Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday's Madness regarding Getting the Word Out

Hi All, today we are going to ramble about communication and the skills and lack there of the skills. This last week was a horrid eye opener to me from SWUHSD meeting to the Rock Club to the Genealogy fun meetings & other meetings I attended.

I thought it was ironic that they all brought up communications and how do you get more people involved. The topics were as minor as phone calls to as major as requesting media attention on TV and in the newspapers.

Then later at the end of the week I was reading a note on a rootsweb list about how a society was able to salvage their group with a few minor adjustments on their part.

I thought to myself that at least one of them should work for everyone to a certain degree. We are looking for ways to get the news out better to our local community regarding our events. We work hard to find the right medium. Our Program Chair works hard to find a good speaker with a interesting topic that will relate to our genealogy.

Most all topics whether they are for a specific ethnicity or generic has data that can be gleaned to help one in their research. When I was able to attend the
German Research Group, we had here in the past in San Diego, I always came away with a new thought or idea on how to garner more information. My heart cried when it finally gave up the ghost because there were so many afraid to step forward and do some time sharing. Granted age creeps up and we can not always do what we used to and praise God and Thank You to those who did, even past the time they were ready to rest.

So the one item that tended to leap off the page at me was a minor change in the
societies rules. It indicated that everyone who joined would need to donate a
minimium of time to the society to give back to others for what we were doing for them.

Frightened, timid, handicapped please do not feel it means you should get up and run a marathon. It meant maybe for three months you could call x amount of people every month to remind them of our meetings, pass on sudden new information since we can not
rely on computers for everyone or the message being read in a timely manner. It could be offering to share what books you have for personal research that you would be willing to look up data in for fellow genealogist. It could be going to the library a certain time of the day each week for a month to greet potential new members and help those who may come looking for assistance. Our society could use help with a person
during the evening at least once a week. Long ago I did Thursday nights and Wednesday days sharing with Ms. Lee. Now we are back to Monday's only and we are not reaching out to the community.

We already set out flyers and notices to other societies but if we are 100 + strong. OR even 35 strong, share the times and dates then no one doing it so much it is burn out.

Why can we not step up to the plate and say I can do 11am to 12pm once a week, 2-3pm once a week or twice a month for two months. I am sure you can understand the theory at this point. How about trying if your young and driving is not hard for you pick an evening to set at the library and be available, for potential new members (side affect is you have an hour to work with the books and learn what they have that may help you if no one shows up).

Another idea is to take the society news for speakers/events and post to the rootsweb lists. Then maybe a distant member can plan to attend an event in the area of your meeting and not only gather information but meet some of the people that may be kin or the research specialists for that area.

This can be done so simply if each member sent the notice on at least one list they belonged to, do you realize how many more people your getting the word out to?

One has no idea how many are quietly doing genealogy at home and could use the knowledge of a society in their area or in the area they are researching.

I also believe in using a blog technique to get the word out to others. If it is true, that search engines pick up key words in presentation then one needs to make the presentation large enough to be gathered into the fold. I see many societies on the
eastern coast posting to the roots lists their speaker and their topics, dates and times.

I think there are many small things people can do that would make them feel more like it is their society and we are here to help them to move forward in their search efforts or to compile and complete data for a school project, a family reunion or social get together.

More to come on another day. That is my Madness for today.


  1. I agree but the fact of 19 new members in a very short time and three new members resulting from new visitors speaks volumns to me. and it took a team effort for that to happen. Heck Susi you were the guest speaker!!!! Virginia followed up and got their membership. Barbara posted in the newspaper that led them to the meeting. Randy followed up with one to one research shareing time and introduction in the newsletter. If we continue at this rate------ we will fill the auditorium!!!!

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  3. Have you ever though of using a text messaging system where just one text will go out to each and every member of your societly reminding them of events and upcoming activities? These services usually has a small service fee but they are not huge. Let me know if you are interested, I can refer you to someone I know who runs this service and maybe you can discuss this with him directly and see for yourself if this will be a good tool for you. You are welcome to email me directly at