low numbers in univ. groups
swhite at cimedia.com
Thu Jan 16 18:14:27 PST 1997
>> >SCA having low numbers problems athe UofH.
>This is a very common problem in groups who draw primarily from
Well, we have probelms with numbers in my barony IN SPITE OF being in close
proximity to a huge university in a huge city. We suffer in the recruitment
area because of a nearly-invisible fighter practice location (you'd miss it
if you blink) and on-again, off-again reception of new folks.
I see the solution as twofold -- promotion and reception. Neither can
adequately function without the support of the other.
Promotion is surprisingly easy -- easier than most folks think. (I work at
my city paper, btw, and have been active in entertainment promotion for
years.) Usually it only takes a phone call or two to set up a running blurb
in your newspaper's events calendar.
Talk to an entertainment editor and ask him/her to do a feature on some
aspect of your group -- something specific and engaging, not an article
about the whole organization. How about a feature on getting the local
'troops' ready for Gulf War? About someone building a siege engine? About
someone studying some lost art? If you've got an angle, the SCA makes great,
colorful copy ... good photo material too!
Having a fighter practice in a visible location, even if it's just once a
month, can be an awfully positive thing, too ...
Now you've done a little bit of promotion and folks are starting to show up
on the sidelines -- GRAB 'EM!!! Make sure your members know who to send
newbies to, especially if they're interested in A&S or fighting or something
specific ... during my first fighter practice, I was bounced around to a
half-dozen folks before I found the Hospitaller and Knight's Marshall. Be
engaging, enthusiastic and don't make new folks feel like dopes when they
ask questions. Not everyone was born with the knowledge of what a vambrace
or aventail is.
And it may sound goofy, but maybe a nice banner saying INFORMATION could be
hung on a fence or something and the Hospitaller could hang out nearby ...
Folks, I think you'd be stunned by the number of people who discover the SCA
and say I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR AN ORGANIZATION LIKE THIS FOR YEARS. It's
just a matter of letting them know that we're here.
<swhite at cimedia.com>
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