This PERHAPS could be the most important post you will ever read on the future of our hunting industry and if you are passionate about our industry, then you will read it, read it again, think it through thoroughly and hopefully understand that this is written not to criticise, but to help rebuild a fast crumbling industry.
Controversy surrounding hunting is growing rapidly and one often asks the question where is this going to stop and what is fuelling all this controversy?
THE ANSWER IS QUITE SIMPLE – ITS CALLED IGNORANCE AND GREED
The problems with hunting and the controversy we are facing in the hunting industry starts and ends with us…
We are quick to cry wolf and complain that the greenies are vindictive against us and threatening our lively hoods, and once again we try to “fix the blame instead of fixing the problem”.
Who started this?
WE AS OUTFITTERS AND PROFESSIONAL HUNTERS CAUSED THIS AND NOBODY ELSE IS TO BLAME, BUT OURSELVES.
Where did it start and how did it escalate so quickly?
FACEBOOK, SOCIAL MEDIA and an ONLINE GLOBAL COMMUNITY
With the start of facebook and social media the fight against hunting grew rapidly and continues to grow at an alarming rate AND ONLY WE ARE to blame – nobody else.
You see, we are well trained in hunting, skilful shots, trained in outfitting and bush-skills.
However, we are not trained:
• in business skills
• in marketing and global markets
• in the power of social media
• in global networking
• in responsible corporate governance
• AND NO TRAINING in the right use of language and debating or negotiation skills.
Hence, when it comes to all of the above, its simply shotgun marketing hoping to hit a bulls eye and getting a client. We continue to do the same old same old and then wonder why we are in “sh*t” now?
We leave our younger generations (PH’s) to post what they want, where they want and when they want. Even some of us as older generation are guilty of this too.
So when we post and brag with our friends on social media about the bloodiest of hunts, or how many animals we shot, we don’t realise the extent of reach of our posts and the damage they cause!!
These horrific pictures (and stories) often go viral and many times our people make themselves guilty of even placing comments with these pictures which are not well thought out, not conducive to an ethical hunting industry and most of the times lacks any diplomacy to say the very least.
A number of our hunting fraternity are also guilty of unethical hunting practices, however don’t have any fear to ignorantly post their achievements online and on social media.
(I am especially referring to those people who brag how many lions they shot in one week or even on one day?! And then we wonder why the “sh*t is hitting the fan”?)
ONLY WE ARE TO BLAME – WE ARE OUR VERY OWN WORST ENEMY!!
However I am sorry to say this, our leadership in the Industry is also to blame for a very simple reason, a lack of vision and planning.
We have not planned and prepared our industry for the ONLINE world and just how powerful this will impact our very future and now it may be too late UNLESS WE ACT AS ONE AND DO IT NOW – RIGHT NOW!!
Over and above this, our hunting industry is a lucrative industry with Millions of Dollars and Euro’s flowing through the industry, however as a career choice, its perhaps the easiest career to qualify for?
• 10 x days PH course
• a little bit of practical experience
• money from Dad to buy your Cruizer
• a 375 H&H and a Jack Russel and there you go?
No education in:
• financial management,
• international marketing,
• corporate governance,
• the use of online social media or any relevant training which will guarantee a sustainable business or career future for all – nothing!!
So when our passionate kids head off into the bush, loaded with ammo and a fresh client on the back of the cruizer, we remain oblivious to the slumbering threat this holds to our industry at large?!
They mostly excel in their skills as competent bush kids and hunters (whom we are proud of), however when back in camp with access to WIFI and their trusty smart phones, the damage gets caused on a scale we even can’t start to comprehend.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS OUR BEST POTENTIAL MARKETING RESOURCE HOWEVER THE VERY BULLET KILLING OUR INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW.
And only we are to blame as we have absolutely no control of what’s going viral next.
• We have not been trained in social media and the power it has for and against us.
• We have not been trained in what is considered right and whats wrong, or let me say, not trained well enough.
• And we most definitely have not trained our kids and young PH’s the art of skilful and well thought out dialogue on social media platforms.
[quote_right]We need to act fast and stop this rampage against us and the FIRST WAY of doing this, is to stop ourselves from killing and self destructing our own industry.[/quote_right]So when they are attacked online by the anti-hunting extremists, the average answer or response provided by our sun burnt bush-devils are “AGG F**K OFF”.
So here the online climate worsens dramatically as now we aren’t even facing the facts about our industry, but suddenly our very culture comes into play and most of time TO THE DETRIMENT of our industry and Country at large, as we have not prepared our youngsters for this online warfare.
In fact we have not even ensured that they have a proper command of the English language, never mind the skills of writing, spelling and proper grammar use.
WHY IS THE SH*T HITTING THE FAN?
Because “those who fail to plan – plan to fail”.
Our industry has not prepared our youth and ourselves for that matter, to be prepared for the “power of social media and online marketing”.
We leave our youngsters FREE to explore, experiment and post what they want to, to who they want to and when they want to.
So when damage control has to be implemented, the damage has already been done and now we are facing a massive onslaught like never experienced before. We didn’t experience this in the old days, so where did it all go wrong?
AN ONLINE WORLD HAS EVOLVED – THATS WHERE.
We didn’t have these online tools in the old days and had to send letters by mail. Letters only our owners or fathers wrote to clients.
Now, every single person in our businesses has access to the world out there and even our trackers are on facebook.
To fuel the fire, our youngsters (just like their fathers) get the moer-in very quickly and with the world at our finger tips and just one post and photo away, this calls for a disaster in the making!!
STOP AND THINK VERY HARD – STOP NOW PLEASE!!!
This is perhaps the single biggest challenge we will ever face, as “thinking” isn’t very high on our daily agenda’s as we condition and teach our children to get off their butts and do things instead of thinking things through before we do.
