I recently began a series of blog posts on support jobs for Eagle courts of honor. These are the behind-the-scenes tasks that are less visible than, but nearly as important as, planning and running the ceremony itself. This week: publicity.
One of the most common mistakes in Eagle courts of honor is under-promotion, which results in poor attendance. Sending plenty of invitations is one solution, and the family usually takes care of this task.
The other solution is publicity. You should recruit a publicity coordinator to promote the event both in the troop and in the community. In-troop promotion can include emails, Facebook posts, newsletter articles, announcements at meetings, and texts or phone calls by patrol leaders. Outside the troop, you’ll probably want to start with a media release; The Eagle Court of Honor Book includes a sample release and a worksheet you can use to create your own.
Depending on the size of your community, you may or may not have luck getting coverage from local newspapers and television stations. Or the local paper might be happy for you to submit a story after the fact. (If your paper has a lot of bylines that read, “Special to the Daily Buzzard,” it likely relies on submitted stories.)
In any event, don’t limit yourself to those big news outlets. Think about what other organizations should hear about the court of honor. These would include your chartered organization, the honoree’s school, his family’s church, synagogue, or mosque, and his parents’ places of business. Chances are, all of these organizations have newsletters and would be happy to include an announcement of the court of honor or to run a story after the fact. (For example, after our troop honored six Eagles at one ceremony, we got nearly a full page of coverage in a statewide United Methodist newspaper.)
For more great ideas, check out my new ebook, Showtime: 45 Top Tips from EagleBook.com and The Eagle Court of Honor Book; it costs just $2.99 and is available for immediate download from both EagleBook.com and Amazon.com.