Illinois Railway Museum

Volunteer Handbook -- Promoting The Museum

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Promoting The Museum

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Our members and volunteers are our greatest asset in public relations. Sharing your enthusiasm about the museum's activities is the best possible promotion.

Use every opportunity in your contacts with our visitors to act as a goodwill ambassador for the museum.  If you help them by answering questions or providing directions or information, they will be more likely to have an enjoyable experience and to return for another visit or make a donation.  Walking through a car barn with visitors, or describing the history of a piece of equipment, is not wasting time it's our job!

Most of our visitors will not know that almost everyone at the museum is a volunteer, or that the museum is not supported by public funding let them know!  When appropriate, explain the benefits of membership (less expensive than multiple visits, Rail & Wire newsletter, store discounts, the opportunity to volunteer, etc.), and mention that applications are available in the stores or office.  If visitors are interested in volunteering or donating funds or materials, try to introduce them to volunteers from the appropriate department or, if none are available, to any Board member or administrator.

Feel free to hand out copies of our brochure and calendar to friends, co-workers, neighbors, and others who might be interested, and tell them about your own experience at the museum.  We have found that we are the "Great Unknown Museum," with many first-time visitors having never heard of us until recently so help get the word out! Small quantities of our brochures (and to a limited extent, our annual calendars) are available through the office.  If you need larger quantities, please speak first with the Executive Director or other administrator to make the necessary arrangements.

The museum has speakers and slide presentations available for meetings or group functions.  If you receive a request for a speaker, or would like to become a speaker, please contact the Executive Director.

From time to time, members of the press may be at the museum in connection with stories on our work and activities.  Requests for interviews will normally come through the Executive Director or General Manager, who will help the media locate appropriate volunteers. However, in the event of any incident such as a derailment, injury, or other unusual event, do not speak with the media; all comments must be made only by the museum's designated representative.

All fund-raising activities must be approved by the Board of Directors to insure compliance with our standards and the applicable IRS regulations. Handouts, flyers, or other publications regarding museum activities must be approved and authorized by the museum's Executive Director or General Manager.

When you see any press mention of the museum, please let the Executive Director know, and provide clippings if possible.  If you have contacts in the media, or would like to assist in publicizing the museum's work, please speak with the Executive Director.

(previous) Unusual Events (printable copy) (end of Handbook)

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Last Modified: 05/17/05 10:56:17 PM
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