Contributed by: Aaron Richard
The votes are in from World Footy News' second online poll, asking what method of recruiting has been most successful for clubs - and the two top responses were the internet and old-fashioned word-of-mouth. Many have noted that the growth of Australian Rules overseas in the mid-nineties owed much to the growth in internet usage at that time, the net and email making it far easier for interested parties to meet up for a kick in a foreign city and eventually found a more formal association.
But the word-of-mouth remains as strong as ever. Philip Porublev from the Stockholm Dynamite reports that a club resolution that everyone "brings a mate" to the next training session can be as successful a recruiting technique as any in the early days of a club or league. Dion Epstein was organising some early social footy gatherings in Tel Aviv, Israel where the main tactic for recruiting was the premise that every Aussie overseas knows at least two more Aussies.
Behind website and face-to-face recruiting, newspapers polled well as a recruiting tool, evidenced by many clubs working hard to get even a novelty item on their games and the code in general.
It must be noted, however, that a successful recruiting strategy needs a range of tools, with Bruce Parker from the Guelph Gargoyles in Canada stating that "it has been a strong mix of word of mouth, our Website, continued coverage in the local paper and advertising in local papers. We found you can not rely on any one method and must continue to recruit and promote all year long".
Repeated coverage is also a prime goal - the Dallas Magpies are an example of a club that has had great success in getting regular coverage of MAAFL games in the local newpapers, with coverage eventually going beyond the 'crazy mutant sport from down under' cliche.
World Footy News