Ideas for Marketing and Sifting for Cohousing
From: John M. Gear (catalystpacifier.com)
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 94 14:56 CST
One technique that worked in another life on another topic was to create
small inserts
for books in the library.  Each week you go into the library (-ies) and,
based on your
estimate of who you're looking for, you slip one insert into each
book/magazine.  Then
each week, you note which inserts were missing and, eventually, which ones
generated
inquiries.

For this list some of the choices are obvious (if your library has any books
on cohousing) but there are others.  Look for Joe Dominguez and Vicki
Robin's "Your Money
or Your Life" for example, alternative home design books, books on life/work
integration, etc.  In magazines, go for Mother Earth News, Whole Earth
Review, In Context, etc.

I don't recommend being a pest.  Don't create a lot of litter.  One insert
per book, 
and if you find that an item just isn't working, stop putting them in it.
Your goal is
to let the choice of reading do the screening for you, not to broadcast to
the masses.

It's cheap (darn near free), and gets you folks who already are actively
seeking 
information on topics near to yours.

Also:
Have you exhausted the "free media"??  In Boston there must be LOTS of
public radio
stations that would love to do some community oriented programming around
the coho movement, or would at least do PSA's for your meetings.

You *can't* beat radio for reach and demographics.  Call the local public radio
station (I would prefer the non-NPR affiliate, but try them too), introduce
yourself,
what you're doing, and flat out ask for help.  You might be surprised at how
easy it
is.  Believe me, filling all that air space with fresh material is not easy
for them.
Cohousing is new, exciting, and appeals to public radio station audiences. 

I'd be curious to hear your results.

Good luck, John Gear

At 01:00 PM 11/7/94 CST, Christina_Hilliard-LCH005 [at] email.mot.com wrote:
We are working very hard to expand our
>group and to use our limited funds in the MOST effective way to do that.

> What's the best way you've found to reach potential members, and draw
>  them in to their first meeting?  Paid newspaper ads? Word of mouth?
>  Flyers around town? "Things to do" listings? Mailings?
>
> Has anyone tried mailings to "related" special-interest groups, such
>  a folk music society, orienteering club, sewing club, that type of thing?
>
> What strategies are best for rting "prospective" members and visitors
>  to associates... and on to full membership.  We're using a buddy
>  system, and some other ideas.
>
John Gear (catalyst [at] pacifier.com)
Catalyst Consulting Services -- "Words that Work, Guaranteed"
Vancouver, WA
(206) 260-0066 voice/fax

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