24 Marketing Ideas for Your Pack
To Make Boys and Their Families Feel Welcome
The following ideas are things that leaders and Scouts can do in preparation for this fall�s Roundup Night and all year long and in a variety of settings. They may seem obvious but they are easy to do and are great conversation pieces while creating awareness of Cub Scouting in your community.
1. Cub Scouts and Leaders �Sport� your uniform often
Materials Needed: Your uniform!
Timing: Day of your Round-Up should wear their uniforms to school, church, the grocery store, library, sporting events, any place you can think of! The uniform (or Scout attire) is a great way to show the presence of Cub Scouts in your community and spread the excitement. Be sure that every member of your pack wears their uniform to school on the day of your Roundup Night and to school the days of your pack meetings and den meetings. Remember that the uniform is not complete without the person inside. Be knowledgeable about that all of the patches mean and share the excitement of Scouting.
2. Encourage Cub Scouts to use �My Best Friend is a Scout� invitations
Materials Needed: �My Best Friend is a Scout� invitations
Timing: As often as they can!
Steps: Word of mouth is one of the most powerful and lasting forms of advertising. Kids talking to others about the fun they have is a great way to spread excitement among youth. Use the recruiter patch or another incentive program that rewards your Scouts if they bring a friend to join Cub Scouting.
3. Adults should do this too (Word of Mouth)
Materials Needed: Voice, conversation skills and excitement of Scouting.
Timing: As often as possible.
Steps: Cub Scout families consistently see the value of Scouting in their own lives and by this they are our best salespeople. Share Scouting�s benefits and excitement with other parents. Most families are looking for programs filled with excitement and opportunities for leadership development and positive values. Most families are involved in lots of activities including sports and church. Use these forums to interact with parents and share Cub Scout stories. www.tpc
4. �Show and Tell�
Materials Needed: Photographs, awards, uniform, pinewood derby car and other exciting visuals.
Timing: Before the pack�s Roundup Night and anytime during the school year
Steps: Encourage youth to use Cub Scouting as a part of their Show and Tell opportunities in school. Peer to peer recruitment is very successful and this is a great forum for Scouts to share their stories and the excitement of Cub Scouting. Be sure that they are prepared with a story or exciting information. If possible provide stickers or other handouts for the Scouts to distribute at the conclusion of his presentation.
5. Develop a Pack Information Sheet
Materials Needed: Paper, pen or computer, key information on your pack.
Timing: Have sheet prepared to give (email, fax or send) to any interested family at anytime (in addition to your Roundup Night).
Steps to Deliver: This is your chance to brag about your pack. Include items such as time, date and location of pack meetings, list of upcoming events, den leaders and committee members� names and phone numbers, and other exciting details about why you are involved, including pictures. Provide your sponsoring organization a copy of the sheet so that they can answer any questions they might receive regarding your pack. Make sure that your pack committee and parents have copies of the sheet to distribute as well.
6. Roundup Night Information Flyer
Materials: Work with your district executive to order council provided flyers, or create your own. Be sure to include the date, time, and location of your meeting and contact name and phone number
Steps: Plan your Roundup Night mid to late September. Meet with facility contact early to get your meeting booked. Order your flyers through your district executive at your district�s Fall Roundup Kick-off. Before your Roundup Night, deliver flyers to the school (or schools) and any other outlets including churches and neighboring schools that do not host packs, seven to ten days prior to the meeting. A second flyer should be distributed the day of your event, just as a friendly reminder! (The second flyer should be a different color and design, so teachers and administrators do not think it is a duplication of the first flyer.)
Tip: If you are delivering the flyers to schools, offer to pre-stack groups of flyers for the individual teacher�s boxes. This will save time for the office staff and help to ensure their delivery.
7. Personalized Invitation or Letter
Materials: List of all first through fifth grade boys, envelopes, stamps, and Cub Scout stationary or cards. Work with school officials, PTA, church or sport teams to secure list of names and addresses.
Timing: Should be mailed or delivered seven to ten days prior to Roundup Night.
Steps: Boys love to receive their own mail. Personalize a letter or card including a description of Cub Scouting, date, time, and location of Roundup Night, and contact name and information. If addresses are unavailable, or postage is too costly, seek permission to deliver the personalized invitations to the classrooms. Make sure that cards or letters are individually addressed to each boy.
