Skates, Skirts and Scars... Okay, I'm "Attracted."

Roller DerbyRound up your undead posse and kick up your spurs with the ladies of Assassination City Roller Derby as they host the zombie cowboy themed prebout party...

Attracted yet? Hmm... Try this...

"Skates, Skirts, Scars... Yes action fans, you heard it right - roller derby!" or maybe "...tight T-shirts, punk hair and knee socks are combined with a determined stance and padding tough enough to protect a football player."

Like it or lump it, Roller Derby is making a bit of a comeback (or at least grabbing some headlines here and there.) Of course if "Thrills and spills on four wheels" isn't really your thing then there isn't much that catchy phrases or suggestive slogans will do to get more than a cursory glance or chuckle from you - and that's perfect. But let's take a second and talk about how it's re-channeling it's efforts - and since you've been patient enough to read thus far I'll share with you the correlation that I'm going to make. In a bit.

If you haven't noticed the increase in Roller Derby Queens (am I the only one that loved that song?) in your area then you may not be who their looking for. Radio ads, non-network tv spots, and local papers are sporting recruiting ads and promotional bits for both ticket sales and participants. And while some of you might get a bit of a laugh from the sheer silliness of a help wanted ad that shows a punk rocker in pigtails pinned down on a banked oval track in a bruise-fest brawl on wheels - it certainly speaks to others. That's right - it's targetted marketing.

Starting with the headlines and moving to the images right through to the taglines and descriptions, it's clear that any item related to the topic at hand is very targeted. "Know thy audience!" is a mantra that more marketers and recruiters could stand to remember. (Here I go with the tie-in...)

As we surf through job boards or corporate career sites we are assaulted with job postings that typically either seem like the post itself was an after thought or that it was written with a 500 word minimum requirement. Recruiting is an art AND a science. It's all about balancing attraction with knowledge and with screening - I'm simplifying of course, but you get the idea.
"Serious Money.... Come work with us..... We will train you and you will be able with your great personality make $800.--$2,000. weekly!! Paid weekly! Interviews today at [restaurant] between 2-4p. We need 15 smiling faces!info Call [Joe] [555-555-5555]"
So yeah, I called, "Joe" - and guess what? He's struggling and is behind the 8 ball. Yes, this is a REAL posting on a REALLY popular job board. I asked him if this was working for him - and he sounded tired and broken when he conceded that it was a struggle.

Should the weave of your net be too loose, no fish will you catch.
Tighten it up, Joe! Consider your target audience. Are you looking for people that are on the hunt to conduct aggressive sales and receive weekly paychecks as a reward? Is $104k a year realistic for them to expect? Then let's focus on these traits and paint them as both obvious and desireable. If you're at a loss as to where to start, why not look to those already hired and that are successful in the job - and build from there?
Out of the gate, I'd guess that "Joe" would have much more success if (all assumptions being true) he'd put the same sales spin on his posting that they'll expect these salespersons to put on their product or services. Perhaps throwing these on to a specialty board geared around sales would be another strong start. But a two line posting in a generic category ain't gonna' do it, in my humble opinion.

Of course, on occasion we'll find the opposite of our frustrated friend - sometimes we stumble on a job posting or advertisement that is literally pages long or riddled with internal acronyms that no external candidate would begin to understand. It's the same methodology that was ignored in all cases - we didn't stop for a moment and think about who we were trying to attract.

It's vital that we customize the message to the audience - especially when looking to recruit for hard to fill titles or in difficult markets. Put a spin on a job that will attract the type of candidate you're looking for.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that the LA Derby Dolls don't get too many people applying for the team that are looking for full dental plans or a comfortable cubical to work in. But hey, I could be wrong - why don't you drop FreshMeat an inquiry - as requested below?

Views: 49

Comment by Amy on September 12, 2008 at 3:58pm
I would like to give a HUGE thanks for mentioning that "us" Roller Derby Chicks (yes, I am one!) know how to reach our target market. Assassination City Roller Derby is a team effort, in all areas with LOTS of communication as well as a group of ladies that will listen to each idea no matter what background or marketing/ recruiting experience someone has. Women are “doers”… when my GM puts the pressure on me to increase my tickets sales, spread the word, go after new leads for sponsorships, I do it. Why? Because if I don’t put forth the effort; I don’t get to skate. If I don’t skate, I am letting down my team mates. It’s a simple process; it just takes a group that believes in their mission (or product, idea, etc.).

Roller Derby is on the rise again… we are all aware of that and if you aren’t, you need to Google the term and check out YouTube or MySpace. Yes, these are some of our marketing avenues we use. Why? Our target audience is out there and they are fewer degrees of separation away, than you would ever think!! We utilize our Derby Power and free resources to get the word out there. We don’t have an owner, like the Mavs have Mark Cuban, with millions of dollars in the bank and what seems like a zillion resources for every avenue from recruitment to advertising; therefore, if we want to play, we have to pay and I am not a millionaire (unless someone didn’t tell me that I won the Lottery)! This is the reason why we market. Whether we are hitting the streets guerrilla style, making an appearance at a local event or chatting up the moms and dads at the PTA meetings, each of us in our own way is reaching out to our personal community to spread the word. And guess what? IT WORKS!!

Assassination City Roller Derby ( is a family. We are all partners in the big picture. We all have different backgrounds, different education levels, and different work and life experiences but when we bring all these wonderful attributes together: BAM… we create fan base, ticket sales, sponsorships, and community involvement. We aren’t making money doing this, we work very hard and yes, sometimes we spread ourselves too thin. But, we live for the chance to put on our hot pants, knee highs, and baby-t branded with our derby name, so for one night a month we can go out and play the best damn sport there is; Roller Derby, while giving our fans a reason to come back, time and time again. Check it out… you’ll be hooked, guaranteed!!

Peace out brothers and sisters~
Barbie McAssKICKER #1959
League: Assassination City Roller Derby
Team: Deadly Kennedys
City: Dallas, Texas
Comment by Devin Blanks on September 12, 2008 at 4:13pm
Dig it!!!


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