Let People Know - Promote Your Pack Program!

Unit Advertising: Use Media, Messaging and More!

Let people know what you’ll do ... share your list of fun activities. This leads families to you.  A great program plan isn’t enough – you’ve got to promote it in the Pack and beyond.  As a way to share what you do, empower interested parents to be a team of New Member Coordinators – any parent who likes Scouting can spread the word.  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, Signs and Other Hard Handouts

Council Promotion Pieces.  The Atlanta Area Council can provide your unit with Get Out and Cub Scout” Flyers to promote your Sign-Up Event (your Pack will probably want to make further flyers for general promotion and sharing of your program plan):

  1. “Get Out and Cub Scout” Flyers to promote your Sign-Up Event (your Pack will probably want to make further flyers for general promotion and sharing of your program plan)
    • Attached below are the Atlanta Area Council flyers for the 2021-2022 “Get Out and Cub Scout” theme.
    • Also attached is a flyer template insert that can fill the blank at the bottom of the first page of the flyers, where you can add your own contact information, date/time/place of your Sign-Up Event, a quick dues summary, and a QR code for more information.  That also serves as a print request form for the Council flyers.
  2. Yard Signs – this year, most are pre-printed with a bold message to Text Join Scouts to 31996 where parents can be routed to the Council “Join Cub Scouts” page
  3. Tri-Fold Brochures – let your District Professional know what to put in the customizable centerfold
  4. “Standees” (a Cub Scout cardboard cutout standing and showing the Cub Scout sign – perfect for holding the Tri-Fold Brochures)
  5. Peer to Peer Cards and Stickers
  6. The Parent Orientation Guide, with general information about Scouting and the Atlanta Area Council resources for parents and Packs

Further Flyer Forms:  You can make your own flyers with your own pictures and Information.  For ideas about fun activity flyers you can share that will get attention, consider these:

  • A wide variety of National materials are at the Marketing and Membership hub at ScoutingWire
    • 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.
    • These can be used in the same way, with the back side setting out your key activities and contact information.
    • 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.
  • You can use the front of the Council “Get Out and Cub Scout” Flyer for “general” promotion of your Pack:
  • You can make your own flyers with your own pictures of your own Scouts, 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).  Also, never list a Scout’s full name: first names only (or no names).
    • You are not 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”.
  • This District page has a pdf of examples of what your flyer could look like, and a Word template you can use.  Just open that Word template link, and copy that document to your computer as your flyer, insert your own pictures and activity information, and get that flyer in the hands of kids and families.
    • Two different draft “back pages” in Word are also found on that District page that you can copy and edit:
      • One is for a “hybrid” program, with both In Person Group Activities and -- if those can't happen, or if families want to do activities safely from home -- Family-Led Activities alongside those group activities, as described here in "What Does Cub Scouting Look Like Now?".
        • This “hybrid” program, with some small and safe outdoor activities alongside Family-Led Adventures, will be a common Pack Program in 2021.
      • The other is just for 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 in “A Family Led Fun Program”.
        • Ideally, you'll do the in-person group activities, but if physical distancing concerns 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.
  • See these suggestions about flyer content and design from the BSA Marketing Team.
  • QR Codes?  Yeah, I see those, and I’ve used those, but how do I make those?
    • Here’s a YouTube video that describes how they work and another video how to create one (you probably just need a simple static QR code).
  • You’re not limited to one flyer for your program year – you can update and circulate a list of your Fun Activities/Pack Program and pictures of your Pack and Den family any time of the year.
    • Spring flyers for restarting your Den or Pack, or bringing in new families just “coming back out”.
    • Summer Flyers for School Year Recruiting
    • Flyers in the Winter to highlight Spring and Summer Events
  1. Make Your “Pack Packet” of Key Information for New Families:  Families want to know how your Pack and Dens operate -- it is a best practice to have an easy, simple handout readily available for new families.
  • The best and simplest approach is a one-page (two sided) flyer with pictures, some key contact information and a QR code to link to your Pack Website with more information.
    • Several of the flyers below are designed with QR Codes and work as simple, easy "Pack Packets".
  • Don't have a Website yet?  Then you'll probably have an envelope with your calendar of activities, contact lists, FAQs about dues, fundraisers, uniforms, advancement and activities and more.
  • Either way, share copies of your Pack Packet with other families so you and they can share with other families any time -- at Pack and Den events, for sure, also as you go about your non-Scouting life!

Need Help With Printing?  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 by using the flyer template insert and work order attached below – just complete that form and send it to your District Professional.  You’ll get hard copies, and an electronic copy that can be shared on Facebook, Insta and other social media easily.

Social Media, E-Messaging and Peer to Peer: Free and Easy Publicity

There are lots of paths to promote your Pack using social media, electronic messaging and even traditional media – pick all you like.  See this video for a summary of key social media concepts.

The benefits of social media and electronic messaging – they are free, easy for your families to share, and can go viral if they do share.

Soft media can be used to share your flyers that have your calendar of fun activities – and so much more.

