Communicating with your members
Each Branch is free to develop the most effective way of letting their members know about upcoming meetings. However, it is vital to remember that since most YAC members are aged between 8 – 12 years, the people you really need to be talking to are their parents.
How you talk to parents is up to you: ask them what they prefer! Here is some good practice from the YAC network:
- Develop good face-to-face relationships with parents: try to spend a few minutes talking to them when they drop off and collect their children.
- Most clubs give information about upcoming meetings by email, which is sent out 1 -2 weeks before each session. Make sure you have a correct email address which is checked regularly. To protect personal details, make sure you use the ‘bcc’ feature so that each parent cannot see the others’ email addresses.
- Set up a separate email account for your club, rather than using your personal or work email address.
- Some clubs produce calendars of upcoming sessions, often on a quarterly basis, which can be handed out at sessions. If you can, print these onto coloured paper so that parents can pin them to their fridge and see them easily.
- Some clubs produce newsletters or blogs. Make sure you think carefully about whether you can continue to invest time on this in the long term.
- Please also remember, especially online, to make sure you have up to date permission from parents to use photographs of their children. It is best not to give children’s names or precise time and place details of upcoming sessions on a publicly accessible site.
The minimum age for the use of most social media, such as Facebook, is 13. Since YAC members are most often under 13 (76% in 2013), social media is not an appropriate way to communicate with them.
You might consider setting up a Facebook group to communicate with parents. Facebook groups are only accessible to those who have been invited to join them, and can be a useful way to broadcast information. Please do discuss this with your members’ parents to see if they are happy to communicate in this way.
You could also use a publicly visible Facebook or Twitter account to promote your club. This is fine, but you should never publish any personal details about children on social media (even their names).
You might also consider using social media if you have a ‘splinter group’ of older YAC members (aged 13+) for whom you provide separate sessions and activities. If so, please contact YAC HQ to discuss.
You must never use your own personal social media accounts to communicate with YAC members.