Use These Best Practices for Scout Flier Design

Use These Best Practices for Scout Flier Design

For as long as most of us can remember, the Scout flier has been one of the primary options in your recruiting toolbox for attracting new members to your packs and troops.

When executed well, a Scout flier can be an effective tool. Executed poorly, it either won’t make it home or can actively deter new families from joining.

So, what makes a well-executed Scout flier? We’re glad you asked!

Below are two samples, one that is executed well and another that needs some work. Let’s dive into the elements that make successful fliers and those that should be avoided.

First, let’s look at a recommended flier approach. 

What makes the above an effective Scout flier? Several things.

  1. SIMPLICITY. Too often, we see fliers that are loaded with images, graphics, clip art, and copy points. The goal of a flier isn’t to drive registration right then and there, it’s to get someone interested enough to look for more information. Keep it simple!
  2. CLARITY. Strong fliers have a clear, targeted message for the audience they are trying to reach. You want youth and families to understand the message at a glance. Avoid confusion by providing a clear message that is easy to digest.
  3. BREVITY. Fliers are not meant to be the only source of information for potential new members and their families. The temptation to provide a wealth of information is strong, but avoid it. This is not a real estate contract. Ideally, a flier will have just enough information to pique your interest and drive you to another location for more information.
  4. BOLD. Strong fliers have large, bold imagery that captures the attention of the child or parent who receives it. This is especially true if the school you’re working with uses an online resource like Peachjar, Remind, Smore, etc.
  5. CALL TO ACTION. Effective fliers have a simple message to youth and parents, “Go do this…” Whether it’s visiting your unit’s website, social media page, contacting a leader, or attending a meeting to learn more, there needs to be a simple and clear call to action for parents to execute as they are reading your flier.

Now, let’s take a look at a less effective flier (note: this is not a real flier, but it helps illustrate the point). 

Since we’ve reviewed what makes an effective flier, we bet you can guess why the above version isn’t as strong.

  1. LACK OF SIMPLICITY. There is a lot going on here. Too many images, too much information, nothing to draw the eye in or capture the attention of a potential new family. Color is always a good idea, but too much becomes a distraction. Keep. It. Simple.
  2. NO CLARITY. What exactly is being communicated here? It’s rather hard to digest because the message isn’t clear. Do you want this family to learn more? Come to a meeting? Go on a campout? Join today? Keep your message clear and concise.
  3. IT’S NOT BRIEF. Simply put, there is too much text on here. A flier is meant to drive the viewer to a place with more information – not to provide every possible detail all on one page. Be short and clear in your message.
  4. NO FOCAL BOLD IMAGE. Big, bold images are more effective at grabbing the attention of a potential new member. Putting too many images on a flier doesn’t give the eye anywhere to focus. Many people will simply skip over this because there’s just too much to process.
  5. NO SINGLE CALL TO ACTION. This goes hand in hand with clarity. The goal of the flier is to get the user to take action on something. Be clear about exactly what you want them to do and how/where/when to go and do it.

To sum it up, effective fliers communicate one clear message, concisely, with bold imagery that captures the eye, and drive people to another location where they can learn more information or ask more questions.

The good news is that many of you are already doing this! For some, this will be a departure from how you’ve done things in the past; but, trust us, it’s worth it.

Putting these tactics to use is easy. It will make your fliers more effective, it will help make you a stronger recruiter, and it will lead to more members in your council.

If you’re looking for some great fliers to get you started, check out the options in the BSA Brand Center. You can find fliers for Cub Scouts, fliers for Scouts BSA, and more!

Nathan Johnson

As a member of the Communications team at Boy Scouts of America, Nathan Johnson enjoys finding and sharing the stories that inform, inspire, and delight the Scouting family.

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Use These Best Practices for Scout Flier Design
Use These Best Practices for Scout Flier Design
Use These Best Practices for Scout Flier Design
Use These Best Practices for Scout Flier Design