Marketing In The Service Of Faith
      Catholic Scouting


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Promotional Tools

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The Story


Promotional Tools


Photo Shoot

Pictures in media sell events by grabbing the interest of the reader!
  • Promotional Release. Pictures are nearly a sure guarantee that articles are published. The attached form (based on the Diocese of Ft Worth PR Release) used during the 2007 AAD Tour allowed, and continues to allow, the promotional use of pictures involving participants. Because of this, our tour had 5 articles published in the North Texas Catholic, 2 articles published in the Texas Knight (newsletter to every Knight in the state of Texas), 2 mentions in Columbia magazine (nationwide magazine of Knights), and 2 articles in the Nolan Catholic High School Alumni Magazine over a period of 16 months.

    Promo Release Form

    Texas Knight Article (statewide)

  • Photo Shoot. After receiving PR releases, we conducted a photo shoot of several scouts in uniform accompanied by Scouters or parents. These pictures were taken at different locations at Worth Ranch Scout Camp during one of our Catholic Scouting events. Scouts and adults were from Catholic sponsored units so they would ensure publication in the diocesan newspaper - North Texas Catholic. They also involved Scouters who were Knights of Columbus so these pictures could be included in the Knights statewide and national media. We always took at least 2 pictures of the same pose, we took different angles, and we only used first names of the scouts when published. Pictures do not have to be at a camp ... any Scout setting will usually do but you may need props.

    Pictured Here is picture promo for Our Lady of Guadelupe Diocesan Award OR Catholic Cub Scout Retreat which offers the Our Lady of Guadelupe Diocesan Award.
  • Pictures with different themes. When you conduct a photo shoot, you don't have to be restricted to taking pictures for that event. Orchestrate pictures that can be used for future events 1/ Bishops Dinner - take pictures of scouts with tickets for event or take a picture of Bishops Dinner Chairman holding a St George Award certificate, etc 2/ 2007 AAD Tour. We took pictures of the Diocesan Chaplain with scouts who were confirmed to go on our tour 3/ CCSR Retreat. Publications do not like to re-use the same pictures so we took multiple pictures with different scouts and in different locations so we had pictures that could be used for future events. 1 photo shoot generated pictures published in several future articles in successive years.
  • CCS Picture Library. At the end of the 2007 AAD Tour, and with a promotional release from every participant in hand, we requested pictures from everyone in order to create a CD powerpoint. We ended up with 300+ pictures and created a powerpoint presentation with sound. However, every single picture can be used because of our promotional release form. There are countless opportunities for us to use these pictures in a number of different media ... and we have
  • CCS Library of Articles. Why re-create what has already been done? Keep a library of past articles so a future Communications Chair person need only fill in the blanks.

    Baptism Retreat Article

    Another Baptism Retreat Article

    Article following Retreat

  • See Promotional CD Section below
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Exit Surveys

The Scouts and Scouters will tell you what they like and what they don't. Take away what they don't, leave what they liked and add what they suggested.
  • Measure Effectiveness of Promotion - provides answers to the question ... "What is the most effective type of promotion?" For Example. If we put little effort into District Roundtable Meetings but had 50% of our attendees say they heard about it there, then we know that putting more emphasis at promoting our event at these meetings could dramatically increase our attendance. On the other hand, if we put a lot of effort into using US Mail but only had 1% of attendees hear about it from our postage mailings, this is not cost effective and we can redirect to other successful promotions.

    Baptism Retreat Survey

  • Volunteers - This is the soft sell approach of obtaining volunteers. Give participants a chance to volunteer at the end of a survey.
  • Attendance - It is also a chance to find out how much distance, cost or program is a factor in their decision to participate.
  • True Evaluation - If a participant has some negative comments, most people will not directly criticize volunteers face to face. You've just expended a great deal of energy conducting an event and are asking someone in person, they won't "rain on your parade" but they will anonymously reveal what they think.
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Inspire participation and intrigue our visitors! Show Scouts and Scouters enjoying our program, receiving recognition and/or exemplifying simple reverence in a Scout setting.
  • Program Highlights on the website home page will immediately impact your target audience because they told you "what mattered to them" on the exit surveys.
  • Competitive Advantage ... highlight how our event provides something the competition doesn't have (Go back to Marketing and see Special Offer)
  • Details and Options so they know whether it fits their schedule and fits their budget.
  • Contact Information so you make it easy for them to find you once they've decided.
  • Biographies to substantiate credibility (this matters a great deal to newcomers) that you may know what you're doing when it comes to program quality.
  • Patch Scheme can be a promotional tool in itself (Go back to Marketing and see Special Offer)
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Why reinvent the wheel when you can just retrieve, revise and send.
CCS Library of Articles. Keep a library of past articles so a future Communications Chair person need only fill in the blanks.

