Publicity is an important part of making your meeting visible to the local community. Here are some guidelines and examples of what other meetings have created to advertise about their Quaker Quest public sessions.
- Personal Invitation
- Signs and Banners
- Meeting Brochure
- Online Ads
- The website is often the first stop a newcomer makes. It is important to have up to date and accurate information available, especially when a newcomer is seeking your meeting out.
- Share photos of the friendly faces at your meeting. It’s nice to know that there are real people at a Quaker meeting.
- Make sure your information is correct on www.quakerfinder.org. If you need to make corrections, let us know through our online form: http://www.fgcquaker.org/quaker-finder-corrections
- If you are holding public sessions, be sure to display your events prominently on the website.
- Consider saying “You are welcome here.” For example, here is what it says at the top of Greensboro Friends’ website: First Friends Meeting is an inclusive Quaker Meeting where all are welcome. We serve the Greensboro, NC community. Elsewhere, they are more specific: We’re rooted in Christ, strive to put faith into action, and welcome EVERYONE who wants to share their spiritual journey.
- Check out some what some meetings have been doing:
- Traditional newspaper ads are often expensive and should be used prudently. Be sure that you aren’t already reaching that target audience in other ways before spending limited resources on many ads.
- Newspapers can be a good source of having an article written about the public sessions – containing lots of information about the meeting in general. These types of articles are usually read more often than ads. Reach out to your local newspapers to see if they'd like to do a story. Minneapolis Friends Meeting's public sessions were written up in the Star Tribune.
Minneapolis Meeting's newspaper ad
- Various radio stations – including but not limited to public radio and college radio stations – can carry the message widely. Specific air time for advertising can help target a lot of people at the same time. Do some research about your local radio stations and costs.
- Public Service announcements can work well; however, they are not set for any period of time.
- Posting flyers in local neighborhoods and shops with lots of “foot traffic”
- Distributing flyers around the local neighborhood can alert your friendly neighbors of the meeting’s vibrant, welcoming activities.
Example: Greensboro's poster
Postcards have been found most effective if mailed twice. The first mailing should go out a month before the public sessions and then again two weeks before the public sessions. Contact your local postmaster for more information about when your mailing should go out.
Example: Eau Claire
- A personal invitation is sometimes the most successful. Letting people know that you are a Quaker and that their presences is always welcome at your Quaker meeting.
- Contact Local Colleges and Universities
- Invite college students and faculty members, and religion departments know about the sessions.
- This is often a great opportunity for students to complete community activities and engage folks from campus.
Example: Topeka Friends Meeting
- Making sure your meeting’s sign is visible and easy to understand helps folks locate the meeting and its events.
- Consider the language the meeting uses on its sign. Newcomers often do not know Quaker jargon, like “monthly meeting”. (Which Sunday of the month do you worship?)
- A simple banner can be very inviting. This can either briefly share about the QQ sessions or be something like what Greensboro and Minneapolis did: Line 1) Quaker! Maybe? Line 2) website
Create a welcoming piece that Friends, attenders, and newcomers can pick up and share. This may include information about the meeting, pictures, and ways to engage with the community.
Example: Minneapolis's foldover bookmark
- If your meeting has a Facebook page, create an event for each public session. Encourage your members to share this event and invite their Facebook friends.
- Facebook ads can target people in a geographical area or people who list specific interests, or both. Facebook ads are very small and should have no more than a few words on them.
GoogleAds can target people by geography or by interest.
Several meetings have created engaging videos to feature on their website, telling seekers about Quakers and their meeting.
Example: Minneapolis Monthly Meeting
Example: West Newton Friends Meeting's Burma Shave ads:
Example: West Newton Billboard