Generating interest in your club is important, whether the club is brand new or has been around for decades. Successful clubs typically use a variety of methods.
Traditional outreach methods such as newsletters and press releases are still a great way to go, even if delivery methods have changed.
A newsletter can share information about the people, aircraft, and events the club is hosting. It can be posted on a web site and emailed out to membership, as well as printed and mailed. It’s best to publish a newsletter on a regular schedule—monthly or quarterly usually work well. Make sure it is visually engaging—good photos with captions bring readers in. Include stories on a variety of topics to appeal to different readers. Keep articles short—they’re more likely to be read than something that looks like War and Peace. And don’t forget to include information about upcoming events and activities.
Contributing articles to airport newsletters or newsletters for other organizations that operate at the airport such as EAA chapters or Ninety-Nines Chapters is another way to publicize your club. It’s a great way to develop relationships, reach a larger audience, and promote club activities. When writing an article, particularly for another publication, the most important information should come first because editors will often make edits by cutting from the end of the article if they don’t have the space for the entire article.
Sending press releases to media outlets is a way to reach beyond the aviation community and share what the club is doing. However, a follow-up phone call to the news agency is important to develop the relationship and help get that story on the local news or in the paper.
Your club participating in a charitable event like flying rescued pets to new homes, hosting an open house or well-known speaker, or winning an award are all good opportunities to send a press release. When possible send the release several days prior to the event so media can attend if they wish to cover it.
When writing a press release include the most important information first, just like a newsletter article. It’s also helpful to write the press release so it reads like an article. Many local publications will essentially cut and paste your release as their article, so writing your release in a way they can do helps get your message across the way you want to.
Make sure your press release has all the basic information: