Interactive Recruiting

These types of informational slide-show packets utilize all points of contact — telephone, mail, computer — and generate word of mouth, and you can’t beat word-of-mouth advertising.

Interactive recruiting doesn’t always mean high-tech. Initiating programs and partnerships with catalog and listing organizations is also effective.

Stockton’s baseball camp has a deal with Baseball Express, a large product catalog company, that helps get the word out about the camp and brings back former campers.

“I’ve developed a system of awards that the boys get for the number of repetitions that they go through with different skills,” says Stockton. “They’re using my video tapes as the guide to go through. We’ll number the tapes and for every hundred points they can send in a form for a little premium they can get out of the catalog.”

Stockton has his own tape series and is hoping to parlay that into what he calls a “legit infomercial”. “Eventually, I’d like to have a television show that would run 52 weeks a year where we can offer instruction on a weekly basis, and we may do it on the website,” says Stockton.

Interactive Internet Ideas

And what of the Internet? It’s an obvious recruiting tool, but how do you make it truly interactive? People love to talk about the interactivity of the Internet, but in truth it can mostly be a one-way street, and not much more interactive than a cold brochure.

The key is to get everyone involved in some powerful way that shows what goes on at the camp every day. Many camps are beginning to implement a “photos of the day” section, or on-line daily/weekly diaries of one type or another.

“We do pictures of the week because kids like to see their own pictures and it’s great advertising for us,” says Zerofski. “One of the students will see their picture up there, call their friends and say, ‘Look at me, I’m up on the Web page.’”

Because the Internet is a new and additional maintenance duty, a lot of the great ideas are just that right now… ideas. But the eventual implementation of these ideas will go a long way toward boosting the recruiting effort.

At Sea Camp, campers graph various oceanographic processes, like temperature and salinity. Zerofski would like to publish this information on the website daily as a way to provide an interactive learning tool for teachers that doubles as a subtle and effective recruiting tool.

Meanwhile, Stockton would like to have sections with updated skills tips for both coaches and players and a section that tracks the progress of former campers. He envisions an almost running box score that brings recognition to the campers and gives potential campers another reason to attend.

The problem is time. For the camp director who doubles and triples as Web master and head recruiter, time is a precious commodity. Perhaps the answer is to assign a percentage of your time every day to recruiting.

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Related posts:

  1. Signs of Life & Warning Signs
  2. R&R
  3. Breaking Through
  4. Skills & Drills
  5. Off-Season Prep

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