Generic posters advertising local ringing times can be put on display in prominent places, preferably on the outside of the church. Also put them up in the church and the church rooms as they will be seen by lots of groups and the general public using the facilities. To be effective these need to contain contact details for local towers, practice and Sunday ringing times.
Give posters to local groups such as Scouts & Guides. Give local schools copies of the posters to put up on their notice boards. Tell them that pupils can learn to ring as a skill or hobby for any Duke of Edinburgh schemes they run. Consider other public notice boards too – in local shops, libraries, leisure centres, nurseries and pubs.
Posters can be printed out on A5 glossy paper and make excellent leaflets to drop through people’s doors when advertising an event.
We have collected together some recruitment posters that you can edit to fit your local needs.
Keep a stock of ringing leaflets with your tower contact details on and give them to visiting non-ringers, hand them out at events and put some on your church leaflet table. Have a few of the “Discover Bell Ringing” books on display.
Leaflets can easily be produced locally. Word and Pages have trifold leaflet templates and it is easy to import pictures and copy wordings. Tailor the leaflet to the audience – school children, youth groups, Church groups or a local history group. Ensure that each member gets a copy. Usually Churches or someone locally has cheap printing facilities you can use. On-line printers offer very good value and fast turn-around times. A local emphasis has a greater impact.
We have collected together some leaflets to give you ideas.
The use of the internet is widespread. Think how often you use internet search engines to find out about something that is new to you. That’s what many people interested in learning to ring will do. So that’s why you need to have a good web presence.
Your website should contain interesting material including attractive photographs as well as details of local ringing times. Links to other ringing websites, particularly those designed for non-ringers are important e.g. bellringing.org. Make sure you have regular postings on other local websites. Put some images on You Tube and share the link.
When publicising specific events, announce them well in advance on the home page of your website. Make the announcement attractive and relevant to the group(s) you are appealing to. Send copy or links to other local websites so that they can advertise your event for you.
Most people now use social media of some form. Set-up your own Facebook group, Twitter, YouTube, MeetUp, etc.
If social media isn’t quite your thing, why not delegate this to a member of the band who “gets it” and has the time required to do it properly?
When publicising specific events, plan to announce in advance and make it attractive and relevant to each group. Have a different emphasis for each ‘interest ‘group – fun, community, history, challenge, physical/mental exercise, youth groups etc.
The Central Council website has a very good section on working with the media. The following points have been lifted directly from the site.
Many ringing events can make good stories if properly presented, but think like a reporter, and focus on what other people will find interesting, not just what you are doing. Contact your local press, television or radio stations. They are often seeking general interest stories and if you can offer them something that’s a special occasion, such as an older or younger ringer’s birthday, a romance leading to a ringers’ wedding or a major fund raising project, you might find the cameras at your event.
They have a much bigger audience than you will be able to address any other way.
The most important thing to remember is that journalists aren’t interested in your peal, restoration project, or recruitment drive for its own sake. They are interested in stories that will help to sell the newspaper or enhance the station’s ratings. So when dealing with them, try to think like a reporter and tell them things that will interest their readers or listeners. Does your peal commemorate a historical event? Does it feature a very young or very old ringer? Has your project uncovered some history? Is your recruitment drive doing something unusual?
Roller banner displays are cheap and can be compiled by someone with basic computer skills and ordered on-line for delivery within a day or two. Remember to make sure you produce very high resolution copy. Show local people and ringing with photographs. Can be used in libraries, schools, leisure centres, Village Halls, Churches and any local event (flower shows, Mother and Toddler groups, Fetes, Luncheons).
Many local interest groups such as the WI, Rotary Club, Young Farmers, History Society, U3A or Townswomen’s Guild have a regular series of talks at their meetings and are always delighted to hear from someone new. How about offering to go along and talk about bell ringing? You could even dig out bits of ringing paraphernalia to take along with you. What seem like worn out old bell muffles or ropes to us might be a source of fascination to someone who has never seen them before. Don’t forget to invite them along to the tower at any time if they’d like to come and see the bells up close, or even have a go. Even if many of those attending don’t take up ringing, they’ll be better informed about what’s involved and it’s all good publicity.
To make your presentation more interesting why not use video footage:
And of course audio clips – every time you ring you are performing in public.
As reported by those who attended a recent tower open day.
|Leaflet through the door
|Word of mouth||10|
|Leaflet in church||5|
|Leaflet in shop window||3|
You may have a tower open day just for public interest but if you also wish to recruit new ringers make sure you say so in your publicity literature.
If you’re recruiting school children you need to talk to the parents. It is rarely any good approaching the children without their parents. The children are often keen to try anything on offer, but when they ask their parents if they can attend ringing lessons, the parents are suspicious of religion, expense and time commitments and say no.
Giving a talk to the U3A? At the end of the talk offer a taster session on a specific date. Give out leaflets and collect contact details of those coming. The invite is what turns interest into action.
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