Promotional posters are a good way of advertising scouting, raising awareness of the movement, and promoting our image.
Posters are NOT an effective way of recruiting, particularly for leaders and other adults. However, they are valuable tools for raising the awareness of scouting in your area, which could also support your recruitment campaign.
The easiest way to produce your own posters is through The Scout Association print centre, where there are lots to choose from.
Where to put posters
Think about your target audience. Who do you want to see the posters - adults, parents, potential supporters, young people? If so, what age group? Then think where you are going to find that target audience in large numbers e.g.
- community notice boards
- shop windows
- libraries and cinemas
- places of worship and village halls
- community centres and youth clubs
Even better, where are people likely to be waiting with time on their hands? E.g.
- shops next to bus stops
- school entrance halls where parents wait
- doctors and dentist waiting rooms
- railway stations
Posters can be used to add colour to a static display or stand at public events. It's highly unlikely that the stand will recruit members by itself, but a colourful and professional display will attract the attention of members of the public.
This then gives those on the stand the opportunity to talk to individuals and discuss Scouting. This is more likely to recruit new members and supporters.
Where not to put posters
There is no point in putting up posters in your scout meeting place – you will be only advertising to the converted - unless the building is used by members of the public who are part of the target audience that you wish to attract.
Remember - posters are better placed out in the community in public places. Be creative – think of new and different places where you don’t normally see this type of thing.
It’s important that any individual poster or display features details of a contact, should people require further information. A telephone number is essential.
Think carefully about the telephone number you use.
A quick response to any enquiry is imperative.
- Is the caller likely to get a human voice at the other end rather than an answering machine?
- Will the person answering know who to put them in touch with?
- Will they know where the vacancies are?
- Are they in a position to get back to the enquirer promptly without expecting them to phone other people?
Why not make use of the Scout Information Centre number – 0845 300 1818. This number is staffed Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday mornings. By simply giving their postcode, the caller is then put in touch with their local district commissioner, wherever they are calling from. The website address www.scouts.org.uk also offers a contact service.
Postcards are a good way of promoting Scouting and support the recruitment of young people.
How to use the postcards
Again, think about your target audience – potential beaver scouts, cub scouts, scouts, explorer scouts or adults for the scout network.
Then decide where you will find that particular age group in large numbers.
There are three ways of distributing the postcards.
Hand them out
Any place where you find young people. E.g.
- School presentations – arrange to visit your local school to organise some taster activities or a presentation. Hand the postcards out afterwards.
- Hand them out as young people are coming out of the cinema.
- Use them at static displays or exhibitions for young people to take away.
- Ask teachers to distribute them at the end of the school day.
- Ask your video store to put them in bags when serving young people.
- Ask local estate agents to give them to people buying property in your area or to put them on display in show homes on new estates.
Leave a number of postcards where young people are likely to visit, preferably in a small leaflet holder available from office supply shops. Many shops and outlets will be only too willing to help. This could be:
- Fast food outlets
- Schools, colleges and universities
- Leisure centres
Post or send a postcard direct to individuals, such as:
- a young person who is due to move onto the next section,
- someone who has left Scouting, (Send the postcard to tell them that ‘we’ve changed’)
- an invitation to a taster day or evening
- a ‘bring a friend’ night