Tip: If you have access to e-mail addresses, e-mail the invitation!
8. Telephone Call to Families
Materials: Telephone, list of phone numbers and volunteers.
Timing: Two or three days prior to your Roundup Night.
Steps: A telephone call to the parents of a potential Cub Scout is a very effective way to recruit new families. This personal contact works very well. Be prepared to answer questions they might have and share the specific benefits of Cub Scouting. Names and numbers may be obtained by using school, church or other organization directory, telephone book white pages, or the internet. Be sure to be courteous and identify yourself and what association you might have with them. For example, �our sons are in the same class at school.� Due to the high number of phone calls, be sure to split up the list among leaders in your pack. Below is a sample telephone conversation script.
Sample Telephone Script
�Hello, my name is ______ and I am calling to invite you to our Cub Scout Roundup Night this Thursday. My son ______ is in the same class as your son ______.�
Share the following Cub Scout facts:
� Cub Scouting is a family program
� Cub Scouts reinforces the values of �doing your best�
� Educators call Cub Scouting the #1 extracurricular program in America today.
� The program helps to reinforce the class curriculum
� Cub Scouting is fun!
9. Display Cases and Bulletin Boards
Materials: Pack calendar with contact names and telephone numbers, photographs, awards, pinewood derby cars, ribbons and any other exciting visuals.
Timing: Promotion of Cub Scouting at the beginning of the school year is very important. This is the time of year when most families decide to join new activities. If possible, the display should be maintained year-round and changed monthly.
Steps: Seek permission from the school, church, recreation center, or other organization to use the display case. Have a person from your pack responsible for setting up the display and changing it once a month during the year. Each month should have a monthly theme with catch phrases to attract attention. The display items should go along with the monthly theme. The display should be fun and informative and create a sense of excitement about the scouting program. If access to the display case all year around is not possible, using it in the beginning of the school year would be the best time.
Materials: Pre-record your own announcement or go in live.
Timing: The week of the Roundup Night and throughout the year, especially the day of pack meetings.
Steps: Visit with the school regarding the playing of the tape, or allowing a leader to make a special announcement. Deliver the tape in a timely manner with instructions and a thank you note. Following is a sample announcement or a pre-recorded tape.
�All boys are invited to bring their parents and come and learn about Cub Scout pack #___ that meets at _______ School. If you like swimming, hiking, field trips and having fun with your friends, Cub Scouts is for you! The meeting will start at 7:00 p.m. in the cafeteria, the place where you eat lunch. Hope to see you there.�
11. School, Church, Community or Business Newsletters and Websites
Materials: Information or announcement regarding your Cub Scout Pack.
Timing: Anytime throughout the year, especially in the first month of a school week or two prior to your Roundup Night.
Steps: Speak with the person in charge of the newsletter to find out how and when to submit an article or announcement. If your school hosts their own website, post information there as well. Be sure to begin promoting your Roundup Night two weeks prior to the date. Include information that will attract the reader�s attention while also sharing logistical information regarding the pack.
12. School, Church, and Civic Functions
Materials: Display table, pack picture board, Cub Scout and adult leader applications, sign-in sheets, copies of the pack�s yearly program, Pinewood Derby cars, rockets, pack flag with ribbons earned, flyers with next Roundup Night/Pack meeting Information, Pack leadership roster.
Timing: Set-up display at all school open houses, Back-to-School nights, curriculum nights, carnivals, Parent/Teacher conferences, and other church or civic events.
Steps: Secure permission from the school principal or church pastor prior to the event. Call early to secure the best, most visible location. Set-up the display 45 minutes to one hour prior to the event to ensure completion before the arrival of prospective families. Uniformed leaders and Scouts should staff displays. Leaders should be informed of pack operations to be able to answer questions. Leaders should introduce themselves to prospective families as they arrive and should invite the families to join at that time, or sign-in to receive more information. Make follow-up calls with those families that signed in to personally invite then to your upcoming Roundup or pack meeting. These events are great public exposure for your program.
Methods of Invitation
13. Sunday School, Classroom and Lunchroom Visits
Materials: Scout uniform, copy of invitation flyer, stickers with Roundup Night information, Pinewood Derby car or other Scouting visuals.
Timing: The day before or the day of the Roundup Night.
