Have an up to date Web Page and News Feed
If a wannabe ringers finds your web page on wpbells.org using Google, then will they be impressed? How would you do on this checklist? If you are seiously trying to recruit, it is worth putting effort into maintaining your web presence. But that may be why you are on this training course!
- An attractive photo of your tower or your band as Feature Image
- Other photos on your page(s)
- A video or sound recording of your bells
- An item about how to learn to ring at your tower
- An advertisement for a forthcoming training course
- Recent news to let them know you are alive and kicking
- An embedded (correct!) calendar of your ringing times
- An embedded twitter feed
- Phone number, name and email form
- Recent news mentioning learners (helps non-ringers to visualise themselves learning)
- Mutual links to the Church website – this can be to a learner-friendly page on your “website” within wpbells.org.
Remember a phone user will see a small version of your page with the news underneath so they will make their minds up based on what they see in the first minute or two….
Plan a series of lessons for beginners and advertise it on posters locally and online.
This worked for Wickham… they displayed it in the 5 nearest villages and also let all sorts of local media and organizations know (including the local Adult Education who listed their course)
They backed this up with an excellent website, easy to find on Google.
Even better to put a link to your page at the bottom of the poster! Link together all your advertising for maximum effect.
Use Social Media as well
Facebook – post a link to the website news item about your training course, in appropriate places on Facebook that you think non-ringers might see.
Twitter – tweet your poster and the details and web link – this has delivered learners to the Birmingham School of Bellringing
Meetup – this worked for the Docklands Ringing Centre.
For more ideas about social media and recruitment ask Deb!
Link together all your advertising for maximum effect.
And Get High Retention
At the Priory we have recruited 7 people in 2 batches and retained 5 of them – we are proud of this and technology forms an important aspect of our retention policy.
- We send a weekly news sheet to everyone in the band by email and learners feel included in what is going on even if they can’t participate in everything
- We remind each learner about each 1-1 training session by text. It’s a fiddle but we believe it really increases participation
- We post regular news items about what we are up to – again this helps to make people feel part of the band, and allows parents of the children to have a clue what they are up to!
- A fresh poster of ringing times goes up in the church porch every month or so, with a website address etc
Non-technical retention stuff is important as well:
- Be honest at the start – ringing is very difficult to learn and progress is slow.
- Run 1-1 training for as long as they need it and slot extra ones in later if they need it.
- Be aware of discouragement especially in adult learners. It is almost universal. See Steve Coleman’s excellent recent article in RW. ENCOURAGE and LISTEN is the message!
- Take learners to other towers when appropriate – our District Youth Practice includes the bell handling stage and youngsters love it. We also had one learners outing to the nearest tower and this was a ball! Learners from others towers came too.
- Run a learners practice as well as a normal practice – this makes for an exhausting 2hr evening but it is so popular there is a queue of learners at the door each week, however early we arrive!
- Provide a learning ladder. Once the learners outstrip the band be prepared to take them to more advanced practices.