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Radio, TV, the printed word, personal appearances, video, social media, all of these are part of the media blitz to promote sponsors, products and yourself. Self-promotion is listed last for a reason, your sponsors, their services and products should be the main goal in your effort to spread the “outdoor gospel”, get it right and you are on for the long term, joy ride.

 The Power of the Printed Word- Seemingly the lost art of writing (on paper or the web) shouldn’t be ignored. The ability to reach a huge audience is extremely important. The world wide access to information is a “game changer”. Write about things you are passionate about and involve expert sources to add relevance to your work. Develop a personal style, keep everything positive, incorporate high energy themes and make sure you can pass the “I” test. Count in periodicals the number of times the author uses the word, I. Don’t overdo it. Proofread your submission for errors in grammar, punctuation and more. Be professional, not a plagiarist, do NOT just copy and paste the work of others. Seek out work for magazines, local, state and national in scope, newspapers of all sizes, both in print and on line versions.
 Photos tell a Story – A great picture tells and sells the story. Tasteful shots of a catch or kill are important. See the light, no really see the light. Natural light is tricky. Back lit shots, (sun behind the subject) create shadows. Front lit shots can shadow the face, try a ”fill flash” to avoid this. Low light outdoor pics can be dramatic, sunrise and sunset are very desirable. Be aware of background and details in the farming of the photo. No cigarettes, alcohol, dangerous stunts or shots that compromise children or demean anyone. On the water life jackets are desirable and essential, in some cases required for publication and use by editors as well as other media outlets. Take a moment in the excitement to think about what you see before clicking the shutter. Use the photos to match the topic and catch logos on baits, boats and clothing as a payback sponsors.

 TV and Video – While footage can be edited, great TV is spontaneous and catches the excitement at the moment of truth. One rule of TV, “you can’t say it if they, the viewers, can’t see it”. Show and explain I n detail the bait, the rigging, the features of your kayak, little tricks and techniques you use to keep you safe and make you more effective in your pursuit to paddle whitewater, catch kayak bass or take a trophy buck. Be genuine, dress appropriately and think about your on camera message. Avoid risky behavior, foul language and any negative activity, these things could cause a great moment to have to be edited out of a show.

 Radio – While sometimes viewed as passé, radio can still be an effective form of communication. Again the advent of the World Wide Web sends your message across the air waves globally. In my own case, I do a radio spot each weekday on AM 650 WSM. Hmm, AM radio you might be saying. 650 is the flagship station for the legendary Grand Ole Opry, commonly referred to as the “mother ship” of country music and also a massive group of listeners that happen to be outdoor enthusiasts. The station is 50,000 Watts, under the right circumstances hits 38 states at drive time, reaching a huge audience and again is broadcast worldwide on the internet. One more way to reach and promote to a diverse audience.

 Personal Appearances – At a boat show, on the creek bank, dealer seminars, outdoor venues or in the aisles of your local retailer, you are in each case doing a personal appearance. After three decades the key to success is to measure your words and monitor the reaction of your audience, be sincere and understand everyone (except you) is a potential customer. Being professional again in your dress, speech and conduct keeps you coming back for longevity in this segment of the industry season after season, I’m celebrating 31 years of seminars and appearances this year. Understand also you represent the sponsors whose clothes and patches you wear and the other groups you are affiliated with and hope to maintain the professional relationship with in the future.

 Communication – Being able to catch a fish, paddle class four water, stalk wildlife or explore nature just isn’t enough. Communication, verbal and non-verbal is extremely critical to finding your place the indoors and outdoors. Again develop your own style that is memorable and suits you specifically. Make yourself marketable. Be part of the team. How you conduct yourself, the stories and photos you supply, your language and people skills all add up to following the map to media and promotional success.