Promoting your playgroup
Playgroups are a source of enjoyment for many families in the community and are an important community resource. Promoting your playgroup can help to:
- inform other families in the community about your playgroup
- support families with young children who feel isolated
- make the general community aware of the value of playgroups
- attract new members.
Here are some suggestions for promoting your playgroup:
- Establish a social media presence
- Playgroups are encouraged to set up their own Facebook and Instagram pages and take advantage of these opportunities to engage with their members and local community.
For more information on setting up your pages, see How to get started on Social Media and our Social Media Policy, available on the Templates, Information and Checklists page, under the heading Marketing & Promotional.
- Facebook Community Groups
Find out if there are any local community groups in your area on Facebook. This is a good opportunity to promote your playgroup, as many parents and children are looking for new things to do and connect with others in their community.
- Playgroup WA Website
All Playgroup WA playgroups are added to our Find a Playgroup directory. This is the most visited page on our website so it is important to keep your details and contact information updated. Playgroup WA also has an online noticeboard where playgroups can advertise for free. These listings are shared to the Playgroup WA Facebook and Instagram page. If you choose to list here, please provide a description of your venue including if you have an outdoor play area, any special toys or equipment etc. and of course some photos that can be shared.
The Playgroup WA Facebook page has a growing following. Playgroups are always welcome to send messages directly to promote any events being held, share photos of sessions or any other assistance required. Playgroups can also use the Playgroup at Home group to share photos and information on about their playgroup. This is a nice way to showcase yourselves, share activity ideas and reach potential members.
We also have a Facebook group especially for committee members. The Playgroup WA Committee Members group provides a great opportunity for members to connect with each other, ask for advice, share ideas, tips, knowledge and anything else to do with playgroup!
- Playgroup WA
Playgroup WA Development Officers are always available to help whenever and wherever they can. Your local Development Officer has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in running playgroups and is a great place to start should you need any assistance. Have a look at who your Playgroup WA representative is here or call the office on 9288 8088.
- Word of Mouth
Most families join a playgroup because a friend invited them. Chat to your friends and relatives about playgroup. Pass on information and reach out to your network. If your playgroup is trying to build up its members, you could also carry playgroup information with you and pass it on to parents with young children you meet while shopping, at kindergarten/daycare pick up or wherever you go in your local area. You’ll be surprised at how successful this approach can be.
- Baby Sessions
Creating a specific baby session for new parents is a wonderful way to connect with new members and give them the space to be able to meet others. Connecting with your local Child Health Centre is a great way to let new parents know about your playgroup.
Plan an event to promote your playgroup. It could be an open day, a teddy bear’s picnic, messy play day or bring a friend to playgroup event. Invite people to come along to have fun and see your playgroup firsthand. It’s always a good idea to have information available on your playgroup, including contact names and details, session times and costs. The aim is to make the day so much fun, that families want to return.
- Flyers / Posters
Create a poster or flyer with the details of your playgroup and hand these out to your local schools, library and Child Health Nurse. Many local businesses are also happy to support community groups so check in with your local coffee shop, library, shopping centre, pharmacy or doctor’s surgery to see if they are able to display your flyer. Contact Playgroup WA to obtain the Playgroup WA member logo and feature the logo prominently on the poster.
Is there an opportunity to display more prominent signage around your venue / location? A busy intersection or roundabout could be a great option (ensure you get permissions with your local council prior). If allowed, an A-Frame sign could be used outside your building while your playgroup is meeting. Playgroup WA also have a ‘Playgroup Meets Here’ sign that allows you to include your information on it. Please contact Playgroup WA at email@example.com to enquire about receiving one for free.
- Child Health Nurse
Establishing a relationship with your local Child Health Nurse can be a great opportunity for you to get face to face with new parents in your community and talk to them or pass on information about your playgroup.
- Council Listings
Contact your local council and ask to be included on its website and in its next community handbook. Be sure to keep the information updated every year.
- Information Stands and Community Boards
Set up an information stall at your local shopping centre, library or community centre. This is a great way to speak personally with people about the playgroup or have information that people can take away with them. Remember to get permission from the venue owner.
- National Playgroup Week
During National Playgroup Week playgroups around Australia let people know why they go to playgroup. Playgroups are encouraged to create their own original open day event during National Playgroup Week to advertise throughout their community or in their local papers.
Lots of people don’t know or understand what goes on at playgroup or that there is a playgroup close by. This is your chance to show what your playgroup offers and invite families to come and join in the fun.
Planning a promotional event or open day
Good planning is essential if your promotional drive is to be successful.
Before the event
Decide as a group what you will do and where, when and how you will do it. Keep focused on why you are actually having the event to help you make these decisions. Get everyone involved and value everyone’s input. Keep everyone well informed as organisation of the event progresses.
- using community facilities - parks, shopping centres, local buildings
- keeping activities simple
- preparing and sticking to a budget
- personally inviting community leaders, media and special guests
- confirming entertainers and venues in writing
- advertising possibilities
- tell Playgroup WA - for support and to promote your event
- having a wet weather contingency plan
- documenting everything to help plan future events
- conducting a safety check of area
- having first aid on hand
After the event
- follow up all contacts made
- discuss what went well and what didn’t
- enjoy your success and learn from what may not have worked well
- complete documentation including all financial transactions write thank you letters
- put all pictures taken and published newspaper articles on the playgroup notice board
- Email photos and details of your event to firstname.lastname@example.org or post these on the Playgroup WA Facebook page, so that other playgroups can share your great ideas.
Local media & gaining publicity for your playgroup
Media is a great way to raise the profile of your playgroup, especially local publicity. See below.
Getting publicity in your local newspaper is easier than you think. Local newspapers are about local news and what better than a story about a local playgroup.
Email a few lines to your local newspaper’s community column stating your playgroup name, where and when you meet, a contact phone number and that new families are welcome.
To get more space, you will need to offer the newspaper a photo opportunity. If you are celebrating a milestone or have some particular news such as a project or fundraiser, these can be make great local news stories. You could try something different and fun, like adult sack races, a special visitor or special event, or a grandparents and children joint performance with costumes. Photographers are more likely to attend if there is something visually interesting for them to capture. Think about this before you make contact with the newspaper.
Steps to successful local publicity:
- Think about what would make a good photo opportunity. Getting a photograph of your playgroup published will attract more attention than just words. If you need pre-publicity think how you can mock up a photo opportunity. Would preparations for the day make a good photograph e.g. children making a mural?
- Find out the name of the senior journalists at your local newspapers and call them about three weeks before you want something to appear. Be enthusiastic! Tell them about your event and ask if a photographer can come. Ask if they would like you to send details.
- If they are interested, send brief details covering what, where and when your event is and if applicable why you’re holding the event. Supply one contact name with a business hours phone number for more information. Send these details to them soon after you have spoken.
- One week before your event confirm the photographer is still coming.
- Make sure someone greets the photographer and offers assistance.
- If a photographer does not attend, try again next time.
- Submit brief details about your playgroup to the newspapers’ community columns.