Getting the Word Out
Advertising is a key to getting the word out about Adria, upcoming events, etc. This doesn't mean spend money on paid ads. There are a number of alternatives (that don't cost) to advertise yourself.
Be clear, concise, and get to the point.
Small posters xeroxed onto brightly colored paper is a good way to attract attention. Post these flyers where people are: supermarkets, libraries, hobby and game stores, or colleges. A way to gain even more attention is to wear your costume while posting the flyers.
Be sure to ask permission before you post the flyer. Not only is permission necessary, but you would be talking to a potential new member. Yes, every, single contact is a potential member.
The flyers should be easy-to-read (don't overdo the fancy lettering). Be sure to have dates, times, and contact information highly visible.
The internet is more and more important for communication, so don't ignore its potential. The Imperial Webmaster can set up up with a subdomain (chapter-name.adrianempire.org) for free.
Keep your web pages simple. Remember that people will not wait for a long page to load, so too many huge graphics will drive people away, rather than attract them. Remember also that many people are in places that do not allow audio. There's nothing worse than being at work, glancing at a web page, and being blasted by music that is definitely not work-related. And if a person's audio is disabled (such as on many library computers), there will be a long load-time with no visible reason.
The Imperial web site is a vital source of information. The Imperial Webmasters will print pretty much whatever you send them, so be sure to keep them updated. Give them your event and meeting information, as well as current contact information.
It is hard to believe how often a business card will be used. You do not have to have them professionally printed. Most office supply stores carry blank card pages, and most word processing programs for the computer will have a card template. Use these to print business cards at home. Keep it simple, but provide enough contact information that anyone can find you (and use that web site url).
Many local newspapers have sections where they list meeting times and places at no cost. Take advantage of this service if it's available. Call the newspaper anytime you have a special event coming up. Especially if it's a slow day for hard news, they may well send out a reporter to see what is happening. An article or two, even in a newspaper with a very small circulation, will help to get the word out about what you are doing.
Take the opportunities that present themselves. Is there a Founder's Day Picnic coming up? Is there a parade you can walk in? A marathon where you can volunteer to man a water table? A PBS station running a telethon that needs phone volunteers? A medieval movie premeire that wouldn't mind a few people in garb doing a demo in the theatre lobby?
While we need to focus on medieval activities, we can also take advantage of non-medieval situations and advertise ourselves. Anytime you are in costume, you will attract attention, and provide an opportunity to talk about Adria. And many of these opportunities are also a chance to give back to your community.
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