty Military/Guard/Reserves and Politicians being free, the shoot boss can also waive fees for  others at his discretion, such as the BoD. ;) That will keep them happy.

Now, for the other events...

I would start by contacting your State Coordinator and let them know you need help. Don't have one? Contact the Regional State Coordinator. I doubt you do, but see if you have anyone in your state that handles promotions.

I have attached a copy of a Press Release Template that my counterpart in Florida made. You will need to edit the highlighted information (Date, Range, City) and update prices for a 1 day. Send this out 4-6 weeks prior to an event to your local paper, radio and tv, as well as, any nearby places like Martinsburg and big cities like Hagerstown, MD and Frederick, MD (both within an hour drive).

Social media:
The West Virginia Appleseed Facebook page has not had a post since January 2014. Someone should be posting there. You can set it up so it links to Twitter also. Set up a free monthly newsletter on Mailchimp. Instagram and Google+ are good free social media tools also.

PM me with any questions

And thanks for taking up the torch!  O0
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Offline ThePoet

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Re: Not optimistic about continuing AS Program at Leetown next year
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2015, 05:15:57 PM »
All good ideas.  Thanks for pitching in. 

We have an approved press release template that we'd like to use for announcing local events.  It presents information in a way that media prefer.  Simply edit with relevant information for your event and contact details and distribute to local media outlets as you see fit.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 12:00:41 PM by ThePoet »

Online eaglescouter

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Re: Not optimistic about continuing AS Program at Leetown next year
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2015, 08:59:04 PM »
Quote
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONTH 31, 2014



Project Appleseed Announces Rifle Marksmanship Clinic in CITY, STATE

City, ST, Month 15, 2014- Project Appleseed will hold a rifle marksmanship event on Date 1-2, 2014 at the NAME OF RANGE range in CITY, STATE.  This unique event teaches fundamental rifle marksmanship skills together with stories about the important role that marksmanship played during the Revolutionary War.
The two-day event will include instruction on gun safety, proper marksmanship techniques and live fire practice.  Students will also have the opportunity to earn the coveted Rifleman patch by shooting a qualifying score on the Appleseed Qualification Test (AQT). 

In addition to expert marksmanship instruction, students will hear historical storytellers passionately share the Three Strikes of the Match, a series of three pivotal events that ignited the Revolutionary War.

Project Appleseed events are suitable for both new and experienced shooters.  Families are welcome.

Event: Project Appleseed Rifle Clinic
Date:   MONTH 31, 2014
Time:   8:30 - 5:00 PM EDT daily
Venue: RANGE
              ADDRESS
              CITY, ST 12345
Cost:    Men: $60
             Women and Students (under 21):  $20

             Active Duty Military and Law Enforcement: Free


For additional information, please visit www.appleseedinfo.org

-More-




About Project Appleseed:
An initiative of the 501 (c) 3 nonprofit Revolutionary War Veterans Association, Project Appleseed focuses on teaching traditional rifle marksmanship skills while reconnecting Americans of all ages and backgrounds to the people and events of the founding of our country.  Participants learn about the difficult choices, heroic actions, and sacrifices that the Founders made on their behalf in order to secure our nation's independence and freedom.  Project Appleseed is served by more than 650 volunteers and has taught more than 70,000 people in all 50 states since 2006.  For more information, please visit www.appleseedinfo.org
# # #

Media Contact:  (INSERT CORRECT NAME AND CONTACT DETAILS FOR LOCAL RELEASES)
State Coordinator Name
Project Appleseed
T: 704-xxx-xxxx
E: emailaddress@email

Did we change our pricing again ??

On eventbrite our rates are :
Adults: $60
Youth under 18: $20

I do not see a special women rate on Eventbrite.
I do not see a Youth price for 18-21 years of age on Eventbrite.
I do not see a Student price on Eventbrite.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2015, 09:03:53 PM by eaglescouter »
Make yourselves good scouts and good rifle shots in order to protect the women and children of your country if it should ever become necessary.
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Scouting for Boys (1908)

Offline ThePoet

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Re: Not optimistic about continuing AS Program at Leetown next year
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2015, 09:27:07 PM »
Thanks for picking this up.  We'll have scuzzy take a look at it.

Quote
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONTH 31, 2014



Project Appleseed Announces Rifle Marksmanship Clinic in CITY, STATE

City, ST, Month 15, 2014- Project Appleseed will hold a rifle marksmanship event on Date 1-2, 2014 at the NAME OF RANGE range in CITY, STATE.  This unique event teaches fundamental rifle marksmanship skills together with stories about the important role that marksmanship played during the Revolutionary War.
The two-day event will include instruction on gun safety, proper marksmanship techniques and live fire practice.  Students will also have the opportunity to earn the coveted Rifleman patch by shooting a qualifying score on the Appleseed Qualification Test (AQT). 

In addition to expert marksmanship instruction, students will hear historical storytellers passionately share the Three Strikes of the Match, a series of three pivotal events that ignited the Revolutionary War.

Project Appleseed events are suitable for both new and experienced shooters.  Families are welcome.