Steps: Work with the church or school to arrange these visits. If doing classroom visits, ask for a map so that you don�t miss any classrooms. Arrive on time and check in at the office. Remember to be polite and let the teacher or pastor introduce you. Ask the teacher for input on where to stand. This time is precious so be sure to keep your speech simple, short, fun, positive and to the point. When you are finished, give each boy the Roundup Night sticker and then thank the teacher. When visits are complete, check out with the office. Be sure to thank the teachers and the school staff.
Sample Classroom, Lunchroom or Sunday School Presentation:
�Hi boys and girls. How are you doing? My name is _____ and I am with the Cub Scouts. As you can see, I have worn my uniform today with all my patches and want to invite you to our Cub Scout meeting tomorrow night at ___ p.m. How many of you have heard of the Cub Scouts? Well, some of you may not have, so I want to ask you if you like to do some of the same things we do in Cub Scouts. Now let me think of some of the things we do...� �How many of you like to play sports and games? Wow, did you know you earn awards for playing the sports you play?� �How many if you like to build things and work on crafts? I even brought my Pinewood Derby car to show you one of the things we get to build and then race down a track and get prizes. Our pack also builds model rockets in the summer and we have a big rocket rally where we shoot them off, all at the same time.� �Now let me think of one other thing...How many of you like to go hiking or camping? Our pack has a monthly hike and we go to Cub Scout camp in the summertime. So, you see you are already doing some of the things we do in Cub Scouts.� �Now, what I need you to do is make sure that your mom or dad knows about our meeting which will be tomorrow night at ___ p.m. here at your school. You should have gotten one of these papers (hold up Roundup Night flyer) in your take home folder, so your parents already know about the meeting. But I need you to help them remember. So, I am going to give you one of these stickers that have the time of our meeting, and you can tell your parents when you get home.� (Walk around, have all the boys raise their hands, and give each one a sticker. If there are questions, encourage them to come to the meeting and you can answer all their questions.) �So, don�t forget to tell your parents that our Cub Scout meeting is tomorrow night at what time? That�s right, ___ p.m. and we will meet in the gymnasium. I hope to see each of you there.�
14. Teacher, Principal, Coach or Pastor Endorsements
Materials: A highly influential teacher, member of the PTA, principal, coach or pastor that has his/her finger on the pulse of the school, church and community.
Timing: Teachers, principals, pastors and coaches should begin endorsing Cub Scouts during the first week of school. Statements of support are extremely helpful before, during and after your Roundup Night.
Steps: It is important to educate administrators on the benefits of Cub Scouting to families, the school and community. Identify a teacher, principal, coach or pastor to make a statement of support whether that is through the newsletter, during an assembly or other public forum or at your Roundup Night. If you do a personalized letter, use a quote from the individual or have the letter come from them. The endorsement from a trustworthy person is valuable to the success of new family recruitment. Past and present experience with Scouting also adds credibility.
15. Principal, Pastor and Institutional Head Visits
Materials: Handouts on Aims & Methods of Scouting, a clear written statement of objectives on Chartered Partner support of the Cub Scouting program, and a list of benefits and services provided through support of program.
Timing: Chartered partners should be contacted to schedule a face-to-face meeting (three weeks minimum) prior to the pack�s Roundup Night.
Steps: Once your meeting has been scheduled, make sure your documents and other supporting materials are in order. Be able to deliver positive benefits that are assets for the institution. Secure date of in-school visit. If classroom presentations are your preferred method, and permitted, ask for permission to recruit by grade level. Be sure to have stickers for each boy�s shirt and additional flyers to hand out. When finished with your presentations, remember to thank each teacher for their cooperation. Drop by the office; give them a thank you card and/or token of your appreciation
16. News Releases to Local Newspapers and Community Cable Stations
Materials: Creativity and essential pack information.
Timing: Timing is everything! It is essential to find out when the paper you are working with is printed and what the deadlines are. An article too soon will be forgotten and an article too late will not be published.
Steps: The first line of the release needs to be a catchy, clear statement. The information needs to be clear and concise. The article should have all pertinent information such as pack number, meeting location, directions of needed, time and a contact name and number (with their permission).Make the release one page. A call to follow-up is always a good idea. The release can be used to promote your Roundup Night or to feature a community service project, award, etc.
17. Business Window/Counter Displays
Materials: Cub Scout poster or brochure with contact name and other pertinent information.
