Over the months we have been fortunate to get noticed by some pretty big publications. This includes National Geographic with our Blackberry Farm hiking blog, Orvis for our fishing video shot in Dubai, Trout Unlimited in their gear review on our shirts, Ducks Unlimited for that same reason, Salt Water & Southern Trout Fishing Magazines for even more gear reviews, and an award winning short film documentary "Back Bay" who used our shirt in the filming. And our model/guide/ambassador Chris Nischan has chosen to wear our Ultimate Hybrid shirt when he receives the Tennessee Outdoorsman of the Year award this month.
So what does all of this mean? Street cred or just a grain of sand on the beach of publications? After all, you can't get much more recognition than that...right?
As writers today are well aware, the business of actually getting paid is tough as nails, and everyone who does this for a living is playing a new game with a fresh deck of cards. In fact, the old "game" doesn't really even exist any longer. Just as we've gone over the decades from playing Monopoly to 3-D video headsets using virtual reality--so has communication methods with the masses. So what will the next great strategy be that takes the world by storm?
Years ago when Trivial Pursuit first was launched and difficult to purchase, a business associate got his hands on it and four of us went to a bar to play. The crowd around us was 4 people deep, and you couldn't help but hear the answers being mumbled between everyone as each question was asked at the table. THAT kind of social reaction is what makes a change in the game and raises the bar to a new level.
Means of social communication have changed in a similar manner, now encompassing new platforms in social media that reach thousands of eyes with just a swipe of the finger on a phone or iPad. Snatching the proverbial brass ring that is a hit covered by all the search engines and actually converts information into sales is the new game in town.
Whereas we use to wait in anticipation for an issue of Field And Stream to peruse the gems that writers like Robert Roark would magically create, today you can pull up 100 articles on any given subject in seconds on your cell phone. How do you gain relevance in an endless stream of media?
Technology is the new playing field, and the relevance of words in a world of instant gratification is the new game. We recently attended the ICAST Show in Orlando to see the latest and greatest of the fishing industry. What was interesting is that it was all being filmed in real time by different groups of people who wanted to post online their take on the new items and peoples response to it in real time.
At one new hot company called Googan Baits, they had a host of people there to show you all their amazing new lure designs that were...SOLD OUT...twenty minutes after launching. Seems they have some new young team of video guys called the "Googan Squad" who made a huge splash on YouTube...and got a ton of followers to check out the company before it had even officially launched. THAT is POWER. That is the new social media.
Today there are communicators organizations to join that enable members to both stay current with the new trends as well as well as promote proper ethics, fellowship, and interchange of information. We are proud members of TOWA in our state of Tennessee, SEOPA in the southeast region, and OWAA on the national level. The mission of each of these organizations is to improve the professional skills of their members and be mentors for the next generation of professional outdoor communicators. Notice I didn't just say "writers." It also is for broadcasters, film and video producers, artists, lecturers, bloggers, podcasters, webcasters, communications and PR professionals.
You find out pretty quickly when you get involved that if you're not learning, you're being left behind. Everyone needs to play by the different rules of a changing game on a new playground, and as the old saying goes, "Be there, or be square."
You get the point.
Best of the Best,