Funder by the Department of Human Services Auspiced by Our Community

Help Sheet

Starting to advertise your group

This help sheet is designed to help you think about the different ways that you can advertise the existence of your group and attract new members. It covers:

 

Bulletins

Bulletins provide a low-fuss way of communicating with and between group members. But they can also provide a way to regularly communicate to people who are interested in your group but who maybe don't want to (or can't) attend face-to-face meetings, or aren't ready to join the group yet.

For small groups a bulletin is an easy way to let the broader community know about the group's activities, actions, plans, discussions and decisions.

They don't need to be fancy. A photocopied hand-written A4 piece of paper functions just as well as any other.

Bulletins can also be sent electronically to people who have indicated their interest in your group and are comfortable with email.

And if your group already communicates internally through the use of bulletins, then it is a fairly simple matter to edit out anything that is sensitive, private, or not relevant to anyone else but the group, and send it out to the broader community.

Making a brochure

The group may wish to advertise its existence to the broader community and a brochure can be a successful way to do this.

Your group can also use a brochure to attract new members. Before you start writing your brochure, it might be useful to consider the following points:

The answer to these questions will depend on the purpose of the brochure. If it is mainly to attract new members to your group, there are a variety of ways you can go.

Brochures as two-way communication

In this type of brochure, information is given about the group, and information is sought by the group from the broader community.

The information given by the group may include:

The information sought by the group may include:

Two-way information brochures are a good way for your group to start interacting with the community.

Newsletters

Newsletters are a good way of reaching a wider audience. They can include articles, opinions, reports of current debates, news, events, quotes, cartoons, photos, etc.

People can also be invited to submit their poetry, jokes, essays, thoughts, ideas, and art.

Like your bulletins and brochures, your newsletters don't have to be flashy to be effective.

'Expression of Interest' forms

Expression of interest forms - forms that people can fill in if they're interested in taking part in or finding out more about the group - can be included as part of or alongside your brochure, bulletin or newsletter.

Expression of interest forms have an additional function for the group if they ask 'How would you like to participate?' The group can then endeavour to meet the needs of individuals by ensuring there is a range of ways people can participate.

Examples of different methods of participation include:

Membership forms

Membership forms can also be included as part of or alongside your brochure, bulletin or newsletter.

Membership forms should include some very brief information about the group - where and when it meets, who is eligible to take part and the methods of participation that are possible, for example - and should also provide a space for

You must also include details of how the membership form can be returned to the group - i.e. where to post, fax or email it to, and whether it can be hand delivered.

Issues of privacy

Any time that a group asks people for personal details, such as phone numbers or mail/email addresses, it is important that it is made clear what the information will be used for and who will have access to it.

It is also extremely important to be clear that people's personal details will not be used for any other purposes or passed on to any other people or groups.

People have a right to have their privacy protected, and this is both a moral responsibility and a legal requirement for all groups.

Privacy information should be included as part of the membership application form and the expression of interest form.

Thinking Point:

An important question for each new group to discuss in relation to principles and privacy is; 'Does completing the membership form force a person to disclose their consumer or other status?'

There is no right or wrong answer to this very important question. In fact, there are very good arguments for both asking people to disclose and not doing so.

Each group needs to weigh up the pros and cons and come to a conclusion that they can live with and argue for if they are challenged in the future.

An initiative of Department of Human Services, Developed & Managed by www.ourcommunity.com.au