Press Releases & Public Relations
by Philip ŇFishl Ň Kutner
Yiddish groups and organizations in general, and Yiddish clubs in particular, have not utilized mailings, periodicals or the media to increase; membership, attendance, community-awareness
or to do the necessary fundraising.
Increasing/replacing membership loss is the first part of your membership committeeŐs job. The second is indoctrination and finally retention.
Over the years a list has been made of the reasons why we donŐt develop our PR and send out public releases and work on public relations.
Reasons for not developing PR, include:
It is too expensive
It takes too much time
The public doesnŐt care
I donŐt know how to do it
I am not good on the computer
I havenŐt thought about it
I donŐt know where to start
I donŐt like to do cold-calling
I am not good at writing
Where and How to Start
Think of how you communicate with your existing membership.
Postal cards or letters
Casual talk at other formal and informal meetings
Additional Steps Beyond the Above
Leave flyers at temples, Jewish Community Centers, Senior Centers, Recreation Centers, or Retirement Homes
Announcements should be sent to the above locations to be included in their newsletters
Excellent locations for announcements are in your local Anglo Jewish newspaper, radio or TV programs.
Announcements sent to the Forverts, Forward, Der Bay, etc. are finely tuned to your greatest source of Yiddish contacts.
Handling Potential New Members
ŇYou donŐt have a second chance to make a first impression.Ó
Offer them transportation to the meeting. Form a carpool, for it adds to camaraderie.
Be sure to have someone act as a greeter at the door before meetings and after the meeting is over.
Introduce them at the meeting so everyone will
know their names.
Ask them to say a few words about themselves, and include where they live in case someone lives nearby.
Have someone tell them about the group activities
and the various committees.
Ask them what their special interests are and if they would like to be on a committee.
Ask them if they know of anyone else who may be interested in attending.
Add them to the membership list, and see that each committee chairperson gets the listing information.
This is the most difficult job to do and to get people involved. Thus the old adage is best, ŇIf you donŐt spend it, you donŐt have to raise it.Ó This is easier said than done. So what are the rules and what do you do when all else fails?
Remember the old barter system—if I give you what you want, then you can give me what I want.
DonŐt pay for meeting space. Sometimes you know
the management or someone lives in the place. Other times you may invite the residents and give them free programming. In synagogues we have had people
show up for a minyon and also perform a mitsve.
Volunteers, volunteers, volunteers is the mantra of successful groups. They also may be a source of new membership. Have a special volunteer awards event
to honor someone or a group. Special areas are; the online contacts and making flyers etc, helping with transportation and a telephone squad.