|Kendall is a former Girl Talk Leader. She was even named |
Girl Talk's National Leader of the Year in 2012!
You have all the lessons planned out: the fun icebreakers, the community service projects, the space, the meeting time, and finally it’s your first meeting. But wait… How do you know girls are going to show up to your first meeting? You advertise!
The first step is to choose how you advertise. There are so many options, and you can use all of them or just a few. Below I have listed a number that worked for my high school Chapter, and if you have any other suggestions, feel free to comment below!
1. Face-to-Face Contact
If leaders are able to physically go into the Middle School where you mentor to reach your girls directly, it is always great to have face-to-face contact with the girls you will be mentoring! You can do this by popping your head into classrooms during advisory periods (make sure to get approval first!) or making an announcement over the loud speaker. If neither is an option, try reaching out to the middle school teachers, who can mention it to their students in their weekly announcements. Contact makes the middle school girls feel special and sought out, and reminds them that they get to interact with cool high school girls!
Weekly emails are also a great option. In my high school Chapter, we would send a weekly email out a day or two before the meeting as a quick reminder to the girls and to let them know the topic of that week’s meeting. With emails, be sure to be personable and enthusiastic! Lots of color is helpful too! Try wrapping the email up with a fun trivia question about pop culture or Girl Talk, and give a prize to the first girl that answers the question at the meeting the next day.
Reaching out to parents can often be crucial to advertising. The parents are often the ones in charge of getting their girls to the meetings on time and encouraging their girls to attend. By keeping the parents in the loop, you have another group of advertisers and it helps parents stay on top of where their daughters need to be and when.
For school-based Chapters, see if you can obtain an email list for the parents of the middle school girls. Or if your Chapter is community-based, try advertising in local newsletters or bulletins.
4. Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is especially powerful. Have your Leaders stand outside of the entrance to the meetings and encourage girls to come in if your meetings are held in middle schools where girls will pass by! Or encourage your girls to bring friends! If the girls are having fun and learning a lot, they will want to bring their friends.
If you are unable to go directly to the middle school girls, videos can be a fun and easy way to engage the middle school girls! The shorter the videos the better, and you can send them out in emails or use them as video announcements in schools. Get creative by acting out a scenario that leads into your topic or modeling a game!
The second and final step is to know what information to include in your advertising! For advertisements at the beginning of the year, be sure to include what Girl Talk is and direct girls and parents to the website (mygirltalk.org). For later advertising, make things fun and bright and include information like meeting time, date and location, and what that week’s topic is!