Monday, May 30, 2011

How to protect your cheerleader online

How to Protect Your Athlete
All-star parents, coaches, and gym owners must be aware that many of the images and videos that we enjoy sharing can be misused by people with bad intentions. It is imperative we teach our athletes how to share the sport they love in a responsible manner while portraying a positive image of their teammates, your program, and the sport as a whole.
The USASF Parent Actions Committee would like to highlight some steps to consider in protecting online privacy while monitoring the images of our athletes. We hope you would consider implementing these things at your program and recommend introducing them in various methods, from program information packets, to team and parent hand-outs. We find that as coaches and leaders, you often have more direct influence than most people in your athlete’s lives. Consider reviewing these issues at the start of each season and monitoring them throughout the year.
Program Policy
• Consider including online media sharing considerations as part of your program information packet.

• Include guidelines on using the program name on FaceBook, Twitter, and other message boards where kids and parents may post pictures or videos. Also consider guidelines for pictures of kids in uniform or other things representing the program such as t-shirts or sweatshirts.

Program Pages and Websites

• Keep personal details and images on your website restricted to membership only. Secure images on message boards as well as any personal or team information.
• Consider removing images and information on the open portions of your website that may be of an overly personal nature.
• If you administer your own message board, FaceBook, Twitter, or similar account be aware of access guidelines. People who follow you on Twitter or are “Friends” on FaceBook can reflect on your program as well. It is worth your time to investigate new people that are added or do a periodic check for questionable information. You can adjust an individual’s settings to post, view, or even block the individual through your
administrator settings.
Privacy Settings
• Look for options such as “Private” or “Friends only.” Options such as “Friends of Friends”, “Everyone” or “Public” allow open access to your content.
• Set your account so that people must be “Friends” or “Followers” in order to view content. Look for separate settings for pictures and video.
• Look for unfamiliar people who “tag” themselves in your content. Tagging gives the person access to your picture on their personal account. The original poster of the picture or video can remove the tag or can even “block” the individual to remove complete access.
• TEST: Search for your profile or name without logging into your account. You’ll see what the public sees. Also “Googling” your name or e-mail address might also show you things that you didn’t know were public as well
Adding Friends
• Make sure you check the setting to always approve a new “Friend,” “Follower” or “Subscriber.” It’s cool to have more friends but you have to be careful of the new friends that you don’t know. If you’re not sure of someone take a look at their account and see what content they are posting and who their friends are. Often times it tells you a lot about the individual.
What if Someone has Links to Questionable Material on Their Account?
Most of the websites like FaceBook and Twitter do not control information that is linked to other sites. They will only remove content that is on their profile itself. If you see links to bad material, blocking that person is your best option. If you think the person is linking to illegal material, it’s best to report them to the website and pass on this knowledge to all of your friends.
What do I do When I Find a Questionable Individual?
If you don’t like what someone is posting on their FaceBook, Twitter, Youtube, or other account the best option is to just block them. Instruct your kids to also notify their friends or anyone else you see who has that person as “Friend,” “Follower” or “Subscriber.” DO NOT however try to play cop in these situations. Report the individual to the website and allow the authorities to monitor the situation. Look in the website Help Section on what you are able to report and how to accomplish this. Fernando Molina

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

5 Ways to Use Your Recruiting Senses

The coach I was visiting appeared to be slightly insane. At first glance, anyway.
She was walking as we were discussing what she told visiting prospects in her new locker room. As she walked, she held up what looked like a perfume bottle and gave one little squirt every two or three steps.
After seeing her continue this ritual into the hallway, I had to ask her why she was doing what she was doing.
Her answer was borderline brilliant: She was using scent to add to the overall “experience” that their recruits would encounter later that morning.
Think it’s a minor detail that is recruiting overkill? Maybe you should think again…
Most recruiters focus on written messages and phone calls to get their message across and create a “feeling” that their program is going to be the right fit. That means that two primary senses, sight and sound, are used to make that connection.
However, studies show that most “buyers” going through a decision making process (your recruit and his or her family) use other senses to make decisions, as well. Dan Hill, a marketing researcher and author, has some surprising data that shows we use multiple senses at one time to judge whether or not we feel connected and comfortable with a product or service (or college program):
• One study showed a 40% improvement in one’s mood when exposed to pleasant fragrances during a buying experience.
• Shoe buyers, for example, spent $10 more on purchases in areas that had a pleasant scent.
• Touch (handshakes, putting your hand on a prospect’s arm or shoulder, etc.) matters. We all respond to touch, even in a professional setting like a recruiting visit. For example, massaged babies gained 50% more weight than babies who were not massaged.
• One of the highest positive responses that a prospect can experience is taste. For all of us, that experience is remembered and valued the longest (so make sure that prospect dinner is extraordinary!)
One of the most important aspects of the study outlined by Hill should make a big impact with creative college coaches and recruiters: Marketers who added smell, taste and touch to a product advertising or display experience had three to four times more positive experiences than those that relied only on sight and sound.
The coach I just mentioned added a very specific scent to her environment to make sure that her prospects’ senses were firing on all cylinders. You’re welcome to steal that idea and use it yourself. Here are five more ways I think you can focus on some of your prospect’s senses to enhance their experience with you on your campus:
1. Kids love to eat. Make sure the food is really, really good. Taste is one of those senses that we remember the most. It adds to an experience, and helps us associate the experience with something memorable like a great meal. It works in the opposite way, too: Remember a horrible meal at a restaurant or someone’s home? Let me ask you…do you remember anything else about that experience? The conversation, who was there…anything? If you’re like most people, all you remember is the really bad food you tried to choke down. Your prospect’s visit can be largely defined by the food they eat on their trip to your campus.
2. Scent matters. I don’t need to go into too much detail on this point, do I? If you smell good, it gets noticed. If you smell bad, it really gets noticed. Enough said.
3. The right kind of touch can create a connection. A professional handshake is a nice start, but I don’t find it to be enough to create a really memorable connection with today’s prospects. Some simple ideas to take it further? One of my favorites is to lightly touch the back part of your prospect’s shoulder if you are walking and talking with them…not constantly, but every so often to make a point or to gently guide them where the two of you are going. If you’re comfortable with the idea, you can also have your athletes welcome them with a polite (but heartfelt) hug when they first meet. One of the most vital things you need to prove to your prospect is that they are wanted and accepted by you and your team. This goes a long way towards doing that.
4. Smile a lot. Your prospect will read your face as they try to quickly figure out if they like being around you or not. Be upbeat and show energy and a positive spirit through your facial expression. Studies consistently show that when we meet someone new, we refer to their face as we try and figure out if we like them, if they are telling us the truth, and if they can be trusted. We can even sense whether someone is smiling or not when we’re talking to them over the phone. What is your face telling them?
5. Paper is important. I say this because emailing prospects is becoming the exclusive way many coaches will recruit them these days. However, you need to send them at least a few letters written on paper. Why? Paper seems more “real” to the prospects we talk to. It’s “official”. It’s something they can hold, it has your signature on it, and it tends to verify the idea that you’re important. Make sure you include some good old fashioned letters on a regular basis to reinforce the idea that you are serious about them, and to let them touch and feel something tangible from your program.
Are these minor details? Sure they are.
But I find that most prospects make their decisions using little details and observations during their visits on campus and their conversations with coaches on the phone. Sight, sounds, smell, taste, touch…all of those senses are ways we as humans use to process information. “The devil is in the details”, as the saying goes; I see a recruit’s final decision being found there, too. Reprinted from Dan Tudor.