March 14, 2015

Public Relations

Talk About It!

One of your most important jobs as a FIRST team is to spread the word of FIRST. One of the first things you want to make an announcement to local newspapers and media outlets. This will be one of the fastest ways to let your community know about your new team. It also is the fastest way to find new mentors (community members that may not be attached to your school/parent organization) and businesses that are interested in helping fund your team.

During this time you’ll want to show your team spirit in school. This has a few positive effects. First, it will attract new members for the following season. It will also make classmates and teachers more interested in the program. Even if they aren’t interesting in participating, they will be more interested in supporting. One of the best ways to teach your school (and community!) about the team is to have an open house. Here, you open your shop and facilities to the community and allow them to learn about your program and what your team’s goals are. If possible, try to do this during build season. Then people can walk through and look while you’re working on the robot and can see for themselves just how cool and involved the program is!

Another good way to spread word about your team and your activities is to create a website. This is discussed more in the Website Section of this guide. Perhaps more importantly is to get your team involved on social media. Facebook especially provides a good ground for community out-reach. Family members are able to keep up with the team’s progress and activity and share it with the community. Twitter provides a good way to post short updates, especially during competitions. Also, tumblr has a huge FIRST community that allows for your team to make connections with other teams and members.

And perhaps one of biggest ways to spread the word is for you, YOU!, to be personally excited. Talk about it! Talk about STEM and FIRST frequently and positively. People will hear you, and you as an individual can make the biggest impact.

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