Let People Know - Promote Your Pack Program!

Flyers, Media, Messaging and More!

Let people know what you’ll do ... share your list of fun activities. This leads families to you.  And as a way to share what you do, empower a team of parents to be New Member Coordinators – they can be a big help in letting people know what your unit is doing because peer to peer and parent to parent recommendations are the best.

Flyers with Pictures and Information are great (both as handouts and shared online by email and through social media), and you have many choices.  For ideas about fun activity flyers, you can share that will get attention, look at these:

  • Attached to this District page are Atlanta Area Council flyers for the “Build an Adventure” theme.
    • The flyers that your District Professional will use to promote School Sign-Up Night may be based on one of these templates.
    • You can also use these for “general” promotion of your Pack: use the front side with Contact Information and on the backlist your Pack’s Calendar of Fun Activities and Pack Program.
  • A wide variety of National materials are at the Marketing and Membership hub at ScoutingWire
  • You can make your own flyers with your own pictures of your own Scouts and your own activities, but be sure to receive written authorization from those Scout’s families (directly or as a sign up for the event, or in the release signed by parents on Part A the current BSA Health and Medical Record), and never list a Scout’s full name, first names only (or no names).
  • This District page has a pdf of what your flyer could look like, and a Word template (just open that Word template link, and copy that document to your computer as your flyer, and get that flyer in the hands of kids and families).
    • That District page attaches two different drafts “back pages” in Word that you can copy and edit:
      • One is for a Plan "A/B" program, with both In Person Group Activities and -- if those can't happen, or if families want to do activities alone --  Family-Led Activities alongside those group activities.
      • One is just for Plan "B", or Family-Led Activities, where Parents or other adults lead their Scouts from home, and Den and Pack Leaders lead the Parents by giving them resources and guidance about how to lead, as described here "What Does Cub Scouting Look Like Now?".
        • Ideally, you'll do the in-person group activities.
        • But if physical distancing recommendations lead you to remain separate, for each Pack activity there will be a "virtual" option that can be done by a family on their own schedule and in their own way.
        • That's why that page attaches a Plan "A/B" program, with both In Person Group Activities as well as Family-Led Activities alongside those group activities for families not comfortable with group activities.
  • Suggestions about flyer content and design are here from the BSA Marketing Team.

If you need the Volunteer Service Center to do hard copy printing, you can either send them the flyer that you prepared or have them create a flyer with information you provide on the attached resource request form for flyers, posters, yard signs and more – just complete that resource request form and send it to your District Professional. Flyers can be shared on Facebook, Insta and other social media easily.

You should not be limited to the current Council or National BSA templates. It is OK to make your own flyer with words and images that reflect well on Scouting – as one Cubmaster reported:

“Our best recruiting year was the year when a Council flyer had pictures of our kids having fun ... other kids said ‘hey, I know those guys!’ and were much more interested in joining. Our Scouts were really eager to hand out ‘their’ pictures and tell their stories – then, the next year, nobody knew the kids in the flyers, and nobody was interested in them”.  And whether you use Council or National BSA flyers, you can still add your own touch.

Many BSA flyer templates are front side only, or you can just use the front graphics, and then you can fill the backside with your messages and events.

  • That District page attaches a Sample Flyer Back Page with Your Calendar of Pack Activities that you can download, edit and use with any flyer front page.

You can circulate a list of your Fun Activities/Pack Program any time of the year: 

  • Summer Flyers for School Year Recruiting
  • Winter Flyers for Spring and Summer Events

Hard Hand Outs and Soft Media: 

There are lots of pieces to promote your Pack – pick all you like. 