Timing: Year-round, but specifically the weeks prior to your Roundup Night.
Steps: Ask local merchants to support Scouting in your area by placing a poster in their windows or placing brochures in their organizations. Work with them closely on how long they will allow the items to be placed and any other requirements they might have. (Be sure to thank them with a tin of Trail�s End Popcorn).
18. Yard Signs
Materials: Yard signs with information including Roundup Night date, time and location, with a contact person and phone number and Cub Scout logo. Print on colorful material.
Timing: Post signs prior to the beginning of the school year and all year long.
Steps: Be sure to be aware of any regulations regarding yard signs. Identify a person in your pack that lives close to the school or on a high traffic area. Post as many signs as possible and at strategic locations within the community including intersections and yards. If a school, church, recreation center or other organization will allow it post signs there too.
19. Special Events
Materials: Cub Scout posters, general information, flyers, stickers, signing sheets, and Cub Scout and leader applications.
Timing: If you are planning a special event that you will invite families to attend, invitations should be mailed and hung two weeks prior to the event. A personal follow-up as the event nears will also remind the family of your event. Make sure that you start planning the event well before the chosen date so that you have plenty of time to ensure its success.
Steps: Secure a location and date for the special event. Make sure you have a dynamic agenda and activities. If you are inviting families to join, create and distribute the invitation. Tip: Host your pinewood derby at the shopping mall and invite families from your school and neighborhood to participate. By hosting an event at a public place like a shopping mall, you will reach additional families. Other ideas include hosting a booth or activity at community fairs, festivals or other events.
20. Church School or Business Marquee
Materials: Catchy information or message on marquee.
Timing: Throughout the year but especially to promote your Roundup Night or other special event.
Steps: Identify a marquee in high traffic areas, schools or other organizations. Speak with the person in charge of the marquee or sign to post your message. Be sure to be clear on the duration of your use and any other requirements. Due to limited space, message as clear as �Join Cub Scouts Here September 18, 7 p.m.� will catch people�s attention. If a school has a scrolling sign in the lunchroom, messages may also be posted there.
21. Pack Website
Materials: Computer, internet skills, internet provider.
Steps: Build a pack or den website including pertinent information regarding your Cub Scout Pack including photographs, program calendar, how to join, and the benefits and excitement of Cub Scouting. Be sure to be aware of and follow the council�s Unit Website Policies. Ask school, church and other community organizations to provide a link to your site and to publicize your address
22. Announcement in church, neighborhood, subdivision, company, city, school district, and recreation center newsletters
Materials: Pertinent information regarding your Cub Scout pack.
Timing: Promote your Roundup Night at least a month to two weeks ahead and other pack activities in these newsletters.
Steps: Ask the appropriate person how to get an invitation/story/announcement in each publication. Determine when the deadline for each publication is. Create something that is interesting to read! Make people want to join Scouting! Be sure to thank the organization for its support.
23. Follow-up Roundup Night
Materials: Recruitment flyers with date, time, and location with contact person and phone number, and stickers.
Timing: Should be scheduled immediately following the conclusion of the first Roundup Night. The actual date of the second Roundup Night should be within two to three weeks after the first.
Steps: Be sure to have all families that attend your first Roundup Night sign-in. Prior to your second meeting follow-up with families that attended the original meeting but did not join. Inevitably there will be families that cannot attend your first scheduled Roundup Night. Many families are not aware that they can join Scouting year-round, and think that if they missed the first meeting that they are out of luck. There may also be parents who attended the first Roundup Night but were indecisive about joining. With the knowledge that there is a good number of youth who still have the interest to join; it is important that a second Roundup Night be scheduled. Make sure that the flyers are printed with all the pertinent information, and that the school receives and delivers the flyers. Be sure to have sign-in sheets at all meetings so that follow- up may be made with interested families.
24. Halloween Candy
Materials: Scout uniform, labels with �Join Scouting!� and phone numbers of the council or a member of your pack, markers, mini-chocolate bars, and large bowl.
Timing: October 31, afternoon through the evening.
Steps: Purchase several bags of mini-chocolate bars; print out sheets of labels that say �Join Scouting!� with phone numbers. Using markers, add a dash of color to the labels, place labels on the candy bars, dress up in your Scouting uniform, and when trick-or-treaters come by, welcome them and give them a Scouting candy with a smile! Preparing the candy could be a fun den activity.