Raising awareness of ringing isn’t just a job for tower officers, ringing societies and the Central Council. We can all play a part. You and your fellow ringers each know dozens of people, and between us we have far more contact with non-ringers in the course of our daily lives than ringing organisations can ever hope to do, however pro-active they are. There are over 40,000 of us. Just think what we could do for ringing if we all played our part in spreading the word – how it works, its history, and why we do it.
Anyone in PR will tell you that word of mouth is the best form of advertising. People believe their friends and acquaintances more than they believe ‘PR’.
You don’t need to be a high flying ringer, or a technical expert. All you need is enthusiasm, and the willingness to share your enthusiasm and knowledge. Tell people that you are a ringer and explain what ringing is all about. It isn’t hard to increase the average person’s understanding. Think how many of the people you know have even the basic understanding shown in this comparison of different activities.
Just chatting to people about ringing can help to demystify it and make a positive contribution. Talk to people about your experiences. You might take your ringing for granted, but remember that to someone who has never rung, the skill needed to do it at all can seem amazing.
Going a step further, have you ever invited a friend along to see ringing in action at a practice? Seeing is believing. Visitors are normally impressed, not just by the mechanics but by the enthusiasm, skill and friendliness of the ringers. Invite them to join you in the pub afterwards too.