Today, we have a guest blog post from the original writer for the PA DeMolay blog, "Dad" Seth Anthony. Thank you "Dad" Anthony for contributing to the blog.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you’ve probably heard about the new social sensation PokémonGO. Marketed as an augmeneted reality game, PokémonGO uses the real world as part of the play experience. Players collect Pokémon characters by walking around their local areas. In addition to the creatures themselves, players can also interact with points of interest as determined by the game, such as statues, parks, memorials, and yes, Masonic Lodges.
Many Masonic Lodges have been tagged by the game, either as Pokestops, where players can earn power ups and experience points, or as Gyms, where participants can train their Pokémon and battle other players. This has resulted in increased traffic around many Masonic buildings and brought new light to the fraternity as players discover our meeting places for the first time. This includes teens and tweens who are seeking out our facilities for their in-game benefits.
And therein lies the power of the game! With all of these new people visiting your building, what are you doing to market Masonic Youth to them? Picture this – a group of teens hanging around outside our Masonic building, battling their Pokémon. You already have something in common with them and a great conversation starter to break the ice! Ask them what team they are on and start up a conversation. Then, transition into talking about how you’re at this building a lot because your youth group meets here. Discuss what you do and how your members are also playing the game. Instantly, you’ve made a connection and found a potential member!
Perhaps you can take it one step further. Why not set up a booth and welcome players? You could even make it a prospect party event, especially if your Lodge is a Gym. As they approach your building, provide them with a grab bag that includes a healthy snack, some information for your organization, and other promotional material. Have your members battle it out and challenge visitors to a battle! Don’t forget to chat with the parents; this is a great chance for advisors to meet prospective parents and build their advisory councils as well!
PokémonGO is an amazing opportunity for your Masonic Youth Groups to utilize your meeting space to reach out to potential members. Don’t waste the chance to build your membership!