FIRST Publicity (Final Debate Thread)

In scattered threads, I have noticed people talking about how to publicize FIRST…what do you think they need to do to get people serious about the organization?

I think Ill start this one off…

FIRST needs to get TV coverage more than the local Florida news stations 30 second clip…Also FIRST needs to get a writter that will be able to put stories into a paper like the USA Today, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, ect…When you have big newspapers that are known nationwide post a positive story about FIRST, that will increase the interest and audience …Finally, I noticed how Batllebots hired Carmen Electra to help increase their auidences…FIRST needs to do that too…i am not saying get some super model, or an actor/actress… If you can get some prominent individual to go to the competitions and stay there all day…that would help increase auidences too…Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Colin Powell, or event George W. Bush…if you can get someone like that, who everyone knows…that would really help publicity

I fell strongly that FIRST could do more to publicize events and recognize those who receive awards and win competitions.

I understand that the FIRST staff is very busy and overall accomplishes things better that any other group I’ve ever been involved. On top of that they are the greatest people you’ll ever meet.

However, the media these days relies on press releases to report the news. No paper or TV station has time to surf all of the web sites, forums, or call teams full of busy mentors, teachers, or students. to get enough information to tell a complete story. Coverage ends up being spotty because what does get reported is often based on what one or two individuals caught at the event, rather than official lists or statements.

The press release on the FIRST site covering the 2002 kickoff does not have any hard figures of Team numbers and came out several days after kickoff. In today’s media, that’s ancient history.

I’d like to see complete results from competitions posted on each day of competition. Ideally, these could be regionally customized to highlight local teams. At the least, gettting data posted or other wise distributed would let team volunteers coherently alert their local media.

One word: Entertainment. People pay more attention to entertainment than anything else. The best ways of educating are through games and entertainment. Look at that Muzzy guy, teaching kids languages or the Animaniacs with thier songs about countries and verbs and stuff. Or that Phonics game. That gets into people’s heads.

The question is, how do you entertain with the ideals and ideas surrounding FIRST? What do you do to make what we do seem interesting to outsiders? Create a board game? Cartoons? Comic strips <nod to SALLY FORTH>? How about a magazine… rumor once, soon to be reality, believe it or not, but that’s another story <grin>. What about through art? Or the ARTS? Musicals and songs inlfuencing FIRST pop culture. Celebrities also have a lot of draw <nudge nudge>.

So that’s my opinion, and those are my ideas… sic, ain it?

-Robby O
FIRSTanimators Moderator