Guidelines for societies regarding publicity and the media

We would all like to better publicise the hobby – and our Society. How can we do it? Some thoughts:

  • The Society needs a publicity officer whose job is simply to cultivate and inform relevant local contacts on a regular basis, say once a month or every couple of months. (Most societies don’t do anything about publicity for months at a time, and then they find they don’t know who they should be contacting at the local paper or radio station. Publicity is more efficiently and more easily achieved on an on-going basis.)
  • Almost all local radio stations have community notice boards. Normally it costs nothing to use them. Get to the station about ten days before any public meeting you want to publicise. Have the information you want broadcast clearly headed FOR COMMUNITY NOTICE BOARD and typed out or written in capitals. Put at the bottom (if relevant, of course!) NO CHARGE – ALL WELCOME. It is well worth the effort to do this on a regular basis. At worst, your society will be seen to be active and you will get on-going free publicity. If you are lucky, potential new members will turn up at your meetings.
  • Most local supermarkets, Citizens Advice Bureaus and Public Libraries have public notice boards. The local Post Shop may also be supportive. An A4 sheet with a blown-up example of a stamp to catch the eye, and information about Society meetings and membership, can be posted from time to time. (Don’t leave it up long enough to get tatty and dog-eared!)
  • If a local member is given life membership of your Society, or receives a Federation or Royal Philatelic Society or some other kind of national award, don’t just circulate the information to your members internally – see that the local paper knows about it as soon as you do. If possible supply a copy of any citation and a photocopy of some interesting item he or she collects.

Have you other ideas? Let your Federation representatives know!