Marketing efforts that worked well?
From: Carolyn Dyer (cdyer1621gmail.com)
Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2014 20:30:08 -0700 (PDT)
Iowa City Cohousing, which is in the process of submitting our site plan to
the city planning and zoning commission and has about one-third of the
needed member households, regularly asks folks who express and interest in
us how they learned about us.  Most often people mention  an announcement
on Iowa Public Radio.  We have done them 3 or 4 times and they are repeated
about 10 times over a couple of weeks.  Expensive, but a good audience.
We hold informational meetings 2 times a month and post posters in area
businesses and libraries.  We have put ads in the programs of the city's
summer arts festival, the program of a performing arts center, and notices
in all the online calendars of events we can find and qualify for. Word of
mouth is important, too.
We hold a "Friends of Iowa City Cohousing" meetings once a month at which
we have a speaker on a topic of interest to us that  we hope other people
who will find interesting and then learn about us in the process.  Examples
of topics include: natural play areas, a project in which an area town is
putting the whole community on a solar grid, edible landscapes, how to  get
funds for a down payment from a home equity loan or second mortgage, and
sustainable storm water management.
We have developed an email mailing list of about 200 people who have
expressed even the slightest interest, and we notify people about every
event.
We also have field trips open to anyone on our mailing list--to many
different small houses, places using different kinds of heating and cooling
systems, a salvage barn, IKEA to see kitchen layouts, to another cohousing
community, etc.  The field trips are fun, and  people get to know  us on
the sometimes long rides and meals we share along the way. People have
joined right after one or another of our field trips. In my view, all these
things add up.  As time goes on, more and more people are familiar with us
and an ad or poster or announcement finally strikes a chord and moves a
person to attend an informational meeting. and follow up.  Our website
contains a great deal of information about us, our values, our site, etc.

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