You probably can’t name a sport with memberships more diverse than skeet and sporting clays. Because they can be pursued successfully and with enjoyment by people of virtually any age or gender, we have the good fortune of memberships from young to old, male and female, novice to world championship levels. Members span wide-ranging income levels, vocations, and locations. Some participate in sporting clays or skeet exclusively, while others shoot both sports through dual memberships or the Crossfire program. Our members span all levels of technological expertise.
Our diversity presents us not only with the great opportunity to grow our sports and our membership ranks among many demographics, but also with a number of challenges — none greater than how to communicate effectively with everyone when their ages, genders, resources, professions, skills and other measures vary so widely. We need to be able to reach and fill the needs of our current, diverse members while looking ahead to those we hope to attract to membership in the future. At any given time, if we’re not considering both those of us who are already members and our potential future members, we are being short-sighted.
One element of our approach to that has been to offer a variety of channels of communications so there is something for everyone. We offer a printed magazine, Clay Target Nation, for content that is less time-sensitive and for those who prefer the printed format. We have a digital version of the same for those who like the convenience of their reading materials on an e-reader and who enjoy its interactivity. We produce a weekly e-newsletter, Target Talk, for more time-sensitive content and virtually everything we need to impart to our members. If a member uses a computer, tablet, or smartphone, Target Talk is easily accessible. But did you know we make it available free to anyone who wishes to subscribe, even non-members, for the marketing benefits it offers? We now have over 44,000 subscribers.
Our websites are important communications tools both for regular pages that are always maintained as well as for timely news stories that can be found on the home pages. The websites are so important that we have invested in an all-new platform that can grow as needed and allow us to offer new features in the coming weeks, months, and years. The websites are not only essential to member business but also to prospective members, for whom the website is often our first means of communication.
On an as-needed basis when a particular topic needs attention or we need to reach a segment of our membership, we do email blasts. We maintain social media pages where we distribute content and respond to members who reach out to us there. We provide a text-messaging service at major events and have assisted some member clubs in offering a similar service.
There is more on the way, and we’re sure there are other niches we can fill. For example, we know our member clubs are your day-to-day connection to the sports, and we want to help them communicate better with you. Some of our clubs do a wonderful job of communicating with shooters already, while others could benefit from some guidance to help them improve. We want to offer them that help, in part by sharing the good practices of those clubs doing it well. One way we will be offering help to clubs is through a club newsletter we will launch soon.
Communication goes in both directions. That’s why every issue of Target Talk includes multiple links to reach us. It also tells you how to reach Clay Target Nation. Did you know you can click “Reply” on any issue of Target Talk — or any other email you get from us, for that matter — to send us an email? Every issue of Clay Target Nation also includes our contact information. At the top of our website, on every page, you will find a “Contact” link that takes you to contact information for any person at headquarters you need to reach. Our “Sound Off” feature in Clay Target Nation is a small way of asking any and every member for their thoughts.
Because communicating well with our members is so important to us, the September issue of Clay Target Nation will launch a new column from Director of Communications, Sherry Kerr. She will use it to tell you more about the communications channels we’re offering, how we’re expanding them, and how you can participate.
For now, you should know this:
We want you to contribute to your publications, and your ideas are always welcome. Have a question? Why not get the answer straight from us? You can email us at ClayTargetNation@nssa-nsca.com, TargetTalk@nssa-nsca.com, or to a specific person listed on our Staff Directory.