Outdoor Communicator Seminar at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center on March 7, 2015


Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, Mansfield, Georgia

Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, Mansfield, Georgia


Charlie Elliott, friend, mentor, writer, conservationist  and turkey hunter.

Charlie Elliott, friend, mentor, writer, conservationist and turkey hunter.

I will give the second annual  How to Become an Outdoor Communicator Seminar at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center near Mansfield, Georgia, on March 7, 2015.  The even will start at 9:00 AM and formal presentations will conclude at 4:00 PM followed by a question-answer and networking period until 6:00 PM. Among the topics to be covered are newspaper, magazine and book writing-publication; radio broadcasting and PodCast radio; Video and TV production; Social Media, including Twitter, blogging, Pinterest and Facebook; and Lecturing and Performing Stand-Up Comedy. The objective of the Seminar is to demonstrate how outdoor communicators should employ several methods to disseminate information to the widest possible audience.

My intellectual burden is that I have never been satisfied to work in only one media – say newspaper journalism, although that is how I started. I have progressed through all of the things that I have mentioned and produced thousands of news and magazine articles, 18 books, 1.5-years of radio, 400 YouTube videos, commonly posted on Social Media platforms, and delivered numerous lectures and comedy bits for social and industry audiences. The modern consumer audience has become increasingly segmented. Younger media users tend to rely on one or two media types for 70 or more percent of their daily informational intake. To ignore YouTube videos is to block out what is becoming the most commonly used search engine. Any creator of outdoor content needs to be on that platform while not neglecting traditional print media which is still a significant part of modern communications.

It has never been easier to take a picture, but it is as hard as it ever was to take a good picture. It has never been easier to publish a book, or more difficult to sell one. The flood of media being unleashed is enormous and somehow, the important information that you release must rise above the rest.  The first objective is always to produce compelling content. The second is to morph this content into several platforms so that it gains a higher ranking on search engines, reaches a larger audience and provides you with increased opportunities to deliver your message or service.  I do this quite commonly, and I may cover aspects of the same subject material in books, magazine articles, blogs, videos, radio and social media. In narrow topics, this quickly establishes me as the go-to guy for that information. Not only have I written, etc., about it; I have also done my field work and physically demonstrated the item or concept.

Entertainment always has a part in my materials with some pieces being more outrageous than others. Always, I try to put in the unexpected or unusual in what otherwise might be a fairly dry topic. A little performance art does not hurt. Life is full of follies, and I am not reluctant to talk, or write, about mine.  Unusual for business-related seminars, I will be doing some demonstration wild-game cooking during our lunch break. Anyone who wishes may eat, but bring your own drinks or you may go to Mansfield, some 5-miles away and dine there. Regardless, the seminar will resume promptly at 1:00 PM. Many of last year’s attendees thought that this meal was the highlight of the event.

Attendees will also be provided with a detailed workbook of the presentation which will be E-mailed to them prior to the Seminar. Please print out and complete the first sections of it before attending. Do your homework. I will only have a few extra copies at the event for $10 each. The more time you are able to put into the workbook prior to the event, the more you will get out of it.

There will be a $50 charge. This fee is to be paid to the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center. The event will be held in the facilities’ Discovery Center and attendance is limited to 25 participants, so make your reservations early. Rooms are available at the Center, but these also need to be reserved. This facility is somewhat isolated, and is about 40 miles south-east of Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport. The nearest motels are located on I-20, about 20-miles away.

Reservations may be made for the Becoming An Outdoor Communicator Seminar by Wm. Hovey Smith on March 7 by calling  (770) 784-3059   or E-mailing Amber.Mooney@dnr.state.ga.us.

For more information on the Center and their activities go to:  http://www.charlieelliott.org

Or look for them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/charlieelliottwildlifecenter

The Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center

543 Elliott Trail

Mansfield, Georgia 30055                                                                        .





Free How To Be An Outdoor Communicator Seminar at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center on March 11, 2014

Charlie Elliott, friend, mentor, writer, conservationist  and turkey hunter.

Charlie Elliott, friend, mentor, writer, conservationist and turkey hunter.


The Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center was founded to honor the long-time writer, conservationist and Georgia game official Charlie Elliott. Constructed before he died in 2000, the center contains a replication of his writing office and many of his books, trophies and personal effects. Many of these items were used in his Outdoor Life articles and in the numerous books that he wrote or edited. This center is unusual in that it was built before the author died, and he had the opportunity  to record comments about his hunts and the part that these objects played in them. These recorded segments are activated by pushing buttons in front of the exhibits that highlight objects and initiate the recordings.

Charlie was also the mentor for many outdoor writers, including myself. I had the opportunity to interview him at his home and at the nursing home before he died. This seminar is designed to pass on some of this mentoring function to a new generation of would-be outdoor communicators and update it to modern times. Up to the time that he died, Charlie was still pounding out copy on a typewriter. When he started writing, writers were only responsible for the written text of a story.  Somewhat later, writers also had to supply their own photography. Nowadays, not only must outdoor communicators be able to furnish written materials but are they are often also expected to supply complete high-quality photo spreads, videos and sometimes even TV-quality recordings of their experiences.  To sell in today’s market not only does the new writer have to be able to consistently supply fresh story material and photos, but there are also varying requirements for supporting materials that must fit pre-determined editorial calendars.

An example of this new kind of content is a turkey hunting video about using turkey decoys that I filmed during a quota hunt at the Clybel WMA  which surrounds the Wildlife Center.  The WMA also offers deer and small-game hunting.

Opportunities that Charlie did not have that are available to present writers are low-cost blogs, videos and E-books which enable modern writers to test market areas, become their own brand, accumulate a following and partly, or largely,  work independently of commercial book and magazine publishers.  These are some of the possibilities that will be discussed in the seminar. I will be assisted by Bob Borgwat who will present additional materials on the editorial side of magazine publication. Borgwat  has been associated with several magazines for the past 25 years and is currently the acting editor for  hunting and fishing publications in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, West Virginia and Mississippi.

The following is a press release about the event which may be distributed to any person, publication, school or university department that might be interested.

Sandersville, Ga. A free all-day seminar, “Becoming an outdoor communicator,” will be held at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center on March 11, 2013. Hosted by Georgia author Wm. Hovey Smith, the potential for selling traditional outdoor-related materials to newspapers, magazines, radio, video, and TV markets will be discussed in addition to emerging opportunities in social media including blogs, YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest,  E-book publication, personal appearances and stand-up comedy.

Smith sold his first magazine articles in the 1970s and has published 15 books, 9 E-books, 300 YouTube videos, made many TV appearances, produced the “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures” podcast radio show, and thousands of newspaper, magazine and outdoor-blog articles. He is now the Corresponding Editor for the Gun Digest Annual covering blackpowder guns and regularly appeared on the “Welcome To Our North” TV program.

His hunting adventures have taken him all over North America and trips to Europe and Africa. His books include Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound, Crossbow Hunting, Practical Bowfishing and a new 8-book E-book series on muzzleloading guns.

The Seminar will begin at 10:00 AM at the Discovery Center at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center. A wildlife cooking demonstration will be held at noon. Indoor events will resume at 1:00 PM with the formal presentations concluding at 4:00 PM. Informal discussions with Smith and other outdoor writers and videographers will follow at the campfire. The Center also has 27 motel-style rooms for overnight guests which may be reserved by calling (770) 784-3152.

To sign up for the seminar and receive an advance copy of the handout materials, send your request to hoveysmith029@gmail.com.