>> It doesn’t matter to the media or our opponents how long you were safe, they will use one accident or near accident to end our sport and our rights. 25,550 safe days and thousands or millions of rounds have passed without incident. It isn’t newsworthy. One accident will attract more attention than all of the years of safe operation.

Yes, that’s what I said. If you want positive attention you have to do something positive that is worthy of attention and then make a concerted effort to tell people about it. Being safe isn’t newsworthy.

>> It is hard to reason with somebody who won’t see reason.

I have never been injured playing frisbee with the dog. The paper never has any pro-frisbee articles. They must be anti-frisbee.

>> Judging from what I’ve seen, most of our members are of retirement age.

Sounds like your club’s past recruitment efforts weren’t the best. What are you planning to do to get new people involved?

Has the population been like this for the past 70 years?

>> It started changing in the 1970s. The change escalated in the 1990s.

In the 40 years prior to when “it started changing”, what was the club doing to become part of the local community?

>> The local media has a blackout on *any* shooting information.

Define “blackout.”

First, what are you doing that is even worthy of a story or mention? Second, an effective PR campaign requires two releases (a pre-event announcement and post-event follow-up) for each event.

Unless you can tell me that your club is running at least eight news-worthy events a year, that you’ve sent two pieces of well written publicity for each event to every media outlet in a reasonable driving radius, and that you’ve been doing this consistently for more than three years, your local “media blackout” may be perceived rather than real.

Editors who ignore uninteresting places or people, non-events, or sporadic, poorly written press releases are not automatically “anti-gun.”

>> Nor will their calendar (which has almost every conceivable obscure thing listed) include the open trap shoots, match schedules, or even cover that a range exists here.

My local paper never used to list shooting events either. Anti-gun? The guy who owns the print shop that prints those papers is a semi-active Trap shooter. Nobody, including that Trap club, made a serious effort to publicize the club.

>> The club also does fishing (we run a pond for kids), supports Boy Scouts, has a food booth at the 4th of July, etc. You will sometimes see references to that in the press, but they don’t mention the range.

Tie in, brother! The Boy Scouts has a shooting program.

Sounds like the local media-folk has no problem promoting your club. Exploit every mention.

Does your club have a web site worth visiting? Are you getting it mentioned in any of this publicity? Do you have an obvious sign up for your free club newsletter? Do you even have a free club newsletter (not just for range members, but to anyone who requests it)?

When your club runs these events, are you handing out TWO flyers to each person (one for the attendee, and one for a friend) offering a free class/match/whatever at your range?

Are you capturing the contact info (email, address, fax, etc.) of every attendee? Then you would have a direct line of communication to them. “The media” is just a medium to broadcast ideas. You can become the media if you have a way to broadcast ideas to enough people yourself.

It will be an uphill climb, for your club especially. It won’t be easy or quick, and you have no guarantee of success. It’s up to you to decide if your club is worth it. Either find organizations that support this type of effort (hint: most gun organizations don’t, which is partially why we’re in this mess!), or organize yourself locally.

You’re never beaten until you accept defeat.

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