…the below includes extracts from a paper written on the recruitment efforts of 2014 and includes suggestions of what we can all do to boost our recruitment.
(…see more here: cccbr-student-recruitment-report-2014).
Student bellringers are working hard and are mainly successfully at promoting ringing at universities…
It’s probably no great surprise to find that there are more student ringers where there is an organised society, but in towns where ringers are welcomed at local towers, much the same pattern shows up. As one might expect, it tends to be existing ringers who join the bands where there is no organised student society.
Recruitment has been successful where towers and societies have managed to make themselves visible to students. The following successful techniques were used:
- Poster distribution with tear off contact slips attached around university buildings, local cafes / book shops / shops (mainly in and around the student area of town, and local bus and train stations).
- The Ringing Grapvine (word-of-mouth) very powerful!
- Supporting your home Young Ringers band – encourage them to continue at university!
- Advertising at the local cathedral/church
- Advertising with your University Chaplains
- Keeping the university ringing website up-to-date (vital!) update your society entry
- Advertising in the Ringing World, on Campanophile, Bell Board, Facebook & Twitter.
- Universities Ringing World Issue (London – ULSCR)
- Facebook & Twitter (joining freshers groups & using “ringing” in status updates etc…)
- Mentioning “ringing” when out with friends and other student friends
- Advertising at Freshers Fairs (flyers, collecting emails, promoting university ringing website etc…) ncluding a model bell and mini hand-bells.
- Taster sessions for people to come along and have a go / general open days with the local association – very successful (Liverpool has evening ‘Twilight Tours’ each month)!
Whether there is a university society or not, two points are clearly emphasised:
- student ringers need the basic information about ringing at their destination university to be readily available
- personal recommendation to students that they should go to ring in their new city is invaluable
What can we do to support students to get involved in ringing? MRFS (the Canterbury branch secretary), Jenny Holden of Aberdeen and Jacqui Brown of London all suggest that more publicity material could be produced centrally, to be used locally.
- We can all encourage students to ring when they go to university, providing contacts so they know who to talk to when they get there.
- The Central Council’s Public Relations Committee can…
- prepare a ‘university friendly’ recruitment poster and other material as appropriate, to be used ‘as is’ or tailored for local needs;
- where there are universities but no society, the committee should encourage the local ringers to provide a contact;
- update and maintain the contact list currently held on the Central Council website, and should see whether the contact list can be published in the Ringing World at an appropriate time of year;
- encourage the Ringing World and university societies to repeat the widely praised University of London edition (see right) with a different society.