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RememberSchiff

How about Proactive PR? Our Competition is taking shots.

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"This is a great example of proactive, pre-crisis thinking. And it’s also a lesson in internal communications; that is, sharing accurate information in a timely fashion with “front line” representatives of an organization. This is a textbook case of using proactive messaging to distinguish your brand from “co-petitors” in the news."

...

"Girl Scouts is proud of its more than 100 years of dedicated and expert service to girls—and girls only—in an environment that is girl-led, girl-focused, supportive of girls’ positive development, and, above all, safe."

https://www.agilitypr.com/pr-news/public-relations/girl-scouts-get-out-in-front-of-boy-scouts-bankruptcy-crisis-with-proactive-messaging/

Where's my blood pressure medicine?

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BSA doesn't advertise. It doesn't ever get in front of a news story, or correct mistaken information.  It's frustrating.

We had a local marketing firm who donated time and created a series of recruiting commercials, filming real Scouts doing real Scouting, and our executives bumbled around until the firm said enough and walked away.

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The BSA, for all of it's marketing and development folks, is absolutely the worst at any type of marketing.  Basically it is non-existent.  This is at both the National and Local levels.  For them to be able to get out in front of something, they need to have a grasp of what that something may in fact be and UNDERSTAND why they need to get in front of said something.  They need to be able to TELL the positive story, but they may not understand why the story needs to be told.

Yes Scouting is local, but it's like any franchised business.  The National office generates the buzz to drive consumers and the local shop delivers on the promise.  With BSA is seems that the local shop has to source their own customers, tell the stories, generate the buzz; then pay the money up the chain.  Think I saw that business model in Goodfellas.

There should be marketing for the BSA that drives Youth to be interested in the program, to SELL the program.  Then the local units close the deal.

Sadly if you are not involved in Scouts chances are you will never be aware we are around.  There are some units that have a presence on Social Media, but those are very few and most are not very good at posting regularly or putting out a good story.  As for any traditional venues like billboards, popup posters, etc; non-existent

 

Edited by Jameson76
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My thought was damage-control for recruitment.  IMHO, our competition here is subtlety saying they are safer,  BSA National should be responding. 

Edited by RememberSchiff

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Yep; I just found out that our local council does not even have a PR person on the board.  That should be one of the most important positions, and lands back on the SE, since he forms the board's actual functioning groups.  Right now we have Scouting for Food in motion; but we have no public communications outside of what we have units do with placing bags and such.  Our unit blares it on FB and encourages sharing by members with friends on Social formats.  But, we have no viable council webpage; the one we have is neve up to date.  There is no direct connection to the council FB link; you have to go through the office to get anything posted there.  Not sure if that is because they do not have the staff to monitor, or simply poorly planned.  It does not help that the local papers are obviously biased towards BSA and seldom publish any positive stories.  We have a few local throw aways that will put things in.  But it should be a primary function of the board, and it should utilize resources within the units to help.  

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2 minutes ago, skeptic said:

Yep; I just found out that our local council does not even have a PR person on the board. 

We had a professional marketing rep on staff, but fired her about 2 months ago.  I guess it makes sense. If we're not going to advertise or talk to the media, what do we need to pay a PR person for?

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12 minutes ago, Pale Horse said:

We had a professional marketing rep on staff, but fired her about 2 months ago.  I guess it makes sense. If we're not going to advertise or talk to the media, what do we need to pay a PR person for?

Large council, we seem to have 3 folks among the cast of thousands over to the office that have marketing in their title.  Honestly have never seen anything out there in the local wide wild world about the BSA in our metro are that was in fact actually generated by the council office.  Another 6 have "development" in their title.  I am guessing that all of them are in fact involved solely with raising money so they, the SE, the Asst SE, the multitude of directors and specialists all can keep getting paychecks. 

When in doubt and to balance the numbers just add in some of those In School units.  Gotta look good to the donors

Edited by Jameson76

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1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

"This is a great example of proactive, pre-crisis thinking. And it’s also a lesson in internal communications; that is, sharing accurate information in a timely fashion with “front line” representatives of an organization. This is a textbook case of using proactive messaging to distinguish your brand from “co-petitors” in the news."

...

"Girl Scouts is proud of its more than 100 years of dedicated and expert service to girls—and girls only—in an environment that is girl-led, girl-focused, supportive of girls’ positive development, and, above all, safe."

https://www.agilitypr.com/pr-news/public-relations/girl-scouts-get-out-in-front-of-boy-scouts-bankruptcy-crisis-with-proactive-messaging/

Where's my blood pressure medicine?

