Welcoming school visits
If you are hosting school visits as a response to requests then you will not need to market yourself. If, however, you would like to develop regular school visits, then you will need to be pro-active in encouraging visits. A farm visitor centre catering for thousands of visitors will have a sizable marketing budget. Most farms, on the other hand, will be operating on very limited budgets. Therefore, there is a need to be creative and imaginative in getting yourself noticed by schools.
What you should consider:
- Are you going to rely on word-of-mouth or are you going to purchase advertising?
- Do you have a brochure, web site, and signs directing visitors to your farm?
- How will you distribute brochures or promote your website?
- Will you use any other marketing methods (print, radio, online, personal visit to schools)?
Providing attractive activities and experiences on your farm will generate good publicity but initially you need to let people know what you can provide. Buying advertising can be costly and not particularly cost effective if you are only catering for small numbers.
A few tips for attracting the general public:
- Mailing of home-made posters, with contact details on sticky label on the back, to local groups and organisations.
- Homemade posters in local shops/travel agents/visitor centers and libraries.
- Get included on local and national websites that list events and activities.
- Have a website of your own.
- Get your name into local media by writing press releases.