Monday, June 22, 2009

Spread the Word – Part 6: The Real World

Up to this point, this article series discussed many “spread the word” opportunities in the digital world.  This final article will give you ideas for sharing information about your blog and the Association in the real word.

Many opportunities abound in our own communities, especially if our blog focuses on a particular geographic area.  Everyone has different strengths, so I will provide a variety of things you can do to “spread the word” in your community (or that of your blog’s focus).

View of Old Parish Cemetery (Bridgewater, MA), courtesy of Midge Frazel, used with permission.

Write an Article

Certainly we can all write a good article—just look at our blogs.  So take a moment to think of the outlets that would be interested in an article about the Association and/or your blog.  You could write an article for a local or state genealogical or historical society journal or newsletter.  You could contact a local newspaper to see if you could write an article for them (or be interviewed for an article written by their staff).  Even consider a local cemetery preservation group that has a newsletter.  Have a local Daughters or Sons of the American Revolution chapter, or other relevant association chapters?  See if they would be interested in running an article in their newsletter.

Give a Presentation

Again, think about the outlets that would be interested in a presentation about the Association and/or your blog.  These would likely be the same as those mentioned above, with the exception of the newspaper.  Contact these groups to see if they’d like to have you give a presentation.  If you do give a presentation, consider having a short handout that gives them information about the Association, including what we’re about, a link to the anchor blog, and how they can join.  And be sure to include a link to your blog.

Get Involved

Contact local cemeteries and let them know what you are doing.  Some of them may be so interested that they might provide you with lots of great information to share on your blog.  Others may want to involve you in projects they have (or would like to have) such as transcribing records, preservation projects, or photographing tombstones.  Likewise, local genealogical and historical societies may be working on projects that you could get involved with.

Contact a Library

Many libraries, especially genealogical, historical, and public libraries with a genealogy and/or history section, love to put out information relevant to the patrons.  Contact the librarian and see if they’d be willing to put out an information sheet about the Association.  If they are, then create a short piece, similar to the handout mentioned in “Give a Presentation” above.

Recruit a Rabbit

Consider getting other cemetery enthusiasts in your area involved.  Maybe they’d like to become a member.  Perhaps they don’t have the time to maintain a blog, but maybe they’d be willing to write an occasional article for your blog.

Are there other ways the you’ve been “spreading the word” about the Association or your blog?  We’d love to hear about them!  Please leave a comment and let us know what you’ve been up to.


Tess Conrad said...

One other thing- I ordered some business cards and carry them with me when I'm out and about in graveyards. It's amazing how many people ask what you're doing when you're poking about in a purposeful manner. :)

Not to give a plug, but I'm on flick'r and used their partner Moo. Strange name, but interesting product. They will use as many different photos as you'd like, putting your image on one side and your info on the other, including the photo's name so people know what they're looking at. 100 cards for $20.

The set I used is here:

24 photos, so I rec'd approx. 4 of each print.

Julie said...

Thanks for the tips, Tess!

Diane Wright said...

This is a great article, thanks Julie!!I have done most of the things you suggested, but I love the encouragement.
Another thought. Maybe the Association could come up with a brochure that we can download and take with us. I am going to start working on it. Oh this is so much fun!!

Midge Frazel said...

Great photo! Oh, yes it's mine! grin!

It is sometimes hard being the person in the cemetery. I belong to the Association for Gravestone Studies and I carry a membership card in my wallet when I go out with my camera. I have been questioned but only in cemeteries with grates on private land or in large cemeteries where I spend a couple hours.

Tess Conrad said...

Oh, I didn't mean people being rude or upset, just curious.

I guess it's a little different here, because the cemeteries are tourist attractions and people often have no idea what they're looking at.

Also, despite the fact that there's very little of it left in New Orleans, it's surprising how many people wonder if I have something to do with Voodoo/Hoodoo. That's one rumor I'm always happy to quash! lol..

Joe Dallmann said...

These are some great ideas...I especially like the idea of a downloadable brochure. Out in the Bay Area I see people taking walks and riding bikes on the paths in the cemetery all the time. Nobody has ever stopped to ask what I'm doing. Of course there's not much out here that people find strange