In November I had an email from BASC with information on their new scheme to introduce new people to shooting:
BASC is delivering a project called Take a Mate Shooting. All you have to do is take a friend or family member out shooting; you could take them to a clay ground, an airgun club, a BASC coaching event at a game fair, or anywhere else it’s safe and legal to try target shooting. You could also take them beating or picking up. Once you have done this, ask them to fill in this simple online form.
We will then send your mate a free information pack about shooting, you will be entered into a prize draw for a new Browning Shotgun worth over £2,000 (or BSA air rifle and ‘scope combination worth up to £1,000) and your mate will be entered into a prize draw to win a day’s shooting with a BASC coach near you!
This is a fantastic reminder for us all about the importance of us promoting our sport to those that know and trust us. We can all be micro-influencers! We shouldn't just rely on organisations like BASC or the big names in shooting to promote the sport. Think for a moment... are you more likely to trust the opinion of Kim Kardashian promoting something or one of your closest family members of friends?
We are never going to convert all the anti's in one sweeping move, but what we can do is grow our voice and our participators one by one. I personally try to speak to at least one person per day about shooting. Someone who perhaps has never shot before or know little about it. I talk about it passionately and describe how exciting it is. If I come across as passionate and engaging as possible surely it will rub off! Its the people we know and trust that we can most easily give access to shooting and show them how great it is.
In the last year I took my brother shooting who very promptly thereafter applied for his shotgun certificate, I then took my Dad who likewise promptly applied and received his Shotgun certificate. This year I have taken my other half shooting and she is now in the process of applying for her shotgun certificate and last week I took a friend of mine to my local clay shoot for a go also (who has since been asking about how to get a shotgun certificate). I have also taken my mum and her husband shooting for the very first time in the last couple of weeks.
This is not large scale promotion or marketing, but if I can get four new people in to shooting in 12 months imagine what would be achieved if everyone did that! We could make such a huge impact on our sport! If every member of BASC introduced two new people in to shooting that would be 300,000 new shooters in the UK inside of 12 months....
To ensure we keep our rights and to ensure our voice is heard in government we need to have sustainable and growing support for our sport. More people in the sport will also add to the economy and will see new gun shops opening, new shooting grounds and lots of exciting opportunities to get involved in the sport we all love.
Be a micro influencer... Take a mate shooting...