  • Hard Hand Outs are Great
    • The flyers described above for general Pack promotion that your Pack produces, as well as the flyers for Scout Sign-Up Night that your District Professionals will prepare.
    • The Atlanta Area Council can provide your Pack with the following to support your Recruiting:
      • Yard Signs (Keep It Simple – Write Big)
      • Tri-Fold Brochures – Let your District Professional know what to put in the customizable centerfold
      • Peer to Peer Cards
      • “Standees” (perfect for holding the Tri-Fold Brochures)
      • Stickers
    • You may be able to get your Pack’s news in the local “hard” newspaper
      • Many organizations love content – whether newspapers or community groups or churches, schools, etc.
      • To help give them content they can use quickly, examples of Media Releases are attached that could be used and adapted to fit your unit or event.
    • You can put a QR Code on a flyer that will link to an On-Line Application for your Pack … see “How About Creating Invitations That Link to On-Line Applications?” in the Update Your BeAScout.org Pin and Online Registration page.
  • Soft Media - Free, easy for your families to share, and can go viral. Soft media can be used to share your flyers that have your calendar of fun activities. Possible routes that don’t involve printing and delivery include:
  • Websites – any or all of:
    • Pack Website
    • School Website (Can you link there? Can you post announcements, pictures, video?)
    • Church Websites
    • BeAScout.org 
    • Google Maps
    • Local community websites (neighborhood, town/city, local news like patch.com, and more)
    • BSA District Website (does it have a Pack list with contact links?)
  • Email Blasts – any or all of:
    • Pack email lists of actual members and “maybe” members (people who contacted you or attended an event but haven’t decided)
    • School Email Communications (ask if you can add contacts and links)
    • Church email blasts (ask if you can add contacts and links)
    • Local community email lists (many neighborhoods have Yahoo or other email listservs)
      • Not everyone is on email, so your Pack might use GroupMe, WhatsApp, Slack or other tools in addition to email.
  • Social Media – Where do your families live and share online? Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Blogs, YouTube, Evite, Signup Genius? Other sites?
    • Be where your families live, and empower your families to share with their friends and their groups
    • See the BSA Social Media Playbook for tips, and the Social Media Guidelines
    • “Like” the Atlanta Area Council Facebook page, your District page other Scouting pages, and follow Atlanta Area Council Twitter and Instagram pages.
      • Leaders: Don’t do it all yourself!
      • Parents use these Social Media sites already, so you can encourage them to share Scouting stories on their feeds.
      • Let their friends see those posts and wonder “what is this Scouting thing all about?” and “how can I join?
      • There are many great stories on the Atlanta Area Council Facebook page and other Scouting pages and sites that your families may enjoy and share.
      • If your Pack Families find and share items as they follow Scouting sites, it helps your Pack.
  • Pin Pointers – here are three pins you may want to stick:
    • BeAScout.org.  Be sure you have an updated, and monitored, BeAScout.org Pin.
    • GoogleMaps:  You can drop your own Pin onto GoogleMaps (just like retailers do) and people looking at your neighborhood on GoogleMaps will see your pin.
      • See this video for how that can work for a Scouting Unit.
      • Like a BeAScout.org Pin, be sure you update it, and that your contact point is someone who can quickly respond and connect possible new members to your Pack.
    • Social Media on Steroids – you might be able to use “geofencing” on Facebook to target parents (for a nominal fee to Facebook). This is probably of most value right before your School Sign-Up Night and other Fun Family Joining Events.
  • Put a URL Link in any of these tools that will link to an Online Application for your Pack.

No media method works every time for everyone, but every media method works some of the time for someone. The biggest communication failure is the failure to communicate.

Photos and Videos (Tell and Show): Using soft media and social media, your Pack Promotion can take off, because you don’t just “tell” people about your Pack, you “show” them.

  • Your own Photos and Videos are best – they show what your Scouts and Families do.
  • Your own photos and videos are most likely to be shared on social media or shared by parents with their kids.
  • Use photos wisely
  • Take a lot, but share the best ones.
  • You might do more than just have photo galleries because you can create presentations with tools like animoto or other tools. There are many different tools: enter “best free slideshow maker” in your search engine, and you’ll find resources.
  • See what Pack 1030 did with their pictures here!
  • Check out Pack 1486 in Roswell and their YouTube about 101 Things You Can Do In Cub Scouts.
  • You’ll love those at the end of the year for your Blue & Gold Banquet, and then again when you share it with School, Church, Neighborhood, Social Media and more

How About Videos too?

You might want to show what Scouting is and post or send some videos about Scouting through your favorite devices and media.

Keep your families “in the know”

As part of welcoming new families, be sure that you communicate with all families about upcoming events, and about how your Pack operates. Families will want to know things like “when’s the next event?” and “what do I need to buy?” and “how does this Pack run?”, so having some source of information – whether website or Pack FAQ guide or calendar and contact list or all of those options – is essential.

Automatic National Emails are Sent to New Members

Pack Leaders need to know that National is sending information to your new members, so you probably want to follow on right after a new member joins to be sure your families know about your Pack and how it operates: see this June 2019 Blog that describes emails that the National BSA will send all new members.  More tips:

  • The first email for those who register online through beascout.org is a “Welcome” email, with a link to (we believe) this YouTube video with 5 FAQs, contact information for your Pack, plus a video about how families like Scouting.
  • The second email for those who register online through beascout.org is drafted by the Pack inside my.scouting.org so be sure you have a concise message, and link to any website that will give more families more information about your Pack.
  • The third email for those who register online through beascout.org is a “Gear Up” email, with a ScoutShop link to the Uniform and Handbook for the youth and a link to find a Scout Shop.
  • Those who register with a paper application will get a combination of the first and third – “Welcome and Gear Up”.

What Do These Automatic National Emails Mean for your Pack?

If your Pack does anything that is different from what is in those messages, you need to quickly let new families know.

  • Common “local” adaptations might include messages like:
    • “You don’t need to buy a handbook, because we’ve already bought handbooks, paid for out of Pack Dues”.
    • “Don’t worry about buying all of the uniform parts – we’re an ‘above the waist’ Pack, so the shirt will be enough
    • “Don’t buy the Pack numbers … we have a custom Pack Number patch” or “don’t bother buying ‘den numbers’, because we let our Dens use ‘den names’ and don’t worry about those ‘den number’ patches

 

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