If we don’t call STOP as an industry and think this through thoroughly, I am sorry to say this, but our beloved industry may just as well have seen the last light of day.
We need to act fast and stop this rampage against us and the FIRST WAY of doing this, is to stop ourselves from killing and self destructing our own industry.
WITHOUT ANY FUEL – NO FIRE CAN BURN!!!
We need to stop fuelling the fire right now, today – not tomorrow and we need to do this unanimously as one team.
We need to STOP:
• stop posting dead animals online right now even on our websites
• stop getting into online fights or loosing our tempers
• stop boasting or bragging about todays kills
• stop posting about that wonderful shot or massive crocodile just killed
STOP NOW AND WE MAY SAVE OUR INDUSTRY IF IT’s NOT TOO LATE
If your future is important to you, think this through thoroughly before you react and tell me to go ….
THINK PEOPLE THINK
If we stop fuelling this out of control fire right now – today – we can make a MASSIVE difference and even possibly save our industry.
There are no laws against what we have been doing for generations, so we cant force you to stop and support this campaign. We can only appeal to your logic and hopefully you are passionate about our industry and will do anything to help us save it.
IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE WE ARE IN TROUBLE – WE ARE DEAD IN ANY CASE, SO PLEASE THINK THIS THROUGH.
If we (and that includes us as Hunting Legends Africa) immediately STOP posting dead animals and You Tube Clips online, we can just maybe, save our very asses.
Remove all the video clips, dead animal photos from every platform we are on and stop the fight right now.
NOW I REALISE YOU MAY THINK AND BELIEVE THAT I HAVE LOST MY MARBLES … and I know you desperately want to tell me to go to hell, however I am begging you to think about what I am telling you today, please!!
We have less than 100 million hunters in the world, HOWEVER there are billions of other people, mostly against hunting and we will never ever convert them or make them feel better about our industry or us.
We can’t win this fight – its impossible!!
HOWEVER WE CAN AVOID THIS FIGHT
And the best way of winning the fight is avoiding it altogether!!
Stop fuelling the world with photos and clips of dead animals and the world will have nothing to react on or to attack?!!
Stop now please!!
DOES THAT MEAN THAT ALL OUR ONLINE MARKETING IS THUS DOOMED?
No to the contrary!!
This is the start of Our NEW marketing campaigns which will not only save our industry, but also benefit us for generations to come!!!
SELL THE SIZZLE NOT THE STEAK!!
We have made the worst mistake imaginable by focussing on the steak instead of the sizzle.
We were taught that it is all about the steak (a huge dead trophy animal) instead of being taught that its all about the sizzle (customer satisfaction).
We are not under global attack due to our customer satisfaction, we are under attack because we advertise our steaks (dead animals).
The irony is that this is what’s killing us!!
STOP AND THINK
So lets stop advertising our steaks and start advertising our sizzle (customer satisfaction) instead, but do it now!
ACTION PLAN TO STOP:
• stop advertising and posting dead animals (steaks).
• take it off everywhere (websites, social media everywhere). It wont all disappear overnight and will take a long time to fade away, however stop putting new fuel on the fire and eliminate the past now.
• stop answering people online who fight and swear at us. Ignore them because you can’t beat then.
• stop bragging and boasting about killing animals (the opposition will never ever understand this)
ACTION PLAN TO START:
• start posting photos about happy clients sitting around a camp fire
• your nice facilities and helpful staff
• your impeccable equipment and vehicles
• the beautiful scenery of your hunting area
• the amazing people in your local communities
• the relocation of wildlife to your ranch
• the rehabilitation of your ranch and all the amazing wildlife in abundance on your ranch
• the enthusiastic interview with your clients and the memorable experience they have just had with you (no dead animals)
• the jokes around the fire, the fun you had
• photos of you and your clients donating food (meat) to your local village
• the thrilling story of your adventures and stalking through tall grass, without the final shot (sell the sizzle no the steak)
• shot placement on targets (bow and rifle)
• rifle facts and ballistic experience
WE ARE IN THE TOURISM INDUSTRY NOT THE HUNTING INDUSTRY
• don’t sell hunting trips.
• sell adventure tourism and outdoors.
• your clients will respect you for this as they too are under attack and the few that don’t care, don’t actually matter.
• sell yourself, your people, your Country and your happy clients.
BUT STOP SELLING DEAD ANIMALS
Its a very small sacrifice to pay with a potentially huge benefit for your future.
Its just a simple decision and a lot of discipline and we can make a difference and save ourselves.
POLICE YOURSELF, YOUR FRIENDS AND YOUR STAFF
We are all in the same industry and I am sure we all want to see our industry survive and prosper, yet we seldom get to agree and unite in force for a better future:
• We are by nature suspicious.
• we always look for the so called catch.
• we live on farms and often believe that our world starts and ends at the farm gate.
• we distrust easily and don’t like people telling us what to do.
But if we want to save our industry, we need to do so as a team and make sure our friends, staff and even competitors follow suit.
IF WE DON’T DO SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY RIGHT NOW, THE UNEXPECTED WILL COME TRUE AND END OUR INDUSTRY SOONER THAN LATER
• This is not the only solution to solve our crisis, but it is the one single biggest threat we need to eliminate immediately.
• Once we start by fixing this online social media threat, we will be taking the wind out of the opposition in leaps and bounds and when that happens their fuel dries up and even our politicians will have no pressure. (Out of sight, out of mind)
• That however doesn’t guarantee we are home free, to the contrary we still need to clean up our act as an industry, however those who don’t care will be the only ones left with dead animals on facebook and their websites and will thus stand out like a sore thumb.
LETS MAKE A DIFFERENCE – BE DIFFERENT – WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER
If you care about our industry please help this post go viral and reach everybody in the industry.