Yes, I saw the commercial last night for the second time.  It is well done and to the point.  Historically, there was a time when BSA was a favorite image for ad copy and also appeared favorably in most local news.  We cannot overcome the bad image by ourselves, other than on our very local level.  And even then, we run into issues on occasion.  Our biggest resource is our ongoing service, not just Eagle projects, but numerous other activities.  We have a number of serious outdoor oriented units that do regular trail work and have put up markers in remote areas and after our fires, cleaned up some local park areas.  Why was this not know by the larger public?  So, lets hope the new leader, not from the ranks, will address this primary need, reaching beyond National with options for local use.

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In this immediate moment I am going to suggest that it might be hazardous for the BSA to engage in almost any proactive messaging on YPT or the bankruptcy at this moment.  Anyone on this site could easily write the response that could come from an abused-claimant.  It could be: "the BSA does not get it" or "the BSA is insensitive with its statement" or worse.  These people need to be treated with kindness.  For now the best route might be to just quietly prepare our means by which we will try to give them some justice.   As for competitor organizations that are piling-on with their PR, this is part of the competitive market and they are taking advantage at this moment -- as they did when we repealed don't ask don't tell, formed all-girl Troops and our other recent progress.  My read is that Americans know this is obvious "kick them while they are down" behavior. 

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27 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

As for competitor organizations that are piling-on with their PR, this is part of the competitive market and they are taking advantage at this moment

As for GSUSA - they have the problem that much of the general public thinks that Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are the same organization.    You can take a group of Scouts BSA girls,  all wearing the older shirts that clearly say "Boy Scouts of America"  and people assume that they are Girl Scouts.   (This has happened to my Scouts BSA troop more than once.)     I've had to explaine to numerous friends that BSA and GSUSA are completely separate organizations.      It is unsurprising that GSUSA wants people to know that they are not part of the organization that is going bankrupt.

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Well, who/what are "our" competitor(s) ?   BP Scouts (BPSA)?    Royal Rangers?   Campfire?  Vanguard Scouts?  I do not see GSUSA as a competitor, as such.  Their program is complementary, not so much competatory (word?).   Cookies and entrepreneurial training, officially, so it would seem.  Ours is outdoorsy,  not so much sell as survive. 

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1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

In this immediate moment I am going to suggest that it might be hazardous for the BSA to engage in almost any proactive messaging on YPT or the bankruptcy at this moment.  Anyone on this site could easily write the response that could come from an abused-claimant.  It could be: "the BSA does not get it" or "the BSA is insensitive with its statement" or worse.  These people need to be treated with kindness.  For now the best route might be to just quietly prepare our means by which we will try to give them some justice.   As for competitor organizations that are piling-on with their PR, this is part of the competitive market and they are taking advantage at this moment -- as they did when we repealed don't ask don't tell, formed all-girl Troops and our other recent progress.  My read is that Americans know this is obvious "kick them while they are down" behavior. 

While I sometimes wish we would defend current practices more, I have to agree with @Cburkhardt.  Trying to fight the narrative now is like spitting into the wind.  We have to take our lumps.  I was surprised to have a couple parents come up and vigorously (in anger) defend the BSA.  I think BSA's response, "we believe you, we are upset about the sins of the past and we want you to come forward" works.  

In the short term, we will be hit, but after bankruptcy, we can start anew and while holding true to the scout oath & law.

Edited by Eagle1993
typo
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The BSA should be out there talking a lot more about what it is doing and why. 

The point isn't to blame those suing the BSA or to criticize those attacking it.  The point is simply to explain and get the message out there.  By doing nothing, the BSA is letting others define it.  The BSA is doing itself more harm by not saying anything than by simply stating what is going on.

If someone says - "the BSA should be punished", then engage in a conversation about how 1.5 million kids in the program today are paying to benefit from Scouting.  

If someone says - "the BSA should pay those abused", then engage in a conversation about the fund the BSA is creating.

This conversation can entirely be positive and affirming.  None of this is about blaming any victims or trying to avoid responsibility.  It's about trying to do the best for both groups - those abused and those who are members today.

 

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12 hours ago, SSScout said:

Well, who/what are "our" competitor(s) ?   BP Scouts (BPSA)?    Royal Rangers?   Campfire?  Vanguard Scouts?  I do not see GSUSA as a competitor, as such.  Their program is complementary, not so much competatory (word?).   Cookies and entrepreneurial training, officially, so it would seem.  Ours is outdoorsy,  not so much sell as survive. 

There's a lot of organizations that are our competitors. Sports, Band, Robotics League to name a few. Parents and Scouts have limited time; any extracurricular activity that competes for that limited resources is competition.

We need to be selling Scouting and showing that Scouts BSA is the best use of someone's limited and valuable time.

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IMHO, we need solid, factual answers to parent questions regarding trust and safety ahead of membership drives.

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