Help For Teams

I have a few thoughts for those who want to help expand the FIRST family.

I moved to RI in 1998 and ever since then I wondered why there is only one team in the state. The Rhode Warriors in my opinion are one of the best teams in the FIRST family and with winning multiple events and awards you would think that they would get coverage by the local media outlets with more than a story when they win an event. They don’t know about all that goes on in FIRST because they only know what they are told and I bet FIRST doesn’t send anything to local affiliates.

I’m asking all teams to go out there and send out a team press release to all of your local media outlets. Telling them who you are what your doing and what FIRST is all about. You’ll be surprised at the response you get and who knows you may even have a news crew follow your team from the preseason through postseason.

A while back a local station did a story on a lego competition and when I saw the commercial I said “cool lego league” when they ran the story it ws about some middle school and there own competition. I was kind of bummed that a school made event was on when there is a national competition.

PLEASE go out there and help the family grow!!!

*Originally posted by Jay5780 *
**you would think that they would get coverage by the local media outlets with more than a story when they win an event. They don’t know about all that goes on in FIRST because they only know what they are told I’m asking all teams to go out there and send out a team press release to all of your local media outlets. Telling them who you are what your doing and what FIRST is all about. **

Our team this year issues regular press releases.

Beach Cities Robotics Press Relations

I became increasingly motivated to do that when going out to seek donations/food/materials/money local people or even local high school faculty didn’t know there was a national champion high school robotics team.

We have a lengthy distribution list including all local school officials, government officials, tv, radio, newspaper, online…

Senator Bowen was intrigued by our press release, and asked to visit our facility.

Her upcoming visit drew the attention of school officials. chuckle They all wanted to come. Fine with us.

The team pic with the senator taken by our team’s professional photographer made it into the local paper.

Suddenly our school superintendent wanted to be on our team’s email list. He mentioned us at his yearly school/business partnership breakfast…

I’m hearing back from school faculty (you guys are in the paper all the time!), hearing back from sponsors (I saw it in the paper).

What’s worked for us is having regular open house to the public hours published in “out n about” in the local paper, and in community event calendars.

We issue to the local school columnist regular press releases. We may get into Beach Reporter Kids’ section, or Daily Breeze School Notebook section.

We regularly post our press releases on PR Web because those articles are picked up by the search engines.

I learned from the Rotary Clubs online Press suggestions to “tie in” with our SCRRF meeting for instance. We issued a press release that we were hosting a SCRRF meeting, and invited public to join us. That too was picked up by event calendars…

are there any other teams that do this and if so do you have any luck?

*Originally posted by Jay5780 *
**I have a few thoughts for those who want to help expand the FIRST family.

I moved to RI in 1998 and ever since then I wondered why there is only one team in the state. The Rhode Warriors in my opinion are one of the best teams in the FIRST family and with winning multiple events and awards you would think that they would get coverage by the local media outlets with more than a story when they win an event. They don’t know about all that goes on in FIRST because they only know what they are told and I bet FIRST doesn’t send anything to local affiliates.
**

Well let me answer your questions one by one?

Why is there only one team in Rhode Island?

Simply put, money. RI was never a rich state, and this year is the worst. Sponsorships are few and far between. Companies like our program, but simply say that they are barley have enough money for themselves.

We have made several attempts to try and spread FIRST in RI.

  1. First attempt was in Charro, RI in Kent County, but they couldn’t raise the necessary $5,000 for entry fees

  2. The second attempt was with Kingston, RI with URI being the main sponsor. But for unknown reasons, never happened.

  3. This we tried to combine the 3 schools on the Island, Portsmouth, Middletown, and Newport to make one big team. This is still in progress, and maybe we can have a multi-school team next year.

About media in our state about us

  1. We had a short segment on Cox 3 talking about our team and FIRST

  2. We have been in the Newport Daily News many times, and the Providence Journal once.

  3. We did demos at many events, that showed off the robot

At an interesting note, RI does have a strong FLL league. I think we have about 10 towns/cities that are involved with the FLL. We even had a full size FLL competition last year at NUWC (our sponsor)

*Originally posted by Jay5780 *
**are there any other teams that do this and if so do you have any luck? **

I wanted to let you know that I just now got a call from Daily Breeze School Notebook reporter. She’s going to follow our team thru the season and do a story.

I’ve heard that local Easy Reader is stacking up our press releases with the intent of doing a story on us.

I was told by local Beach Reporter that there’s a reporter for Redondo Beach, and a reporter for Manhattan Beach, and since we have a school on our team from each of those, it’s easier for them to run something about our team in one of those areas. I wouldn’t be surprised if they run a story about us too.

