As I have recently started Puffin Squad and got into close quarters with the whole recruiting and public fleet organising, I wanted to take a moment to compare (the sometimes painful) notes with helpful capsuleers and friendly trolls – and perhaps even gain some additional wisdom or pointers on how to get an active corp up and running. I hope that this, along with the discussion it leads to, will be helpful to other people who do not want to just join but build up something from nothing for themselves.
We put Puffin Squad up a little over a month, ago and started recruiting shortly afterwards. At the moment we again have six members. We got around 60 people on the public Discord (including helpful people with no time, spies, people who like the idea and members) and about 2-4 neutrals who join the public fleets. Not much, but a start.
Stuff You Do Before Going Public
Create an Identity
We designed a logo with an easily love-and-hateable animal, a slogan that describes what we do (Puffins: first, they are really tough little animals, have a steady disposition and ARE the underdogs at the ragged coastline; second: Iceland!).
We further prepared some propaganda-material and made videos and other materials for people to get some idea of what we want to do and why they should join.
We defined what we wanted to do, how much time we had to do it, and how much time it would cost to build it up (we spectacularly underestimated there).
All of this we wrote it up in a form that people will read (keep the encyclopedic version for yourself to be burned into an asteroid with lasers as to preserve the corp history for all eternity) and put it out on social media, Reddit, the Eve forums, and the chat channels. It’s a fine and hard line to tread to not spam, have stuff that might also be interesting to others, and still get out the message. The learning process is still ongoing. While I’m at it, note to self: enthusiasm does not always translate the way I want it to.
Have a stable online home
With all the free web hosts available, there is no excuse not to provide a central place for your stuff. You should especially get out information on what you want to do with the corp (“vision”: Puffin Squads wants to organise public fleets to help underdogs in EVE). Potential candidates will also like to know how the corp rolls and what is expected from members—time zone, place, fits, activities.
If you are a PVP alliance or in an active war (or trying to organise public PvP fleets like us), identify the good guys (or identify yourself as the bad ones – PIRATES!), the regions you want to roam, and information on the expected opposition.
How we did this: We set up a blog, decided that we wanted to run public fleets and later also found out that we needed a corp to support the fleet organisation, and to get a steady number of players who join regularly. We chose which experience would be needed to join and what timezones would be our active ones.
Find others (especially RL people) who want to help instead of being a one-capsuleer show
We did not do this and it costs us dearly – one or two persons can easily get people excited for the vision, but they cannot be online the whole time. As I fell asleep over my keyboard yesterday, I remembered that I still have nicer friends than Tim, and realised this will cost you members:
We got a good trickle of 10-15 people joining, but not all at the same time. It was hard to pair them so they would have other people to do their favorite activities with when they are on. This led to some people staying for a day, then leaving right as the next one came in that might have been a good match. Recruiters and org builders need a lot of frustration tolerance, and must never be mad at the people who joined in good faith but left. Instead, wish them well and try to do more better, and faster.
People are impatient and want to engage in the moment. This means that you need to be online often, if not all the time. Out-of-game tools like Discord are a great help, as they allow you to be a steady presence. If you cannot be online that often, just define a time when you will be in advance. It also helps if you start this as a project with your space (and real-life) friends.
And one more thing: If it gets too much, just step back a bit until you find the fun in the game again – there is no shame in taking a time-out! That said, it’s been fun, sometimes painful but always entertaining for me up until now – so definitely check it out!
Now go out and recruit! Naturally, we are recruiting too!
Editor’s note: Imperium News also has a guide to the human intelligence side of recruiting, which is recommended reading for would-be org builders.