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Written by Eric Williams
AMA News District II
As seen in the March 2017 issue of
Model Aviation.

Each new year brings a new flying season, and renewed opportunities for clubs to increase their membership and strengthen their community relationships. Various activities provide the tools clubs can use to promote themselves and gain members.

Some important principles use a combination of these tools and activities. Results are incremental and build on each other, and planning early for the season provides the best roadmap for success!

An open house to promote a club and model aviation is a great way to show the public what our hobby is about. Inviting public officials and groups such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, veterans groups, social organizations, and even local first responders goes a long way in obtaining new members and helping community relations.

Build relationships with elected officials, community groups, and opinion leaders. Regularly communicating with these groups and individuals serves to align them as friends of the club who will help promote your club and help it in times of need.

Have a good club website and utilize social media. Club websites serve as a 24/7 advertising sign. Websites should be inviting, serve to help tell the great story of your organization, and motivate people to contact the club or make a visit. Many clubs also use social media as a communication tool within the club or to promote activities in the community.

Always have a trainer aircraft ready to provide introductory flights. Most clubs experience unexpected visitors. Perhaps nothing excites an individual about model aviation as much as having “hands on the sticks” and actually flying.

Have a dedicated, weekly training night, where students can learn and the general public can visit. People rely on expectations and consistency. Having a dedicated evening or weekend where people can visit the club and learn removes ambiguity over scheduling and availability.

Utilize free community calendars, and work to invite local news media to your club. Don’t wait for a club event to invite the media. Start relationships with local news reporters and work to have them visit your club and experience model aviation first hand. Doing so provides a connection that it might utilize in times of need.

Create a club brochure and/or a public newsletter. These publications help attract new members and tell the club’s good news as a community organization. Distribute these publications at community events, libraries, community centers, and similar locations and send them to elected officials, community leaders, news outlets, and other community groups. Consider both hard-copy and electronic versions of these publications.

Participate in community events. Parades, community days, school events, library programs, charitable fundraisers, and similar events offer opportunities to promote your club. Such events also demonstrate your club as a contributing community organization.

Get a jump on this year’s flying season, and start planning now for your club’s community outreach and promotion.

Remember, it’s not about what you fly, but the people and the friends you make.


Thank you for the article Eric. This year we had attempted calendars with all the local clubs and events. That fell very short on sales. Too many of us are buying online. With that being said, our hobby shops no longer stock aircraft but, cars keep them in business. We added coupons in the calendars to get more attention for the local businesses.

In september on the 8th I am going to try another Fly in. Airshow/Swap meet/night fly/camping/ all clubs and open to the public. All the good stuff, I will advertise weeks in advance to bring the public in and make them welcome.
I believe our field is perfect for public notice. We could use more parking. No charge for tables/tailgates/parking.
It was nice seeing you at our events. Sky Chiefs and Rovers.

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