A plan for free publicity
Community bulletin boards can be a really inexpensive and effective way to spread the word about your church in your local community. A lot of people walk by these boards every day and few people really take the opportunity for exposure. We have found it useful to make a list of places that have bulletin boards and then send a team out every month or two to check on them and put up new posters as needed. You will have to keep an eye on the board or inquire with management to figure out when the board gets cleared. National stores usually clear the board at the beginning of the month while universities usually clear every semester. It is helpful for this to be a part of the larger strategy of your street team.
HOW TO DO IT RIGHT:
- Hit the street. Start by doing a little bit of research. Drive/walk around your area and look for establishments with community bulletin boards.
- Record key places on a google map. Google maps has a great service for creating personal maps. This is an easy way to create documentation on where to go. Down the road you can share this custom map with new members of your team or friends that want to help you out.
- Design a killer poster/ad that is sized appropriately. In my experience, better designed posters stay up longer. People are not as eager to tear them down. (Once we had a local university put one of our ads behind a locked glass bulletin board because they really loved the design. This poster stayed up in a high traffic area for the whole school year). Also make sure you design a promo piece that is size appropriate. Posters that take over the whole board at a local coffee shot often get taken down faster than others that are size appropriate. I think that 6″x9″ is the magic size. It is big enough to be seen, but small enough to leave room for other ads.
- Bring your own adhesives. Every board is different and you should be ready for all of them. Create a kit consisting of Gorilla Tape (for walls with no boards), flat thumbtacks (these are harder for others to steal and use for their own posters), magnets (for magnetic bulletin boards like Starbucks). Have a kit and be ready for anything.
- Build a routine for checking and reapplying your promo. You will always have to check your spots and put new material up. Build it into your routine or set up a system to take turns making rounds.
- BONUS: Pin up a couple of cool stickers for extra measure. Stickers go quickly.
Below is a list of places that are known to have community bulletin boards.
- Coffee shops
- Book stores
- Shops near universities & colleges (the more they target college students, the more likely it is that they will have a board or wall of some kind)
- Almost any indie type store
- Music stores
- Break rooms. Have your people take a posters to hang up in their break room
- University common areas (at our local university there are about 60 places to post)
- Grocery stores (usually in the entry area)
SPECIFIC NATIONAL CHAINS
- Panera Bread
- Most Starbucks
- Caribou Coffee
- Barnes & Noble