by Natrieifia Miller

Club Round Up: Publicity

Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club

The Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club recently worked with ATC’s Virginia Regional Office on exploring different ways to get the word out about volunteer opportunities as section monitors. Here’s what they tried:

Press Release: Club leaders collaborated with ATC staff on a press release. ATC’s marketing department posted the press release on the ATC website and sent it to their media contacts in the area, while Club leaders emailed it to their contacts in the local community.

Blog Posts: Kathryn Herndon wrote a blog post that featured on the Appalachian Trials website.

Posters: To spread the word locally three large posters were created and placed in public areas in Damascus, Abingdon, and Marion, Virginia. While these materials were created to help with this push to gain more new Trail monitor this year, the hope is that the posters will serve the club as a resource for continuing to engage and garner local attention for MRATC.

Word of Mouth: After holding a couple of informational meetings for new volunteers the consensus among those in attendance was that they heard about the opportunity through word of mouth.

Information Meetings: Flyers were created to promote two different informational meetings for potential volunteers. As with the posters, they were placed in public areas around Damascus, Abingdon, and Marion, Virginia. These informational meetings are great ways to give possible new members a rundown of what it takes to be a Trail monitor.

Social Media: Club members and ATC staff frequently shared links to the press release on social media to create a buzz around the Information meetings.

Through the information meetings, email, and word of mouth, over 20 people expressed interest in becoming a section monitor with MRATC during the recruitment campaign. As of November 5, 16 folks will have completed the requirements to be assigned a section, and MRATC has also gained several other new members this fall. For a small club based in a rural area, that’s a great boost!

The Club and ATC regional staff will be celebrating November 19 at the Damascus Brewery–anyone is welcome to come toast the new members! They will be assigned their sections and paired with a mentor in January.”

Using a variety of publicity techniques at once helps assure your information gets out to many different kinds of people. The more people that see it, and the more frequently they see it, the more likely they are to tell others they know. This varied approach keeps an organization and its events at the forefront of the public’s mind and thus increases the likelihood of their participation.

Massachusetts Appalachian Trail Management Committee

The Massachusetts Appalachian Trail Management Committee Facebook page has linked to their google spreadsheet which consolidates the various work trips they are facilitating throughout the year. It gives the date, project name, project description as well as the trip leader and their contact information for those wishing to join the trip. It is a simple, easy-to-maneuver document and even includes photos from previous projects at the top. By posting it on Facebook MATMC gets the word out to their followers along with giving their followers the opportunity to share it on their Facebook feeds which increases possibility of new volunteers joining a project.

Smoky Mountain Hiking Club

The Smoky Mountain Hiking Club has a very active Facebook page when it comes to posting many different kinds of content often. One type of content is using their Facebook page to promote the monthly AT Maintainers’ Committee newsletter. This offers those who do not have access to the newsletter the chance to view upcoming work trips along with read brief synopses of previous work trips. Using Facebook to promote a newsletter is a great way to stack publicity resources and reach broader audiences.

Potomac Appalachian Trail Club

The September MARO newsletter highlights the collaborative boundary work trip between the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) and the Appalachian Long Distance Hiker’s Association (ALDHA). This is a wonderful example of using affiliated organizations and partnerships to get news of your events out to more viewers. Not only has the ALDHA made mention of the boundary work trip in their own newsletter on page 49, but the PATC also made sure that the info was highlighted in the monthly MARO newsletter.