Automate Your Shooting Success

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Our program seeks ranges, hunting guides, shooting preserves, and any other business or non-profit organization that offers marksmanship opportunities for gun owners.

Lets say you wisely decide to host marksmanship events as a means to promote your organization or business. This entails three factors:

– Operations, or physically running an event. This is setting up shooting courses and targets, signing up and running participants through those courses, scoring targets, notating the results, etc.

– Administration, or preparatory and follow up work for each event. This is building and maintaining a web site for the group/club/range, maintaining contact lists of participants and other interested people, processing scores and tabulating event results, updating the web site, writing and sending out newsletters for the events, etc.

– Marketing, or promoting the events. This is notifying the local community of the events, and consequently, your business or organization. Maintaining contact lists of prospects, writing press releases for the events, contacting local media and getting the events (and your organization or business) in the local news.

Our service greatly automates all these tasks. Typical individual tasks can be accomplished, start to finish, in about one minute’s time. Management of complete events that would normally require about four or more person-hours of office work can now be completed with greater effect in mere minutes.

It works for local shooters who want organized events but don’t enjoy the hassle of running them. It works for local hunting and shooting businesses who want to sponsor regular hunting and shooting events but don’t have the time to make them truly effective. It will work for you.

Altrutising

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I invented the word altrutising, a portmanteau of altruism and advertising, as it represents the only form of sponsorship accepted by the Firearm User Network.

We only accept advertising that altruistically benefits our membership, or altrutising.

Altruism
al·tru·ism [al-troo-iz-uhm]

– The principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others.

Advertising
ad·ver·tis·ing [ad-ver-tahy-zing]

– The act or practice of calling public attention to one’s product, service, need, etc., especially by paid announcements: to get more customers by advertising.

When considering options to accept sponsorship and support from third party companies, vendors and manufacturers I wanted the ensure that it served to help Firearm User Network members. Traditional advertising, paying to place interrupting messages in front of readers, viewers and/or members, rarely does the end user any good. We avoid this by only accepting Altrutising.

Any outside source of support is returned to the FUNshoot membership in a way that directly and obviously benefits them. Sponsors offset our operating costs, making it less expensive for members to benefit from our services.

For example, a vendor wishes to advertise with us. Rather than broadcast an ad to our membership in exchange for money, sponsors cover our overhead expenses which is passed on altruistically. Members hosting FUNshoot events agree to allow the company to be listed as an official event sponsor in exchange for a deep discount on event processing fees. Individual premium memberships are extended free of charge. Thus, every sponsor dollar is passed directly to the membership.

Rather than spending money to interrupt people with an ad, sponsor companies are forced to think how they can directly benefit the people they are trying to reach. The advertising becomes altruism. Altrutising.

Earl Nightingale and Robert A. Heinlein on Promoting Shooting Programs

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Earl Nightingale once said that whenever you have no idea how to achieve your goal, a foolproof technique is to look at how the overwhelming majority attempts to tackle the problem and do the exact opposite.

Robert A. Heinlein summed it up well: “Does history record any case in which the majority was right?”

That sums up how the Firearm User Network came into being.

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Exercise Second Amendment Rights

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Exercising your rights means just that.

Exercise requires taking action, getting trained, participating in other people’s events and/or hosting your own.

Exercise your rights by going out to actually do it and getting others involved.

Firearm User Network merely offer proven guidelines and suggestions on ways to better conduct that exercise for best results. More importantly, we offer tools that make facilitating this much easier. Our formats are quick and easy to administer, safe, inexpensive, effective and fun for the participant. We offer incentives to those who benefit from our programs and we formally acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments of active marksmen and event directors by promoting them within their local community.

You don’t have to use Firearm User Network services or conduct these events to exercise your rights. Get involved with another organization or create and run events on your own if you like. However, if you aren’t doing something that organizes yourself and gets others involved, you’re failing to exercise your rights.

Anti-Gun Media Blackout, part 8

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Victory! We broke the media blackout! So, what was the response?!?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

After whining about a media blackout, complaining about a raw deal and then being shown that this was just poor perception and that the local media would work with his shooting range, all interest was lost.

Notice I asked very specific, answerable questions about club size, participation and the like. Not a single answer. This haphazard, complete lack of organization is a major problem. No idea how many members and what sort of interest is being generated. No press releases or links to a web site were offered, or details of any form of organized events, likely because there were none. Any wonder why media people didn’t care? If there is no story to cover and nothing interesting of note, why are we surprised when no story appears?

I did the research. I handed this guy a specific name, title, email and phone number of an editor willing to publish his press releases at the very publication claimed to have a “media blackout” against gun owners. After that, he went silent. I guess he just wanted his blackout to be there, hidden behind an evil cabal. When instead he had the name and contact info of a real person willing to talk, interest ceased. The fact that the club had some controversy made a story even more potentially appealing. But, no. Do nothing, then blame the media for your problems.