Possible routes that don’t involve printing and delivery include:

  • Websites – any or all of:
    • Your own Pack Website (more on this below)
    • 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 stories, pictures, video and contact links – enlist parents to communicate with other parents at their grade level)
    • Church email blasts (ask if you can add stories, pictures, video and contact links)
    • Local community email lists (many neighborhoods have Yahoo or other email listservs)
  • Other Electronic Messaging – Not everyone is on email (or care to read their 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
      • Don’t let your families think “only the leaders can post”.
      • Encourage them to post – and give praise in comments when they do (“what a great picture” “that was a fun event”)
    • A Unit’s own Facebook, Instagram or Twitter space is great to get your families sharing with each other, and then you can magnify that effect if your sites interact with other sites in your community, like:
      • Church and School Facebook Groups, Twitter handles from those groups.
      • PTA/PTO groups
      • Community Groups
      • Local News Sites
      • 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:  Did you know?  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 – Facebook Ads and Geofencing – 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 Pack Sign-Up Events and other Fun Den or Pack Welcoming Events.
    • Link It Up.  Put a URL Link in any of these tools that will link to an Online Application for your Pack.
    • Newspapers and Local Media.  You may be able to get your Pack’s news in the local “hard” newspaper and/or their online space.
      • News organizations and other groups love content – whether newspapers or community groups or churches, schools, etc.
      • To help give them content they can use quickly, an example of a Media Release is attached below that could be used and adapted to fit your unit or event.  (The example there is a generic service project, but you could write up a Pinewood Derby, crossover to a Troop, a Pack campout, a Den hike – anything that you do.)
    • Other Communication Channels.  Phone, like you can use CallingPost to message.  Text message tools, like GroupMe.  Some use the app called Band.

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 electronic 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 in your social media channels.
    • (You can keep a photo site with a larger gallery of pictures for those who want a deeper dive.)
  • You might do more than just have photo galleries because you can create presentations with tools like animoto. There are many different tools: enter “best free slideshow maker” in your search engine, and you’ll find resources.
  • There’s plenty of official video from National BSA and the Atlanta Area Council – much of this can be great sharable content for your families on your social sites.
  • Don't forget about making your own videos!
    • Candid video clips go viral faster than photos.
    • And you can package your clips into presentations like this one from a Michigan Scouts BSA Troop.
  • You’ll love those photos and videos 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 – like when you do a Sign-Up Event for new families.

One on One Messaging – Peer to Peer – Word of Mouth – Kid to Kid.  This works too!  Actually, this works best.  The recommendation of a friend or fellow school parent will mean more than the testimonial of even the best Pack Leader.  Kids can invite kids, parents can invite parents, and that’s how you grow.

  • Personal Follow Up.  If you or a welcoming New Member Coordinator reaches out to someone you know or someone you met at a Sign-Up Event, and invite them to a Fun Den or Pack Welcoming Event, that is more powerful than a group ask.
  • Phone It In.  While it’s not the universal way to reach out to people in this era when people text “can I call you?”, sure, you can call other families in your Scout’s grade and tell them about why you like Scouting.
  • Mail It In.  While it costs the price of a stamp, a letter or postcard is even more personal and might make an impact.
  • Empower Your Scouts.  Give them “peer to peer” cards that say, “join us” (and maybe have a QR code to connect to your welcome page – kids will want to have their parents show them on their phones, if they don’t have their own).  Give your Scouts stickers to share, or bookmarks or other enticements.
  • Incentive Your Scouts.  Is there a badge for Recruiting?  There sure is – the Recruiter Strip – so show your Scouts and families what they can get when they bring a friend to your Den.  Maybe have a further contest and other prizes.
  • Re-brand a Welcoming Event.  Are you having a Fun Den or Pack Welcoming Event at a Pack Meeting?  Maybe give it a new name for your Scouts:  call it “Bring a Friend Fishing Day”, or “Bring a Buddy Bike Ride”, or “Scout Out New Places With New Friends”.
  • Chalk It Up.  Can you write “Join Pack 1234” in chalk on your sidewalk?  Sure you can.  Maybe also “Text Join Scouts to 31996”.
  • Rock On.  Painted Pebbles are a thing.  Paint “Join Pack 1234” and leave them on the trail?  Why not.  Spread “Text Join Scouts to 31996” pebbles anywhere.

Keep Your Families “In The Know” – Unit Websites

As part of welcoming new families and staying in touch with all, 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 uniform parts 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 Pack Members (And What You Should Do)

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

File Name Description
AAC Bilingual (English/Spanish) Sign Up Event Flyer This asset was developed by the Atlanta Area Council for supporting Scouting units. Feel free to print your own for promoting your pack, or contact your District Executive to inquire if a quantity of printed flyers can be delivered to your unit. Download
AAC Editable Generic Pack Promotion Flyer | PDF Download
AAC Editable Sign Up Event Flyer | PDF Download
AAC Editable Sign Up Event Flyer | Word Download
AAC Pack Promotion Trifold Brochure This asset was developed by the Atlanta Area Council for supporting Scouting units. Feel free to print your own for promoting your pack, or contact your District Executive to inquire if a quantity of printed brochures can be delivered to your unit. Download
AAC Printed Flyer Insert Template And Printing Request Form 2021 Download
AAC Second Chance Recruiting Flyer This asset was developed by the Atlanta Area Council for supporting Scouting units. Feel free to print your own for promoting your pack, or contact your District Executive to inquire if a quantity of printed flyers can be delivered to your unit. Download
AAC Sign Up Event Flyer This asset was developed by the Atlanta Area Council for supporting Scouting units. Feel free to print your own for promoting your pack, or contact your District Executive to inquire if a quantity of printed flyers can be delivered to your unit. Download
Cub Scout Recruiting Flyer Template Download
Facebook Promotion Tips Download
Sample Cub Scout Activities Flyer | Pack 631 Download
Sample Cub Scout Pack Activities Flyer | Fillable Form Download
Sample Cub Scout Pack Flyer | Family-Led Program Download
Sample Cub Scout Pack Info Flyer | Pack 477 Download
Sample Cub Scout Recruiting Flyer | Pack 134 Download
Sample Cub Scout Recruiting Flyer | Pack 21 Download
Service Project Press Release Download