The Art of Attraction

What is the golden formula for attracting new #bellringing recruits, and more to the point, keeping them?  That’s the million-dollar question.

Fortunately, there is a plan.  A ten-point plan in fact.

  1. Raise awareness – let people know the bells are there, and about to begin service and practice ringing again soon.  Advertise ringing times by dropping leaflets through church neighbours’ doors.  Place articles in parish news, on local facebook groups, social media and word of mouth.
  2. What do you want to achieve? – how many recruits are you looking for?  What are the bands aspirations?  Do you have the skills within the tower to teach and develop others?  You may need to work with your incumbent, and others towers and ringing teachers.
  3. Who do you want to recruit? – this needn’t just be through the traditional route of the congregation.  Community groups, friends and family, schools and universities, retirees, uniformed groups, wedding couples, lapsed ringers.
  4. What are you going to do? – advertise, make reference to what’s going on, bring a friend, targeting groups, give online talks and have a go sessions.
  5. Publicity – be specific in the message, use the right medium, clear call to action and use all communications channels available.
  6. Holding a successful event – there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.  If another tower had a great event find out what worked, what didn’t work and how it went.  Use all the recruitment resources available.
  7. The follow up – make it quick, personal, get them engaged early and signed up for something else e.g. come a long to a social event to meet everyone.
  8. Intensive training – progress will only be made where there is frequent and timely training.  Hold special practices or run a Saturday school.  Learners will make quicker progress and feel more satisfied.  Make sure they have a positive and enthusiastic experience.
  9. Keeping interest – get your learner assimilated into the band as soon as possible, be inclusive, set targets and goals, invite to social activities.
  10. Making it work for everyone – keep your established ringers interested and involved in the planning, events, teaching or making the tea; everyone can have a role to play.  Make it worthwhile them being there.

Being friendly, welcoming and giving a good first impression helps attract new ringers.  Inclusivity regardless of ability, the chance to try something new, focus on learning but sharing experience as a learner helps keep them.  Making good use of existing ringers’ skills will support both recruits and existing band members and keep everyone motivated and engaged.

Cake is also a great way to attract and keep ringers!


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