Be Reachable and Responsive
- Avoid using an answering machine or service for the Lodge that only gets checked for message periodically.
- Get a free local phone number from Google Voice https://voice.google.com/about/ It is free! And you can save money by not having to pay for a phone line at the Lodge.
- Forwards incoming phone calls to multiple other phones at the same time, i.e. home, office, mobile, and/or Master, Secretary, etc. All phones ring at the same time. The first phone to get answered, the others stop ringing.
- Sends an email and/or SMS message notifying you have missed calls, and/or new voicemail messages.
- Emails you the new voicemail message in both a recorded sound file, and transcribe text.
- Even though the phone numbers for the Master and Secretary may change from time to time, the Google Voice number never changes, you just update the phone numbers the calls are forwarded to.
Setup a free group email list.
- Use a service like Google or Yahoo Groups. Create a group email address i.e. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org which forwards emails to multiple other email addresses, i.e. Master and Secretary. This way an email is less likely to be missed, and receive a more timely response. (Should be used with Google Voice to distribute notification to multiple recipients, so set up a group email to use with Google Voice first)
Assure your Lodge keeps everyone updated. Your Lodge should have.
- A Website, Facebook Page, Twitter, and a Group, which are important to keep updated.
- Group email list with all of your members email addresses, and another email group list for other like the Master/Secretary.
- Phone calling tree, either manual were you assign a group of people a list of people to call, or an automated phone tree, such as https://www.phonevite.com which can call hundreds of numbers and leave the same message in only a few minutes. 25 calls, 2 times per month, for free, or 5 cents each for unlimited.
- Calendar that is shared with the public, such as Google Calendars.
- A Trestleboard that is either mailed and/or electronically distributed to your members monthly, or quarterly at a minimum.
Be Seen, Put Up A Sign
Too many of our Lodges are not known to exist because they sit hidden on a back street, or meet on the second floor of another building such as a church or hardware store, and have nothing that is identifiable to the public as to who or what we are, other than maybe the Square and Compasses, which the public either doesn't recognize or can easily mistake as to belonging to another organization.
Put a sign in front of the Lodge that is large enough that it can be easily read from a distance by a person in a moving car, put more information of the sign than just the name of the Lodge and the S&C, include such words as Freemason, Masonic, and other information, etc. Here are some example.
- Masons Blue Lodge No. 123 A.F.&A.M. Chartered 1778.
- Masonic Hall Blue Lodge No. 123 A.F.&A.M. Chartered 1778.
- Blue Lodge No. 123, over xxx years of Freemasonry in name if city.
- Freemasonry, the oldest Fraternity in the world.
- The World's Oldest and Largest Fraternal Organization.
- Freemason’s making good men better, a perpetuate way of life that promotes the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God.
- Ask a relative or a friend if he is a Mason.
- Brother Mason, if you have come from any Lodge in the World, this is your home.
- Freemason Hall, Masonic Hall, Masonic Lodge.
Put a sign on the building that has meeting dates and times, include the name and phone number of the Master or Secretary, and the Lodges website address.
Publish your meeting dates and times everywhere, include the Lodge address, and name and phone number of the Master or Secretary (remember: to use a FREE Google Voice phone number).
Put a sign up on the outskirts of town, under the city name or wherever your town has designated room for such advertisements. You can buy these signs from a number of Masonic supply companies.
Local News Media
Identify local news media reporters and photographers, i.e. weekly newspapers, magazines, TV/cable channels, who cover events in your area. Introduce yourself to them before you ask for their coverage. Get their mobile phone numbers and email addresses so you can send notices of events, requests for coverage, etc.
Send a notice to every media outlet concerning all events at your lodge that has a public interest element, i.e. awards, 50 year pins, addresses to members by public officials or expert presenters. Notices should be sent not less than a week in advance of the event, and you should follow up with a phone call to encourage a reporter's attendance and coverage. Remember: you are offering an opportunity to report on an item of public interest, and every news outlet needs to cover something.
It is permissible to sell advertising to third parties in your Trestleboard and/or on your website to offset costs, and to purchase advertising about your Lodge from third parties. However, you cannot put your Masonic affiliation on your business advertising.
Raffles and Lotteries
Raffles by a Lodge are permissible under specific conditions, i.e. (to benefit recognized charitable causes), but not for a Lodge's own use. Refer to the Methodical Digest Sec. 2.12.
Solicitation for Funds
Solicitation of the public or other Lodges for funds (Building repair, for a member of your Lodge, etc.) is not permitted. You can only solicit your own members.
Commercializing Freemasonry is not allowed, please refer to the Methodical Digest Sec's and Decisions 1.42, 3.07, 4.01 and the Public Relations Policy at: http://policy.grandlodgeofvirginia.org/