How does your team recruit marketing members?

My team just held our season debrief over Zoom and one of the topics that was discussed under “needing improvement” was how to recruit more marketing-focused members. We basically haven’t had a consistent marketing subteam since 2017. Usually the leadership team acts as a sort-of business team – although we strongly and persistently encourage our members to help out, only the leaders seem to understand the importance of marketing and fundraising.

We do have some new ideas: For one, I suggested we go directly into the marketing elective classes at our school (for this next year, likely over a virtual platform like a video or Zoom call) and inform the students about our program with a short presentation. My team also holds regular workshops in the summer and fall, and this year we are involving the marketing team more heavily in that workshop process.

I want to know what other teams have tried. I know that there are some really passionate marketing students out there – but how do we convince them that robotics involves marketing, too?

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The difficulty of this surprises me. Last year I reached out to the Business teachers, knowing that they have a very active program. I figured a pitch of “Hey, we’ll put you in charge of a budget of $_______ and have you be in contact with a bunch of HR directors you’d otherwise never meet. You can also have fairly free reign for publicity, writing print/web/video content…and and the end of it there will be a letter of rec that will glow to the extent it can be seen from near earth orbit.”

chirp, chirp, chirp. That’s the sound of crickets. Minimal to no interest.

I’m missing something…

T.Wolter
mentorish type

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We’ve tried doing a similar thing with our school’s DECA program. Same results. There is a new DECA coach/business teacher this coming year, so we are going to try to get her to push again, but I don’t have high hopes.

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As a more business/marketing oriented person within FIRST, If you want to make members think of marketing and non technical stuff as a priority, you should consider doing some of the following. I’m no expert btw, these are just my observations and opinions.

Firstly, making it a requirement to participate and/or contribute to at least one non technical event to go to competition personally helps our team. This will stress the fact that this is important and should be taken seriously. Also having our leaders be heavily invested in things like outreach and business helps, as we lead by example.

Secondly, going into more business related classes, specifically with freshman in them, and talking to the about how you need more people like them. Even just if you know a student who is interested in marketing or imagery, ask them to join and make them feel like they’re valued. Also maybe add how this is a great thing to put on their resume, but obviously don’t start with that.

Thirdly, when showing them the things that they would be in charge of, show them your past work on that aspect, or even better, show other teams’ examples to show them the possibilities.

Hope this helps!

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