Event: Project Appleseed Rifle Clinic
Date:   MONTH 31, 2014
Time:   8:30 - 5:00 PM EDT daily
Venue: RANGE
              ADDRESS
              CITY, ST 12345
Cost:    Men: $60
             Women and Students (under 21):  $20

             Active Duty Military and Law Enforcement: Free


For additional information, please visit www.appleseedinfo.org

-More-




About Project Appleseed:
An initiative of the 501 (c) 3 nonprofit Revolutionary War Veterans Association, Project Appleseed focuses on teaching traditional rifle marksmanship skills while reconnecting Americans of all ages and backgrounds to the people and events of the founding of our country.  Participants learn about the difficult choices, heroic actions, and sacrifices that the Founders made on their behalf in order to secure our nation's independence and freedom.  Project Appleseed is served by more than 650 volunteers and has taught more than 70,000 people in all 50 states since 2006.  For more information, please visit www.appleseedinfo.org
# # #

Media Contact:  (INSERT CORRECT NAME AND CONTACT DETAILS FOR LOCAL RELEASES)
State Coordinator Name
Project Appleseed
T: 704-xxx-xxxx
E: emailaddress@email

Did we change our pricing again ??

On eventbrite our rates are :
Adults: $60
Youth under 18: $20

I do not see a special women rate on Eventbrite.
I do not see a Youth price for 18-21 years of age on Eventbrite.
I do not see a Student price on Eventbrite.

Offline scuzzy

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Re: Not optimistic about continuing AS Program at Leetown next year
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2015, 10:27:13 AM »
Women are no longer free. That has been the case for almost two years now. Adults are 60 and kids 20 for a two day event. LEO/Mil/Disabled are still free.

Here's the current pricing:

https://appleseedinfo.org/tips/faq.php#fee01

persona non grata

Offline ThePoet

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Re: Not optimistic about continuing AS Program at Leetown next year
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2015, 11:59:01 AM »
Revised press release template attached.

Offline crobjones2

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Re: Not optimistic about continuing AS Program at Leetown next year
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2015, 06:56:51 PM »
I am just going to throw this out there - as I am only a participant
Out here in Southern CA we have done a couple of shoots that were promoted by a local outdoor business. From what I had heard this caused the events to fill very quickly
another idea would be a single day event, a lot of people are not willing to give up an entire weekend, but will commit to a single day.

just a couple of thoughts

Offline Bruce in WV

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Good outcome
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2015, 09:03:00 AM »
We had 7 shooter on the line last Saturday, 4 of them teenagers. It was a beautiful day and there were lots of happy (tired) faces at 5pm when the SB finally dismissed the group. There were 2 of the Leetown Gun Club BoD on site during the day to observe, and they went away very pleased with what they saw. We talked about getting more attendees next year and generally agree with the suggestion that holding fewer shoots (maybe once a quarter) will probably help. Availability of the AS team is the driving factor (that's a problem since it looks like WV still doesn't have a state coordinator), with range availability at Leetown pretty much a slam dunk. We'll need to discuss this in Dec after the last shoot in 2015 while we're figuring out the 2016 schedule. I'm also going to take advantage of the other ideas (above) and work on getting some help with advertising.
Erick posted some very nice pictures on the AS-West Virginia FaceBook page.
All in all it was a wonderful event.
Thank you all for making this so successful.

Offline BeSwift

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Re: Not optimistic about continuing AS Program at Leetown next year
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2015, 10:19:30 AM »
Thanks for all your hard work Bruce!  Quarterly or every other month would likely result in fuller lines, UNTIL we get it take off within club membership.. (this will happen BTW, it just takes time)...

B
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Offline TOMINCT

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Re: Not optimistic about continuing AS Program at Leetown next year
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2015, 02:19:43 PM »
 Good to hear you had a good turnout and successful event.

 Keep it up, it can be a challenge at times!
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Re: Not optimistic about continuing AS Program at Leetown next year
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2015, 05:47:47 PM »
Bruce,

Just seeing this post, and there have been some great points made.

Few from me:

1.  7th step everyone you know, to include when at work.  I am a GOV employee (also retired Navy), and have an extensive network.  I was able to recruit a lot of people to Appleseed lines, thru simple networking.  On my last program, a Marine Program, an active duty Gunnery Sergeant has his Redcoat and AQT posted in his cube.  He has 7th stepped a few just by doing that.

2.  For your local club/range.  Shoot Bosses have discretion to offer "free/discounted" tickets.  I would offer up what I did in my club.  The event would be FREE for all club officers.  This has not worked well at my club, but one or two have taken me up on the offer.

3.  Are you involved in a local church?  Kiwanis/Lions/Elks etc?  Libertyseed events can be a great way to spread the message of 19 April 1775, and also promote local Appleseed events.

4.  Wear Appleseed shirts when out for dinner at local dining establishments.  We managed to recruit a waitress at one particular event. 

5.  Appleseed pamphlets, ask local businesses if you can leave a stack there.  Also make a laminated "Leetown RGC" paper there with details of upcoming events at your range.

6.  Back to the personal network, TWIST ARMS, guilt em into going.  I have done that ALOT, and it has paid dividends, in fact one of those "Twisted Arms" is a Red Hat (Full Instructor) with the Project.

7.  Social Networking can help also, but nothing beats your "personal experience".  Heck, use others "personal experience"!  I hear Kevin Bacon is an Appleseeder, when you talk about the Project, mention his experience.  I also LOVE Jaime Franks (US Navy, was on the History Channel show "Top Shot", his experience really helps with those "SUB MOA" bench shooters!

8.  DO NOT QUIT, remember our forefathers/mothers/brothers/sisters on 19 April 1775, and the choices they made.  Stick with it, and eventually, just maybe against ALL ODDS the magic will happen.

My .02 cents.

R/
Chris

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Re: Not optimistic about continuing AS Program at Leetown next year
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2015, 09:47:46 AM »
Great job Bruce in WV! Sounds like it was a great event and many more to come. Huzzah!
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