Angler Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation: The Future of Fisheries and Aquatic Conservation

Chapter 7. Utilizing Traditional and Social Media to Reach a Target Audience

Roberto Gallardo, Stephanie W. Vatalaro, Rachael M. Carter, and J. Wesley Neal

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781934874738.ch7

Effective recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of anglers requires marketing angling as a desirable use of people’s time and money. As with any product, reaching potential new customers requires understanding the target audience, developing an effective marketing strategy, and determining how to deliver the message in a format that best resonates with the target audience. Whereas many fisheries managers lack adequate training in marketing, R3 programs often fail to reach their full potential simply because they go unnoticed by potential “customers.” In this chapter, we will explore tools to communicate with potential anglers, including traditional media and online and social platforms that represent modern digital approaches, and propose strategies to improve these R3 efforts.

Management agencies and industry organizations have been concerned with stagnant and declining angler participation rates for several decades (Figure 7.1). These concerns have increasingly led to the establishment of efforts to recruit new anglers, retain existing anglers, and reactivate anglers that once fished but no longer choose to fish. Recruitment, retention, and reactivation efforts are often diverse but have a single goal in mind—bring more anglers into the recreational activity. The obstacles to R3 are more diverse, as potential anglers must choose from a wealth of competing opportunities, the populace is becoming more urbanized, and humanity is becoming increasingly dependent on technological gratification. Recruitment, retention, and reactivation efforts must understand and embrace these trends, as they can be an advantage rather than hindrance.