Everything I read about PR says to issue a press release when there’s news. For instance, I had 2 press releases ready that I sent to Daily Breeze today (I just haven’t submitted them to our distribution list yet), 1 about our 2003 competition schedule, and one about our open house schedule.

So tho sometimes it seems they aren’t publishing our press releases, it is building interest among the reporters.

Daily Breeze spent an hour at our meeting yesterday with a reporter and a photographer. So cool. They interviewed many team members and took lots of pics.

Then today southbaycalendar.org sent an email out to the entire community featuring our open house.

THEN I get an email asking for a pic so America Online Digital City can feature us in Kids and Family. I took care of that, then it dawned on me, maybe we’re already listed “regularly”. OMG, I had no idea. We’re editor’s pick, in the top 10 of clicks for kids and family, and I didn’t write them all the awesome stuff they wrote about us…

Let the good times roll!

:yikes:

On the island, we are pretty well known. Newport is one of the hotspots of R.I. and we share the Island. theres mad rich people out here. I still am amazed we dont have that much support. But I enjoy it all anyways. carwashes are fun. I love being the screaming idiot. Pointing to people, jumping up and down, giving a thumbs up, waving, screaming, “CAR WASH!!!, GET UR CAR WASHED HERE!!!, OH U KNOW U WANT A CAR WASH!” It’s fun, and getting soaked is interesting. And BTW, THANK U!! compliments, me like. :smiley: . U r right though, we do need to spread FIRST. I mean, people think Basketball is exciting, ITS THE SAME GAME OVER AND OVER AGAIN!!!, AND NOT EVERYONE CAN PARTICIPATE!!! FIRST rox sox, simply put. I hope it lasts FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOREEEEEEEEEEEVVVVVVVVVVVVERRR, FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRREEEEEVVVVVVVVER
I got my girlfriend on the team, shes from Newport, so its a start. Wish us luck!! Hope everyone else tries expansion as well.

*Originally posted by Redhead Jokes *
**THEN I get an email asking for a pic so America Online Digital City can feature us in Kids and Family. I took care of that, then it dawned on me, maybe we’re already listed “regularly”. OMG, I had no idea. We’re editor’s pick, in the top 10 of clicks for kids and family, and I didn’t write them all the awesome stuff they wrote about us…

Let the good times roll!

:yikes: **

Us being “featured” isn’t up yet, but they posted our

Champ’s pic

I think this year will be the easiest year to spread the word. Reliant Stadium and the Astrodome people know. The game can (and I have) be described in one sentence. The noise that the competition will create, both physicaly and in society, will be amazing. As Dean said, he wants every seat filled at every competition.

Where the championships are have show not to have an effect on how FIRST grows with the exception of kids getting involved to go to Disney. They have been at EPCOT for years and I think that is known more worldwide as a US landmark much more so than Reliant Park. Remember unless you heard something I didn’t the Championship is being held at Reliant Park, The park is the whole complex (Stadium, Old Astrodome, Convetion Center, Etc…), but I assume it will be in the stadium only because they said in the home os SB 38.

*Originally posted by Redhead Jokes *
**Us being “featured” isn’t up yet, but they posted our

Champ’s pic **

2 groups showed up cuz of America Online Digital City, and one group came in saying they’d been changing radio channels, and heard a quick byte about our open house, so they came by. I can only imagine the radio dj saw it on America Online cuz I didn’t send radio press releases.

Our newspaper story

doesn’t show the 2 cool pics included in the paper

Our rookies in the paper

Heres some tips from me.

  1. Get to know the editor of your local newspaper. It helps if you are often doing volunteer stuff.

  2. Get a knowlegdeable person (like 957’s amazing Mr. Cunningham) to and a couple of people to meet with the editor or reporter of the newspaper.

  3. Make sure to stress scholarship opportunities for girls and the importance of having girls on the team. This makes it much more likely that you will get attention.

  4. If you are trying to drum up attention to make a local team, it is best to be a helper in a nearby team. Like me :smiley: .

  5. Bug people at your school about FIRST. Become friends with a higher up (i.e. superintendent), teachers and anyone with a good work ethic.

  6. Better your community. You are far more likely to get money, attention, and workers that way. For example, you could have a canned food drive.

  7. Don’t just talk about it, get girls interested in FIRST. An all guy team seems sexist and old fashioned. Besides, in my experience girls have a point of view that should be listened to.

  8. Don’t forget to get guys interested too.

  9. Write an article for your school paper about FIRST.

  10. Get **ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE ** involved in fundraising. If a sandwich sale in a town of 8185 can get $4000 profit , then your town can too.

LOCAL SHORTLIST: 23 Fun Weekend Ideas Near You

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