How to Promote Summer Programs

by Crystal Bonser

Advertising your summer program will not only be time-consuming and costly, but necessary. Without it, people will not know that your program exists and competing programs will get all the business. In order to stay competitive, you will need a strong advertising plan and the commitment to see it through.

Create brochures or hire someone to create them for you. Include many pictures of your facilities, staff and happy customers.

Order promotional items printed with your logo. Examples include pens, lanyards, pencil cases, notepads, magnets, cinch bags and calendars. These will be handed out to past and potential customers to keep your program's logo on their minds and in their homes.

Build a website. You website should include detailed information on your program and plenty of pictures. You should also include a form that people can fill out to request your brochure in the mail. If you have never built a website, you can hire a professional or use one of the many free website builders available online.

Advertise online. Submit your website link to search engines and relevant directories, post comments on blogs and message boards with a link to your website and ask friends and family to post your link on their websites or blogs. There are also numerous ways to pay for advertisement space online. For example, many search engines allow advertisers to pay for premium space in search results, and webmasters will often sell advertisement space on their websites.

Advertise offline. Contact schools, community centers and other relevant organizations and ask if you can leave a stack of brochures with them. Post your brochures on community bulletin boards --- often be found in grocery stores, libraries and laundry mats --- and advertise in newspapers.

Send past customers thank-you cards and include a promotional item, such as a magnet, and a two-for-one coupon for your program. Make sure to specify that whoever your past guest brings must never have enrolled in your program before. The idea is to expose your program to new people who could possibly become repeat customers.

Rent a booth at a summer program expo and bring plenty of literature and promotional items to give away.

Donate a gift certificate for your program to a charity auction along with a stack of brochures.

About the Author

Crystal Bonser has been working as a freelance writer and editor for an educational website since 2009. She is also the creator of a pet-loss website on which she facilitates weekly grief support groups. Bonser holds a Bachelor of Social Work and a minor in psychology from Ryerson University.

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