HomeNewsCommentaries

Commentary Search

Advertise before you sell

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- Recently, I attempted to put together an event that would provide people the opportunity to meet and come together for something that wasn't work related.

Unfortunately, the event called Squadron Olympics fell through. Although I was discouraged at the lack of participation, I accepted the outcome as a learning experience rather than a failure and refused to let this single event slow me down. In the future, if any other Airman or staff member decides to put together an event for the squadron, I've given my advice to prevent them from running into the same problems and challenges I faced.

First, you have to advertise what you're trying to sell people into and describe the goals of the event. We are told from day one that email is the best form of communication in the Air Force, but that sometimes just isn't enough. At times, an email may look like spam, and when your supervisor is getting on you about your mailbox being full, the first items to go are often volunteer events (mine included).

The use of email is only successful when it's read. Using it as a single source of communication just doesn't cut it. So what can be done to ensure that your message for an event gets read and goes further than the trash bin in someone's email? Use your chain of command. Use them to advertise to act as your selling tool, or agent, to get the word out about the event and what you are trying to sell. They have the resources to put emphasis on what you're trying to do at a much higher level than an Airman can reach.

In my opinion, the best form of advertisement is word of mouth in addition to email. There is nothing wrong with leaving the computer and going door-to-door to ask others to help you get the word out about an event. Support is one of the things that your flight is there for, so don't hesitate to ask them to put in a good word with the higher-ups.

The second bit of information I can offer is to do like any coach says and follow through. Keep knocking on those doors and keep sending the emails so that you are heard. It can be difficult having only a few stripes and trying to do something big, but don't let that stop you. I believe there is a lot of good that we can bring to this base when there is a concentrated effort to do so. However if one person tries to tackle it all on their own it can become overwhelming.

Always advertise before you sell or market an idea, obtain support from all involved, exhaust every option you have, and never accept defeat when you believe in your idea. There is no Air Force Instruction on how to motivate people so I'm putting this information out there with the hope that when the next person attempts to develop a project for Team Barksdale, they will benefit from my experience and have the tools needed for success which will ultimately benefit us all.