[Concilium] Attracting new members

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[Concilium] Attracting new members

Postby Quintus Pomponius Atticus on Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:26 pm

Salvete omnes,

A straightforward question : how could SVR attract more members and keep them enthoustiastic about participating in our organisation ?


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Gone 'cruitin'

Postby Aldus Marius on Tue Aug 23, 2005 9:04 am

Salvete decemviri,

Others more versed in Web promotions will have things to suggest along those lines. In all of what follows, I do not forget that probably 98% of our personnel gain Stateside is going to occur via Internet. (I'm 'assuming a spherical horse' here and guessing that our Europeans have more opportunities to meet in-person.) I'm here about that other 2%.

I've mentioned handing out bizcards with a line about SVR on them. In my previous incarnation I was doing the same for NR. It wasn't an adventure, just a job; they'd gone and made me a tribunus militum, which meant I was an official recruiter and reenactor liaison. But they sent me lots of goodies to hand out at events or at work or wherever I found myself in the company of potential Romans.

Yes. Goodies cost money to produce. That said, here is a list of things I've either handed to people or wanted to:
-- One-page flyers
-- Folded brochures
-- Printouts of the home page, statement of principles, and/or any Board or Website articles that would help people see what we were like
-- Business cards
-- Bookmarks
-- Mousepads, tie tacks, coffeemugs, paperweights, etc. with our (SVR's) Truly Neat Logo on them

Any one of us with a printer and decent composition skills can put out the paper items. In fact, if someone sends me the wording I'd be more than happy to do the design. (Gotta live up to my praenomen, yes?)

The Web-site extracts can be gotten online, of course; get a really nice master and trot it down to a copy shop, where you can turn it into 'campaign literature' for pennies a page.

Nice business cards may be had very cheaply from <vistaprint.com> . There are a few dozen freebie designs, and even with the premium ones you'll generally pay less for production than for shipping. I am a long-standing customer, and get special offers all the time including orders for free; shall I pick something out for us?

As for bookmarks, I designed some a couple of summers ago and shared them with Dionysius Draco. The template I made up fits on a standard 8.5" by 11" sheet of paper; I even have a mark for where to punch the holes if you want to add on a tassel. There are ten bookmarks to a sheet, six with holes and four without. The only thing I have not actually done is roadtest the layout by copying them onto some nice laid stock and cutting them out. If anyone lives closer than I do to a full-service copy shop (about 120 miles), might I perhaps send them the .gif so they can try it? >({|:-)

And, yes, I even have a clue (but only a clue) about the Material Artefacts. <cafepress.com> seems to do a lot of that sort of thing for people, and they're being used by everyone from 10-year-old dinosaur artists to professional cartoonists and rock bands. I don't know what their rates are, but their product is nice.

Okay, 1, 2, 3..."Mari, you've been holding out on us again!!"

Oh, yes: a less-obscure, more-responsive, and friendlier way to handle member submissions to the Collegiae and elsewhere would go a long way towards keeping people in. The flip side of Recruitment is Retention!

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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:00 pm

Following up on Marius' thoughts, I've got an idea about how to make some money to pay for promotions, although I must admit that I was thinking more of Google advertising than tangible gifts.

Cafepress.com, to which Marius refers, sells t-shirts as well as mugs and other logo items. What makes them interesting is that anyone can provide their design and then get a cut when someone buys a t-shirt or coffee mug with that design. Cafepress does all the manufacturing, printing, shipping, and billing. The designer basically gets a royalty for their intellectual property.

I searched for "latin" at the cafepress.com website some time ago and only came up with "latin girls", "latin lovers", etc. Unfortunately when I ran the same search today, I found quite a few Latin language materials.

Still, there is a lot of room to compete. Almost all of the Latin language offerings consist of only a phrase of text ("carpe diem" and the like) without any cool graphics. Even within the textual department there are a lot of slogans that I remember from my schooldays that don't show up (anyone remember "Latin isn't dead, it's immortal!" and "vis vobiscum" from StarWars days?)

One other great thing about Cafepress is that the designer's website is linked to each product offering at the cafepress website. So anyone selling is also getting free advertising. Most of the links lead to online stores, ours could lead to the SVR home page!

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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:44 pm

Salvete viri,

Great ideas, I especially like the Latin t-shirt idea. In order to direct money to promoting ourselves, we'd need an SVR account though.
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