With the dawning of the age of Pro Staff around every corner, aspect and realm of the hunting & fishing industry, and those staffers ranging anywhere from beginner to the most skilled master you could ever encounter it’s hard to decide what and who to really believe.
Do not get me wrong, thinking I am against staffing for any company, I am not. And do in fact staff for several and have been doing so for just over 5 years now. The hiccup I see coming from companies opening up and accepting such a broad range and varied skill set of sportsmen, not to mention the shear number of staff members is their “believability”. I’m a member of multiple Facebook groups and hunt forums. Questions are always arising from new and old members alike. Asking things about scent control, game cameras, food plots, women’s hunting clothing, men’s hunting clothing, I could go on and on for days. And for the most part I always encourage questions.
A Stage For Passing On Your Knowledge in the Field
I used to really enjoy taking part in these discussions. They allowed me to pass on my almost 40 years of knowledge in the field. But what I see lately is product pushing on steroids, maybe even crack cocaine! It is just insane! I get that as a staffer you have a specific job to do and that is to promote your companies products. But here’s a few things I think about when reading some of the responses:
- I don’t know you from a hole in the wall other than we are Facebook friends with similar interests.
- Weren’t you just promoting a similar company last year claiming they were the greatest thing next to sliced bread?
- You can claim it works all you want. But if you don’t have reputable harvests on your record how do you really know it works? What do you have to compare it to? Nothing.
- Undeniably sex sells. But are we buying a product because of the hot chick in the picture? O because we talked to a buddy we know who actually used it and proved it’s value in the field?
Now before you go losing your minds and assume I’m saying pretty girls and hot chicks can’t hunt, I am not. So back your panties on out of that wad they were getting in and calm down. I’m merely pointing out some very obvious facts about pro staff in this day and age. And maybe something companies should be looking for in pro staff.
What Is Your Knowledge Level of the Product You Are Representing?
I could care less what you look like. But again I understand sex sells. What I’m really interested in is how knowledgeable you actually are about the product you are using and the game you are after. Don’t tell me it’s great, get out there and prove it to me. Gain respect with locals and those that know you face to face. I have a lot more respect for the opinion of the people in and around my tiny town of 2500. More so than I do for the 100K Facebook, Instagram and Twitter celebrities. And I would sincerely hope people around my little town think the same of me.
I want to walk in to a quick stop, grocery store, parts store etc. and get the local hunting/fishing reports and find out what is actually working in my area. I remember a few years ago when I started getting asked the questions from men and women alike. Although the men were secretive about it at first. Can’t be learning outdoorsy things from a woman you know. They were asking me what I was using, where I was fishing, are the deer moving, what goose calls are you using etc. I thought, “Wow, I have finally screwed things up enough times that I actually figured out how to do it right, and apparently it shows!”
Volunteer Every Chance You Get
And that leads me to my final plea for pro staff. What I learned along with a lot of skills over the years is that it took a lot of people and mistakes on my part to get me where I’m at. Many people helped me over the years. That is something I have found I am compelled to do too. I believe every staffer should volunteer every chance you get. Talk to a kid that paddles by you on the lake or even recognizes you in a store. You stood where he or she did at one time so choose your words carefully. Not only are you representing a company or companies you are also representing who you are. I sure hope that is someone who wanted more out of their staffing position than free gear and a “boost” in the industry.
What are your thoughts on Pro Staff in the outdoor industry?
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