Promote your club
If your club is to remain healthy it needs to have a constant influx of new members to replace the old ones who no longer bushwalk, move away from the area, or have other priorities in their lives. Advertise your presence in the community by:
- Having a great professionally designed website. If your website looks old fashioned or amateur, spend a little money and have it revamped. Most people access information about clubs solely on the web, so this is an important part of your strategy. Ask other similarly-minded organisations to link to your site to give it more visibility on the Google search engine results list.
- Regularly reviewing the club website to ensure it has a current design and feel, includes current information, and is easy to navigate.
- Starting a Facebook page and asking members to contribute. A committee member should be the administrator, ensuring there is at least a weekly post, that messages or negative comments are answered promptly and anything inappropriate is removed quickly.
- Answering phone or emails inquiries about your club promptly, preferably the same day.
- Utilising the free What’s On section of your local newspaper to advertise meetings or walks
- Holding a Try Bushwalking Day and advertising it in the local newspaper or community radio station. Local stations and the ABC radio often have a phone-in segment for community activities, but you will usually need to ring them early on Saturday morning to advertise the event.
- Participating in bushwalking festivals
- Placing a poster on your local library noticeboard and community information file
- Listing your club in local council publications such as “Activities for Seniors” booklets
- Hiring a stall at a local festival or event. A tent makes a good free stall and stands out from the other boring tables and shelters. Be sure to include signboards with lots of colourful pictures of the club having fun activities, free handouts, bushwalking books or maps for sale, balloons for kids, and other enticements for people to come to your table. If there’s nothing to see they will just pass you by. Members who man the table need to be proactive and approach passers-by rather than stand back and wait to be spoken to.
- Organising a bushwalk for a local interest group, college or school. You will need to have a good risk management framework in place to do this. See below.
- Giving a slide presentation to other organisations on the fun of bushwalking
- Preparing a leaflet about your club for visitors informing them about your activities and how to join
- Giving members club business cards to hand out to interested parties
- Sending visitors a follow-up email encouraging them to return
- Appointing a Visitor Welcome person to greet visitors at meetings and ensure they are not sitting alone and un-noticed