Advertising for Masonry?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Blake Bowden, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    As most of you know, the new Dan Brown book (Lost Symbol) is out. The piece contains many Masonic references, some good some not so good. While the topic of Masonry is hot in the public, why can't we use this to our advantage? What are your thoughts of a Lodge publishing a graphic in the newspaper that read:

    Freemasonry
    2B1ASK1
    www.lodgewebsite.com

    Would that be soliciting? Based on content, it's nothing more than a bumper sticker many Brothers have. Now, however it being in the newspaper may raise some eyebrows.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  2. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I believe that would fall under a neutrally worded statement.
     
  3. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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    I am concerned about an influx of members because, at least in my jurisdiction, the emphasis is on quantity rather than quality of members. I have long been of the opinion that the big increase in membership after WW2 is one of the worst things to happen to Freemasonry. It gave a false sense of ourselves to ourselves and we have been trying to play catch up ever since the decline in members started.

    If there is an increase in petitions it will be a perfect excuse for one-day-classes and other watered-down experiences.

    We must guard the West Gate well.
     
  4. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    The other argument could be there are good men out there who are unaware of the proper protocols in becoming a Mason. Many still believe that you have to be asked to be one. Also, quality comes out of quantity. The more people you have, the better chance of good men coming forth.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009
  5. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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    The old axiom;
    Throw enough against the wall and something is bound to stick???
     
  6. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    We are holding a double edged sword. To not get any petitions or to get too many and not get quality. I think if we watch the gate, follow the letter of the law, more would be better then none.

    Better to be able to pick and choose then to be wondering when you will shut the doors forever.
     
  7. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    What does that statement have to do with informing the public about Masonry and how to become one? Are you implying that we should do nothing? Ask any rural Lodge and they'll tell you how well that thought process works.
     
  8. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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    I am not advocating doing nothing.
    I am saying that, in my jurisdiction, being selective is not of the most importance.

    QUOTEWhat does that statement have to do with informing the public about Masonry and how to become one?QUOTE.
    My statement had nothing to do with informing the public. It had to do with your statement " that out of quantity comes quality".
     
  9. cambridgemason

    cambridgemason Premium Member Premium Member

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    i have seen both sides of this happen, for one thing over the last 100+ years we grew too fast for our own good. Our numbers grew but our membership stayed the same and our members grew old and no one to replace them in lodge. The other hand is that too many new lodges grew out of these times and now we have mergers for there is not enough (not members )but officers to maintain that lodge. Out of quality you can get quanity and on the other hand you can look for quanity. I have seen a large number of masons join over the years since we have started this PR campaign and one day classes and open houses. I think it is good to advertise to a point, get the GOOD word out about us and how to join if interested. But where we fall short is when these men of quanity(not all, but some) enter and find that that is it? They leave or find out about politics in the lodge turns them off. Ads are good to a point, but I think we need to go back to old school and educate our members once they start coming in. We need to keep that spark lite. Once we get in the quanity they will work on getting more of quanity members in and I have seen dead lodges come alive again up here in the North because of this. The ads work, getting the word out is good but it takes work. Two lodges here in Cambridge advertise in local school papers, The Harvard lodge started this back a few years ago with a monthly post in the Crimson newspaper and a couple of years ago the MIT lodge did the same thing in their school paper. IT was a way to get the word out since both lodges do not have any site at the campus. Both ads have worked to a point. The Harvard Lodge through a huge campaign that included ads but other things as well brought in in 2006-2007 200 men. Now I do not know how many stayed, but years ago this Lodges was DEAD, I attained both fraternal and offical visits to the lodge and on both visits the suite outnumbered the members and officers present. Today they have between 300 to 400 members and about 40 to 100 make meetings. But this is a specaility lodge and good number leave after graduating the school.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009
  10. BrianM

    BrianM Guest

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    We , men and Masons , are the advertisements . How we live our lives , how we conduct ourselves and what we do for the community/world as a fraternity and as an individual should be all the adverts we need . I joined because I admired a couple Masons . Most all our new young men coming into my lodge joined because they admired Masons and wanted to be a part of it . We had no need of ads , ODC's or open houses . We had no need of a web site and on-line petitions .