Despite myths to the contrary, pro-gun coverage can be done:

Anti-Gun Media Blackout, part 7

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>> The local media has a blackout on *any* shooting information. As in, it refuses to print anything about any shooting events at *any* range *anywhere*. The county newspaper is the best bet for any releases, but they’ve turned anti in recent years. They have told me that by policy they aren’t printing anything relating to shooting or hunting any more.

Yes, that’s your claim. I did a little research and found articles printed about your range’s incident in two papers: The Bainbridge Island Review (the local island paper) and The Sun in Bremerton, Washington (the local county paper.)

Seeing as you said that “by policy they [The Sun] aren’t printing anything relating to shooting or hunting any more” I thought I would ask for myself. Contact info was prominently displayed from a link on top of the home page at their website.

Subject: local sports events

I help run sports clubs and would like to know your policy on printing event notices and press releases for local events and participants. I’m specifically interested in shooting sports, safety and training classes, etc. Thanks! John Buol

Here was their response:

RE: local sports events
Hi John! We’ll gladly run your event notices and other information on our weekly Outdoors page, which hits the streets every Thursday. E-mail any of that type information to our outdoors guru, [name and email withheld for posting]

Thanks for your interest,
[Name, phone, and email withheld for pulic online posting]
Sports Editor The Sun Bremerton, Washington

I don’t know what “policy” prevented notices in the past, but it looks like you have an “in.” Exploit it! Send info on every newsworthy even you run. Create events if you have to.

Hint: “Dinners” and meetings probably are not newsworthy. Matches, classes, and similar events are.

Do it yourself, hire an assistant, or affiliate with an organization that does it for you. Do it for at least eight events a year for the next three to five years.

Victory! We broke the media blackout! So, what was the response?!?

Anti-Gun Media Blackout, part 6

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>> [Pro-gun information] only appears in shooting-related newsletters.

What percentage of area gun owners receive these newsletters? What percentage of these local recipients are members of your club? What percentage of the club members participate in club events regularly?

>> Define “blackout.” As in, it refuses to print anything about any shooting events at *any* range *anywhere*. It is hard to deny that there is bias against the NRA, gun owners and the shooting sports.

Rule of thumb: A statement suggesting something is always true all the time is usually false. True absolutes like this rarely exist. Here’s an an example.

The NRA spent a bunch of money to have the Media Research Center (http://www.mediaresearch.org) conclude that media gun bias exists. The report specifically labelled ABC’s “Good Morning America” and host Diane Sawyer among the worst offenders.

Around the same time this study was conducted a shooting school offering free submachine gun shooting lessons managed to get numerous positive stories aired and printed in mainstream media sources, such as ABC’s “Good Morning America” (with Sawyer herself introducing the piece), NBC’s “Special Edition”, the New York Times, LA Times, London Times, UPN, and the BBC.

That organization turned to media outlets only after the NRA steadfastly refused to carry these same stories in its publications. They earned press by following a process that the NRA doesn’t do for its membership.

The process of effective promotion is:

 

  1. Do something interesting.
  2. Tell people about it.
  3. Repeat.

>> Press Releases are no good if nobody sees them.

Not necessarily. The editor sees it. No publicist gets *everything* published, which is why they think in terms of campaigns. If you’re consistently sending well-written material, at worst, they know you’re serious. Many clubs aren’t taken seriously as a well-run organization because they don’t do anything to appear they are a well-run organization.

If you’ve been promoting things well you’ll have dozens of samples. Why don’t you submit a few samples so we can see what you’ve been up to? Unless you’ve never bothered to promote anything, in which case your lack of pro gun stories is due to failing on one of the three steps above (or all three.)

Anti-Gun Media Blackout, part 5

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>> The local media has a blackout on *any* shooting information. As in, it refuses to print anything about any shooting events at *any* range *anywhere*. They stopped printing information about public events such as dinners, ever since a newcomer went a few years ago and was offended by seeing animal heads on the wall.

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.

>> The local newspapers are: The local rag (rabidly anti-gun), the county newspaper (somewhat anti gun) and the state newspapers (rabidly anti gun.) Yesterday, the local island paper carried an editorial calling for the club to be ejected on the grounds that the club “brought a tiger into our peace-loving community” and it’s the club’s fault that “the tiger escaped.”

>> Never mind that the club has been there decades before any of those homes, or that the homes have a covenant on their deeds stating that the owner knows that there’s a shooting range nearby and accepts that fact. They also claim that nobody needs such a powerful gun as a 9mm Glock…

>> The county newspaper is the best bet for any releases, but they’ve turned anti in recent years. They have told me that by policy they aren’t printing anything relating to shooting or hunting any more.

Hmmm, seems pretty clear. Maybe this is a case of anti-gun censorship? A true media blackout? Maybe not….

Anti-Gun Media Blackout, part 4

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>> 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.

Anti-Gun Media Blackout, part 3

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The original posters remarks are in italics with my responses below.
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