You don’t have to be in college for very long before you get bombarded by millions of fliers you don’t want.
I’ve seen a lot of ineffective practices to try to promote organizations, but handing out fliers to random people on sidewalks is probably the dumbest strategies I’ve seen to date.
- It’s frustrating to people who are trying to go somewhere and aren’t looking to join any organizations. Handing them a flier is practically saying, “Here, put this in the recycle bin for me”. It also leads people avoiding fliers to avoid eye contact with people handing out fliers, or pretend to talk on the phone so no one bothers them.
- It’s frustrating to people who are handing out fliers because it requires a lot of effort to constantly try to force a flier on people who don’t want it and don’t want to engage in advertisements. Handing out fliers requires a huge amount of effort and most of the time there is little to no response.
- It’s completely ineffective because any organization handing out fliers is competing with all the other organizations that are trying to do the same thing. And when each person only hears a sentence from each organization, and only spends two seconds looking at the flier before disposing of it, few people are actually going to come out.
Fliering is a lose-lose situation, because neither the receiving end or giving end benefits from it. If you want people to join your organization, you’re asking them to place themselves into a community of people who are oriented toward a similar purpose. Therefore, building an organization of any sort is heavily dependent on building community. Community requires relationship. There is no way you can build a relationship with a stranger by handing out a flier.
I believe in the value of promoting your organization, but I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at how impractical most college organizations are being.
And enticing people with free food… I’ll save that rant for another day.