With the 50th anniversary of Star Trek upon us, we are seeing a huge surge in media coverage and promotional tie-ins with the franchise. Star Trek is in the public eye right now and we need to take advantage of that natural momentum. That means it’s time for a recruitment drive!
Between 12:00am EST 9/8/16 and 11:59pm EST 12/31/16 we will be having a contest to see which chapter can recruit the most new members into SFI. The chapter that gains the greatest number of new SFI members will receive $100 for your ship. Second place will receive $75 and third place will receive $50. We will count only NEW memberships (renewing members and returning members won’t count) and all family memberships will count as one (1).
As with anything we commit to spending money on, buyer confidence is just as important here as it would be for another organization such as the Boy Scouts or a product such as Kellogg’s brand cereals. Speaking with people about joining STARFLEET is not a whole lot different. STARFLEET is a brand like any other. It is important to establish the significance of our brand and establish an emotional connection with our target audience. Just as Disney products are imbued with a wholesome, child-oriented personality, STARFLEET represents a love of Star Trek. That’s what you are offering these potential members.
Seems like a daunting task? Don’t worry! There are plenty of methods and materials out there to help. You can start with the official SFI Recruitment Pack. This pack includes fliers, press releases, logos, business cards, and more to help you sell STARFLEET as a brand. They are easy to print either at home or at your local office store (remember SFI has a Retail Connect account with OfficeMax/Office Depot which gives you a GREAT discount on printing there – see the Membership Perks section of the SFI Database for the account number).
Here are some BEST PRACTICES to help get you started:
- Look inside first
If your chapter is one which allows people to join without becoming a member of STARFLEET, this should be your first area of focus. You have already established a relationship of trust with these members. They will be far more receptive you and your pitch.
- Don’t just tell them about it – CONVINCE THEM!
People aren’t just going to join because you tell them to. They need to see that it is a benefit to them. Show them pictures from IC or your local Regional Conference. Tell them about the perks that are available to members such as discounted uniforms and vehicle/hotel rentals. Show them the latest CQ issue and let them glance through it. Let them see all of the fun they are missing out on!
- Add value
There are several things you can do to add value onto a STARFLEET membership at the local level. For example, you can require all leadership/operational positions in your chapter be held by SFI members. You could hold a recruitment contest on your own ship with small prizes for those who bring in the most members. Get creative with it and most of all HAVE FUN!
- Get the word out
Whether you are a chapter that meets in person or one that virtually keeps in touch, you can still use the same methods to attract new members. You can post on sites that have local message boards such as Reddit and Craigslist that you are looking for members along with information about what your particular chapter does. You can send members out to canvas local colleges with flyers. Go to your local comic shop’s Star Trek Attack Wing play night to meet new Trek fans and ask the shop owner if you can place a flier in the window or at the counter (some may even agree to host a Star Trek comic/collectable/game event if your crew is willing to run it). You can contact your local TV news station and tell them about your chapter and STARFLEET. Many chapters have appeared on their local news or in their local paper PARTICULARLY with the 50th anniversary this year. Book stores are also a good place to advertise as most have a science fiction section with Star Trek novels (they may let you place bookmarks near that section advertising your chapter). Libraries are a great place to advertise and look for members. Speck with the libraries in your area about hosting a Star Trek event or placing fliers on their community board.
- Never get discouraged
Keep trying even if you are not seeing much progress. You never know when lightning may strike. Don’t limit yourself to one avenue of possibility. Try several methods and add new ones when they come available. Get your whole crew involved and make it a fun experience. Recruitment can be a great team building exercise for you and your crew. You can only fail if you give up.
- Share your success
We want to hear about your recruitment victories! Share your stories with us on the SFI Recruitment Network Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/starfleetrecruiting/). Tell us about what you are doing and what works verses what didn’t. You can also get help from fellow chapters if you are struggling.
This will be a great opportunity for you to get out there and grow your member base. If you need help or have additional questions, contact Admiral Johnathan Simmons, Acting Chief of Operations, at email@example.com and check out http://sfi.org/downloads/recruitment-pr for more helpful documents.