In order to spread the AFS mission of building a more just and peaceful world, we invite others to join our mission as volunteers, host families or study abroad participants.
Remember that by talking about the opportunity to volunteer, host, or go abroad, you are sharing a life-changing opportunity that could positively transform people's lives.
Most people learn about AFS through word of mouth - casual, spontaneous communication with people already in your personal network. Give some thought to people you already know - family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, classmates, book club members, etc. - and consider how you might share AFS opportunities with these groups in a way that is comfortable for you such as via social media, email, phone or in person communication.
Pre-recruitment refers to activities that help keep AFS's name and logo fresh and recognizable in the community. These activities are designed to raise awareness of AFS international student exchange programs. Some ideas about what you can do include:
- Place local stories about newly returned students (recent AFS Returnees) or current hosted students in local publications.
- List AFS events on community calendars.
- List AFS in local digital and print directories.
- Deliver new posters and catalogs to schools and community organizations.
- Place advertisements in local school digital or print newspapers.
- Submit an article about AFS to the newsletter or bulletin at your place of worship.
Represent AFS in the Local Community
There are no limits on how to represent AFS in your community. Here are a few things you can try:
Hold AFS events (potlucks, picnics, parties) and invite people from the community.
Connect with the local Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts. In particular, collaborate with the Girl Scouts' World Thinking Day in February.
Host an AFS booth at a local fair or community event.
Call all civic groups (Kiwanis, Lions, etc.) and get on their speaking agenda at least once a year.
Local Media Toolkit
- Write a Letter to the Editor about what AFS means to you.
- Invite local media (radio, newspaper, TV) to your events and orientations.
- Share AFS Social Media pages.
- Inform local TV stations (who are often eager to do a PSA for AFS) when local students win scholarships or when a local family signs up to host (with their permission, of course).
- Make sure to refer to the AFS media policy.
- Submit press releases to your local news outlets or pitch a story about AFS. Sample press released and instructions for pitching a story can both be found on the Field Hub here:
Local ads are more likely to generate results less expensively than a national advertisement campaign. Whether you want to take out an ad that publicizes an event in your area such as an Information Night or Open House, or that builds awareness of the regional AFS network, local ads offer you a way to reach a targeted audience easily and inexpensively. Be creative, and don’t be afraid to spend some of your team funds for ads—you’ll be surprised at how well they work! Most Community Calendars offer event announcements for free.
We encourage you to visit the Field Hub for all of your Marketing needs!