Starting to publicize your Teen-Anon group and then doing continuing publicity is a necessary and vital ingredient, not only to a successful start, but also to keep re-populating your group with newcomers and reaching out beyond your immediate community, center or program.
Here are several important steps that we recommend you begin as soon as you have your meeting place lined up. You should begin your publicity and outreach about 45 days before your first group, unless your group is part of an existing mental health, substance abuse treatment or juvenile probation program from which you can draw immediate members for your groups. Even then, you might want to do some beginning publicity/outreach 2-4 weeks before the start.
Get voicemail. You will want a phone number to publicize, with recorded information about when and where the group(s) meet and to call parents, teens and others back if they have questions. Ideally, the phone number should not be your home or regular office phone number or the main switchboard for your center.
You can get low-cost voicemail from your local phone company on an existing phone line for about $5-7 a month. Better yet, get voicemail with its own separate number. EFLS at 800-348-0500 has full-featured service for almost any area code in the U.S at about $11 a month (You can eventually divide up this cost among other Teen-Anon groups in your city, as they get established.) A free alternative, with fewer features is One Box, with messages you can read/hear online as well as on a separate voicemail telephone number. Sign-up at http://www.onebox.com/
Newspapers. Most daily and weekly community newspapers have both calendar/event sections and community sections. Find out who handles each department at each newspaper,and give them 2-4 week advance notice. Have them list Teen-Anon 12 Step Group with the day and time and area code and phone number but no address. If they list weekly, ask them to list your group every week.
Group outreach. Use our postcard template online and in your Leader's Guide and send it out to the Executive Directors of area youth groups, mental health centers, city or county juvenile probation, city and county health departments, the youth pastor or director of youth programs at area churches and synagogues and pediatric counselors at hospitals and directors of treatment programs (see our treatment page to get lists). Be sure to add your voicemail phone number to the cards. Follow-up with phone calls. Send reminder cards every third month.
Flyers. Reproduce the large flyer template and post it and reproduce the small flyer template and regularly leave a stack of small flyers at the same places above and in public libraries.
Let us know. Tell us your voicemail number as soon as you have it. Let us know the day and time and community where your meeting is, as soon as it is up and running and we'll post it on our site as well as elsewhere on the internet.
Teen-Anon, 1550 N.E. 137, Portland, OR 97230. (please EMAIL us FIRST)