Marketing Partnerships

Best practices for leveraging partnerships to attain goals and accomplish R3 through marketing. State agencies need to work through partners in order, especially, to recruit as well as retain and reactivate. Partners are a great way to build an army of R3 soldiers to accomplish this huge task. Partners can be within the conservation community (Ducks Unlimited, NWTF, QDMA, etc.) or they can be outside the conservation community (parks and rec departments, scouts, YMCA, etc.).

The Great, the Good, and the Just Fine

Here are a few things to take into account when talking to partners about assisting an agency with marketing efforts regarding R3:

  • Partnerships take time-they can be slow; for marketing with partners with similar goals partnership can actually be very fast!
  • Need a main point of contact and possibly others as needed depending on the size of the group
  • Have conversations to make sure it is a good fit to be partners
  • What to expect from partners – keep realistic goals and expectations
  • Fight doing anything R3 in a silo!
  • Make some goals for your organization and focus your partnerships around those goals. If your goal is urban fishing programs, then foster partnerships with urban organizations who might want to feature fishing programs.
  • Or do it the other way around. If you have a great partnership with a group, sit down and make some R3 goals with that partner for the year.
  • Trying to manage without authority – no entity is willing to accept direction from an external entity and turf wars do exist; if there is a history with an organization, know it before you go trying to build a relationship
  • Invite your partners to the R3 community!!! I challenge you all to go gold ambassador.
  • Be aware of how organizations take requests for specific donations or how they can support you through other channels like promotion through social media, email, publications, etc.
  • Wherever possible, reinforce the efforts and activities of local hunting/fishing/shooting opportunities as these locations have a high correlation to increased participation
  • Continue to promote and advertise industry related websites which often list and categorize programs and opportunities by location
  • Well educated professionals regarding R3 are essential so publicize trainings to partner groups such as the R3 Symposium, any AFWA or regional meeting, other R3 training or educate where you can.

Educate Partners on Measurable R3 Efforts & Marketing

Making sure that partners are up to speed on what the agency is tracking to make sure our programs/efforts are successful need to be shared with all partners. While not every event may be able to get all of these, it will show the importance of working towards that goal.

  • Show them the R3 problem and what your state agency is doing to address it
  • Come to agreement on the terms (the literal words) that we are going to use to talk about R3
  • Show effective marketing techniques that have been used to see if it spurs any discussion or interest in helping to market the outdoors in targeted efforts.
  • Reference R3 community for case studies

Event Recruitment with Partners

  • Use partners to recruit for events, especially recruiting new people
  • Focus on parks and recreation departments, state parks, community centers, and other partner organizations that are less likely to be current hunters/anglers/shooters
  • Focus on recruiting mentors and volunteers from other partner groups that are more likely to be hunters/anglers/shooters
  • Defer to the partner on how best to share your event, but share recommendations
  • Ask how partners would like you to share their events
  • Event registration – try to be the registration service or have shared understanding that event registration can be shared among partners for tracking purposes

State Agency Opportunities for Partnership

In-State Partners

  • Give grants to other local organizations to hold recruiting events.– Bass fishing clubs, Hispanic community centers, state wildlife federations, state chapters of DU, NWTF, PF, QDMA, etc.
  • Write into those grants metrics to measure success
  • Developed learn to hunt and learn to fish workshops and make train the trainer programs for partners to perform those workshops; include one year membership to organization in registration fee to create an ongoing social support
  • Tackle loaner programs or other gear loaning programs with partners like state parks
  • HAWG group – leveraging a network of statewide orgs and have R3 meetings to figure out ways to work better together
  • Build a coalition of state level marketing partners
  • Media – how do we include
  • USFWS – make sure you are including
  • Partner with tourism to get a fishing/hunting/shooting trail established in your state

Other State Agencies

  • Efforts leveraging opportunities or unique state opportunities and marketing them to other states lists of lapsed or nonresident license holders
  • TN-Alabama example – work with border states to reactivate nonresidents
  • Use border water opportunities for fishing
  • Leveraging shared resources (Powderhook) to benefit both states for marketing
  • Continue to network and learn at R3 Symposium, RBFF Workshop, AFWA/regional meetings, etc. Use those contacts to bounce ideas and best practices off each other.
  • Become a part of ACI

Involving Partners in Planning

Once you have your agency on board with R3, get your partners to trainings and meetings.

  • Involve partners in creating your R3 plan and ask them about marketing
  • If your partners have an interest in marketing, make sure you involve them where appropriate
  • Ways to use partners
    • Photos – ask them for photos of people, wildlife, or from their events
    • Volunteer recruitment – get them to communicate to their membership
    • Event marketing – promote events through appropriate channels
    • Mentor recruitment
    • Access to new places
    • Promotion of R3
    • Promotion of public opportunities
    • Ask for access to contacts or to share information through their lists
  • You can return all the favors a partner group does for your agency! Just make sure that you offer the same treatment for any partner group with certain guidelines if necessary i.e. it needs to be open to everyone, or free admission/registration, whatever your rules need to be – create MOU so there is something documented for each party

Grant Opportunities

  • RBFF Vamos a Pescar grants with partners
  • NSSF R3 grants with partners
  • R3 state grants from RBFF
  • RMEF grants
  • Multi state conservation grants
  • Other localized NGO Nonprofit grant monies -example
  • NRCS/USDA – Voluntary public access grants
  • ATA grants to build ranges
  • Agencies can give grants to partner groups for putting on R3 programs
  • USA Archery grants

The Ask

Have something to offer them. Have a give and take, not just a take. Be ready to trade horses. Don’t just ask for something, have something to return. That is what a partnership is. Otherwise it is a sponsorship or a donation. Be very clear with what you want in return.

  • Success stories/case studies
  • List of partners to consider talking to:
    • State parks
    • Tourism
    • Scouts
    • Sporting goods retailers (local or national)
    • Quality Deer Management Association
    • Scholastic 3D Archery
    • US Fish and Wildlife Service
    • YMCA
    • Safari Club International
    • State wildlife federation
    • State agency foundation
    • State extension office
    • 4H
    • Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports
    • Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation
    • National Shooting Sports Foundation
    • Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
    • Ducks Unlimited
    • USA Archery
    • USA Shooting
    • National Wild Turkey Federation
    • BASS
    • Local fishing clubs
    • FLW
    • Boys and Girls Clubs
    • Nature Conservancy
    • Orianne Society
    • Local Park and Recreation Departments
    • Local law enforcement
    • Local government agencies
    • Shooting ranges/gun clubs
    • Church groups
    • Schools (including colleges and universities)
    • Local politicians or influential/famous people
    • Marketing firms
  • Clearly defined roles and agreements with private industry – examples of contracts
    • Go Wild
    • Emily will help
    • MOU for TN and Foundation
  • Working with social media influencers as partners –