    As someone else stated , the huge influx of men after WWII joining the Fraternity swelled our ranks . These men are now dying off and some feel we need to replace all those numbers . I for one do not . I think we are getting back to our fighting weight . I would much rather get one or two good men than ten so-so men . My lodge is growing , and this makes me happy , but I do think we are getting some very fine young men and doing a good job weeding out those who do not meet up to our standards .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2009
  11. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Come down to my neck of the woods and I'll show you the empty Lodge buildings and soon to be demised Lodges. You're situation is ideal and I love the concept of it, but it alone won't have much effect. For example here's a breakdown of our Lodge membership:

    Age|Members
    20's 2
    30's 1
    40's 4
    50's 8
    60's 15
    70's 17
    80's 21
    90's 4


    Out of 72 members, 42 are over the age of 70.

    Those figures include members who live out of town, no longer attend Lodge, etc. In my experince, only 10-15% of Lodge members are truly active. They attend meetings on a regular basis, help with fundraising, hold an office, etc. So you can see the dire situation that my Lodge is in, especially in the next 5-10 years.

    You need a selection in order to weed good men out. We have great men in our Lodge who are politicians, church deacons, community leaders and law enforcement but just being a good o boy hasn't worked to increase membership.
     
  12. BrianM

    BrianM Guest

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    Well , like I stated in another thread , what works for one lodge , does not work for another . My lodge is thriving and growing while two lodges in town that are within a stones throw for one another are struggling . I am all for the consolidation of lodges . There are far too many lodges in my town that sprung up after WWII . We just do not need 4 lodges in one little town . Though I am not saying your lodge should close , I am only making a statement of how things are in my area .

    If I was not to lazy to get up out of my lazyboy and get our membership stats in my library I could get exact numbers , but our average age is growing younger . When I take the East next year , only my Treasurer will be older than 45 . I will be the oldest at 40 while the rest will be in their early 30's and 20's .
    .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2009
  13. LRG

    LRG Premium Member

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    Advertising is a superb idea.
    Many do not know anything of the craft except what they see on tv or hear from their church-which is that we are of darkness.
    Our community work is great public exposure. Our bumper stickers and we FMRC members riding our choppers wearing our craftly patch is another great public expose.
     
  14. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    This may be a topic for another thread, but I have to agree with the above statements, they are very realistic. The problem will be "pride" and the "relinquishing" of charters. This my brethren is the reality of the future, even if we improve on what we have. When I was IPR there were two lodges meeting in the same building, but the other lodge "had" to go and build their own building now those charter members have all "passed". What fruitful purpose did this fulfill?:confused: I have heard time and time again, "this is what the previous generation has left us with". Well, permit me to use Occam’s razor here, they left you with buildings and properties that were completely paid for and tax exempt. Now the question will be what are "we" going to do with what has been graciously given to us?

    Throughout the rest of the world they have been consolidating lodges and creating Masonic centers where many lodges meet, thereby pooling financial resources for their charitable endeavors. We on the other hand have been doing the direct opposite and talking about closing our charities down. Can someone out there explain, what part of this makes any sense?
     
  15. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Good point.
     
  16. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Combining lodges, assets and members seems like a perfectly logical solution.
     
  17. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    Well Blake kinda makes you wonder .. every year when you go to Grand Lodge and someone proposes some change and they get up and say its going to kill more small lodges.. ! no one seems to care..? :confused:
     
  18. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm a complete idiot when it comes to Grand Lodge and previous resolutions. Remember I'm still wet behind the ears as I was raised just over a year ago. :eek: Is there a particular GL law that you feel harms small lodges?
     
  19. js4253

    js4253 Premium Member Premium Member

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    I agree. Nixon Lodge recently shut their doors and turned the assets over to GLOT. I think they should have affiliated with Stockdale. I know Stockdale could have used the money Nixon received for selling their building. Now GLOT is richer and Stockdale is struggling.:confused:
     
  20. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Yup. Many of the members were planning on merging with Gonzales...it didn't happen.
     

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