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Stay InspiredEAA is your guide to getting the most out of the world of flight and giving your passion room to grow.
Chapter Leaders – Marketing 101!
By Ian Brown, Editor
September 2020 – Actually if you're an active chapter member this is for you too. By far the most important factor in ensuring the success and growth of an EAA chapter is visibility. That is, visibility to the public, not just to your members. Do the following; Google your chapter number and see what comes up. When you do you will find out what the general population can learn about your chapter. Better still, assume they don't know you have a chapter. Try Googling your city and "aircraft building." See what you get. Put yourself in the mind of someone interested in aviation and homebuilt aircraft but doesn't know a thing about your local organization.
Here are some ideas about how to make your chapter more vibrant, visible, and successful.
- Populate any public links with current, attractive, and useful information.
- Nominate a self-starter in your chapter as the public relations person, preferably an IT professional.
- Don't put "location varies" in your meeting schedule. Post an up-to-date calendar.
- Work with your local airport to get open days and be there with a booth and banner.
- Check out https://chapters.eaa.org/eaayourchapternumber. That's what potential new members will see. Decide if you think it's attractive, up-to-date, and helpful.
- Make sure your chapter newsletter gets a wide circulation, not just to paid-up members. It's your way to advertise who you are and what you're up to.
- Learn how to spell "hangar"! (pet peeve of mine)
If you look up the link above for your local chapter you will see the following list of tabs that need to be updated regularly. If your chapter isn't doing it regularly why not step-up?
Chapter XXX Home
Ray Aviation Scholarship
Each one of these tabs has the potential to attract new members – or not! Imagine if you are building or restoring an aircraft. You wonder if anyone in your area is doing the same and you want to get connected. You check the "Members' Projects" tab and see nothing.
If your chapter has its own website, think about what is involved in someone in your area discovering it. EAA puts lots of effort into helping members find activities in their own area. Use all that effort to grow your own chapter. If your chapter doesn't have a PR person why not volunteer or take someone aside and suggest it to them?
Lastly, if you've never seen it before, our EAA friends in Oshkosh have some quite superb materials available to you FREE. Whether you are promoting a Young Eagles event, hosting an Open Day, an IMC/VMC event, a fly-in, or a pancake breakfast you can create VERY professional looking posters just by downloading the material from this link.
Here is the quality of material that you can expect.
Editable chapter visit poster.
So remember the old adage "grow or die"? It doesn't just relate to wartime vegetable growing. It means, in our case, that if your chapter isn't growing, it's dying. As members “age out” they need to be replaced with new energy and ideas to carry on the proud tradition of your chapter. More members mean more ideas, more funding, and most of all more fun!