Baptism Retreat Article

Another Baptism Retreat Article

Article following Retreat

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Christian Radio

How you approach radio will be determined by factors in your own area
  • Positioning

    See Question (1) with Christian Radio

    If there were 2 participating families who heard about our event on the radio and 150 families from diocesan newspaper, district roundtables and email, then its fairly obvious that our target audience isn't listening to Christian Radio. Our effort toward using Christian Radio may find broader success by introducing Catholic Scouting to its audience and ask them to go to our website rather than highlight a specific event.
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The most cost effective, widely accepted form of communication ... but there are tricks to using it.
  • Highlight program features at the beginning based on "what mattered to attendees" on the exit surveys. The people who filled out the surveys will see what they want and newcomers will see what you've added "as a result of surveys."
  • Patch Portrait, Email, Website, etc Link (See Special Offer)
  • Early Registration Feature (See Special Offer)
  • Sending Tip - Spam filters are becoming more sophisticated. We've had good luck with sending emails on an individual basis so we know everyone receives it regardless of Spam guards. Open your excel spreadsheet with emails, open your email message box, and have your email message text highlighted in an open MS Word document. Cut/paste email address into To box, CC box, BCC box; Cut/paste email message into body of message and then send. You've just sent 3 emails, Spam guards will not stop them and it doesn't take long to get through a number of email addresses.
  • Award Work (See Special Offer)
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U S Mail (postage)

This method of promotion can reinforce all other media.
If you send your email newsletter first, you'll automatically receive any bounces for "bad" email addresses and then can send the same newsletter by US mail....saving postage. Certainly, your mailed promotion would cover all the points that the Email Section above has covered so we won't repeat it.
  • Map. This is comforting to newcomers
  • Image of Patch Portrait (See Special Offer). The ability to put this into the hands of your Scout or Scouter speaks volumes because our surveys tell us it is an immediate "hit."
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District Meetings

Must always remember that a portion of your audience will not be interested but there are Scouts in their units that will be.
  • Positioning - how you approach the subject will determine whether you keep your audience "engaged" in your announcement. Our strategy was to open the announcement by handing out general flyers on Cub Scout Religious Awards and then go right into an announcement on our retreats.

    See District Announcment Text

  • Patch Image - important to have the image on the promotional flyer because it can be a powerful selling point that appeals to both Scouts and Scouters.
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Registration Application

This is both a registration application and a source of information for marketing initiatives.
  • Promotional Release - allows use of all pictures for future media promotions.

    Promo Release

    Registration Form

  • Rank and Email - Rank will determine how many more years a Cub Scout has to participate in a Cub Scout Retreat. Rank will determine which religious award they qualify for. This information allows specific targeting if organizers have time to take advantage of these opportunities.
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Promotional CD or Powerpoint File

Who could resist receiving a CD featuring their Scout and his experience at our retreat?
We used this with great success during the inaugural year of a new program.
  • Keepsake - families will cherish
  • Promotional Tool - sells event to future families as an inexpensive freebie to give potential attendees.
  • Defines Concept of Catholic Scout Retreat - to those who've heard of it but not attended because they're notion of what a retreat is could not compete against another event.
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Patch Portrait

A Patch Portrait increases "brand loyalty," provides a "competitive advantage" that non-religious Scouting functions cannot match, and our 7 patch cross has instant recognition/appeal.
  • Brand Loyalty - Our exit surveys during our inaugural year told us that for some attendees, the 7 patch cross was the # 1 reason they attended our retreat. They instantly understood it, the graphics were simple and the image of St Patrick's Cathedral was a big hit!
  • Promotional Tool - a patch portrait also serves as advertising as it goes on patch jackets or vests that can be worn to public occasions. Invariably, someone asks about it and the word of mouth begins.
  • Multi Level Sell - The concept has instant recognition and appeal to both Scouts and Scouters. Both groups want it and are inspired by the concept of it (as proven by surveys).
  • Competitive Advantage - Non-religious events cannot match it.
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