Joshua Gray - CEA Website Chairperson

Facebook is becoming a very useful tool for non-profit organizations to spread the word about their upcoming events.  At the State level, there are two Facebook groups that you should consider joining to keep informed about events in Connecticut.  The first, "Connecticut Elks Association", is the official Facebook group of the Association.  This page provides information on upcoming State Association events like Special Olympics, the Bowling Tournament, and District/State Hoop Shoots.  The second is "Connecticut Elks Local Lodge News and Events".  This group is for sharing events at your lodge with the rest of Connecticut.  To join either group, you do need to be a member of the Elks, although not necessarily a member of the CT Elks Association - Elks from other states are allowed to join.  
 
At the local lodge level, there are many options for Facebook groups.  The first option is to create a personal account.  This option is not recommended because it limits the administration to one person; however, your lodge might have set up this kind of page in the early days of Facebook.  The second option is to create an organization.  By doing this, you can set up administrators and editors.  You can also allow members to join the group so that posts are private unless you choose to make them public.  You can also remove unwanted or inappropriate posts, or even screen them prior to posting.  This model is used by the CT State Elks Association for both of their groups.  A local lodge example is the New London Elks group.  
 
Once you have established your Facebook group, you can now add Events.  One of the best features of Events is that they provide features like "Interested" or "Going", letting members know who is already going to an event.  Once a member indicates they are "Interested" or "Going", it is shared on their wall, organically increasing the advertising for that event for free.  You can also "Boost" the event, paying money to target the advertising of your event on other people's Facebook pages - a little bit of money can go a long way to reaching people.  By spending a little money prior to an event and getting some people to click on "Interested" or "Going", the event can rapidly spread.  This happened to us in New London recently with our Trunk or Treat event.  Within the week before the event happened, we saw that nearly 850 people were "Interested" in our event.  We responded to increasing the amount of candy and volunteers we had available and were prepared for the masses that arrived.  Without that information, we would have had many upset children and parents.  
 
Another way to increase your advertising of Facebook Events is to get your local town to share your posts.  In New London, for example, the city's Facebook group routinely shares our posts.  You can also connect with other service organizations in your town and cross-advertise.  And of course, do share your event on the CT Elks "Local Lodge News and Events" page so your fellow Elks are aware of the great things happening at your own local lodge.  
 
Of course, social media like Facebook brings issues as well.  Visit the CT Elks Association page and click on "Our Programs" followed by "Website" to view a powerpoint presentation detailing the "Do's and Don'ts" of social media.  Rick Gathen, Marketing and Membership Manager for Grand Lodge, has provided this list as a guideline for what is acceptable.  
 
If you need any guidance or help with setting up a Facebook group, your district and state officers for Public Relations and Website are there to help.  We look forward to seeing your Events posted soon!

Click here for the December 2018 issue of the CEA Newsletter!

If you would like to submit anything for the next Newsletter, email it to Bob Magowan PER or your District Chairman!

The CEA PER Asociation will be meeting at the Southington Lodge 1669 on Sunday, September 9th at noon.  A luncheon will be available at a nominal cost.  A flag retirement ceremony will follow at 1:00P.M. with the business meeting immediately after.  The agenda will include nomination and election of officers for the 2018-2019 year.  

Please make every attempt to attend this meeting, we need you to make your association work.

 

Connecticut's own Peter G. Nelson PDD and Luis Rivera (Elk Member and Director of the Safe Kids Program) were featured in an interview of the State Major Projects booths at the national convention in San Antonio, TX in July of 2018.  See below for the interview!

By Peter G. Nelson, PDD 

Once again the State Major Projects Booth received a Five Star Recognitions Award for its display and information that was shared with other convention attendees. This year's booth was streamlined thanks to the two pull-ups that were made possible by CCMC and poster boards from Donna Wallace which helped to make set up of the booth quite a bit easier this year as opposed to last year.  

We the committee, consisting of Brenda Williams SEY, Pete Nelson PDD, Luis Rivera director Safe Kids, and Donna Wallace Jr. PSP, were able to set up the booth in just over an hour as opposed to the five plus hours it took last year. We took the advisement of the committee judges from last year and incorporated their suggestions into this year's booth making them quite pleased with our display and all the information we had to share with them, as were all of the attendees.  In case you did not get to the booth to see it, there were informative pamphlets for people to take with information regarding our involvement with the Safe Kids program, wrist bands with the logo "CT Elks Association Keeping Kids Safe", and pencils that change color with the logo on them. Luis manned the "Spin the Wheel" game in which participants donated a dollar, spun the wheel, and answered a question to win a CCMC bandaid pin. This game was very popular helping us to raise $540 that will go to the  CCMC program. There were bike helmets, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and other informative displays.  

 

The booth was more successful this year because of all the inquiries we got this year as opposed to last year and there was a lot more networking with the other states at the convention this year.  There were many states asking us about our program. Noticeably California,and Laz Saures the marketing manager/web administrator for the Florida Elks.  We were even approached by South Dakota and Missouri about how to get a booth at the G. L. convention. 

Our many thanks to those who gave up some of their free time to help us man the booth and spread the word. Bobby Brown PER, Louise Lee PER, Joann & Turner Donnel PERs, Rick Berthiaume PER, Seth Miller PER, Justin Fedler ER, Amy Lawler, Debbi Duarte, Diane Terry, Cindy Young and Kim Simmons ER. Their feedback about working the booth was very positive and upbeat. Many are already looking forward to St. Louis. Your being there made it a lot more of an enjoyable and enriching time.

As for next year, yes we have been asked and have accepted the challenge to try (no we will) get the CT Elks Association and "Safe Kids" another five?s. 

If you'd like to volunteer an hour or two, or three next year don't wait. Contact me at pgnpdd1893@gmail.com or call me at (860)508-8813. I have a couple of volunteers already, but the more help we have, the more enjoyable the time at the booth. Come on and join us, look for the bright volunteer shirts and enthusiastic attitudes, meet and talk to Elks  from Connecticut to California, Hawaii to Maine, and every state in between.