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Grand Lodge of Connecticut

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1 Grand Lodge of Connecticut
Open House Training Seminar 30 July, 2011 Grand Lodge of Connecticut

2 Please call me “MIKE” Michael B. Dodge Grand Junior Deacon
Past Master of Putnam Lodge #46 Please call me “MIKE” Putnam #46: near MA & RI, so I got to see the effects of their Open Houses. Most radio & TV from Boston & Providence, also newspapers. P#46 decided to hold Open Houses same as MA & RI. We have been holding an open house every year since 2006 on the same day as MA & RI

3 Who will be visiting? 1. People who are curious. Want to see what the inside of the building looks like. Have heard about “Freemasons” but have never met one. In sales, getting people IN the door is the hardest part. For those who walk through our doors, most fall into one of 4 groups. <CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK> Actually there are 2 other groups who might visit: anti-masons and whack jobs. DO NOT ENGAGE the anti-masons. That is what they want! Be polite – “I’m sorry, I can’t comment on that. If you would like to contact our Grand Lodge office I’m sure they can help you.” Your Lodge, even when “open to the public” is a private building and you have the right to control who you let in. If anti-masons get in and won’t leave, call the police, but DO NOT ENGAGE! As for the whackos … try not to encourage them. Be polite, but again, no need to engage in their conspiracy theories or paranoia. 2. People – especially women – who have/had family members who were Masons and are curious about that part of their family history. 3. Masons who are members in other Lodges and/or jurisdictions who are looking to affiliate. 4. Men who are interested in Masonry and think they want to join.

4 Who will be visiting? Why did YOU join?
1. People who are curious. Want to see what the inside of the building looks like. Have heard about “Freemasons” but have never met one. Some of these people may be eligible to join. They need to be sold. Have answers ready for their questions. Why should I join? What will Masonry do for me? How will Masonry make me a better man/husband/father? What do Masons DO? How do you support the community? What kind of fun events do you have going on? Not every visitor is a potential member. For those who ARE eligible (men, of age, etc.) we need to have a good sales pitch. <CLICK> Consistent between all speakers. Why did YOU join?

5 Who will be visiting? 1. People who are curious. Want to see what the inside of the building looks like. Have heard about “Freemasons” but have never met one. Not all who are curious are eligible to join, and many who may just want to see what the Lodge looks like on the inside may have no interest in joining. You may find you have community members who have seen the building for years and are just curious what the inside looks like. That’s ok! Even though you know they have no interest in joining, don’t be evasive about your answers or ignore them. IS MASONRY A SECRET SOCIETY? Be prepared to answer.

6 Who will be visiting? 2. People – especially women – who have/had family members who were Masons and are curious about that part of their family history. May have the same kinds of questions as the previous group. Like the previous group, some may be eligible to join, some may not be eligible. It doesn’t matter if someone is eligible to join or not, or interested in joining or not. All should receive a positive experience. They have sons, brothers, fathers, nephews, uncles, grandsons, etc. who are all potential members. We need to leave a positive impression on all our visitors so if they are ever asked about what they think of Freemasonry, they will give a positive response. Remember that for this group of people, Masonry may hold a nostalgia for them. Be polite, understanding, and engaging with all.

7 Who will be visiting? 3. Masons who are members in other Lodges and/or jurisdictions who are looking to affiliate. If you were looking to affiliate with a Lodge, what would you want to know? Have trestleboards available as well as Petitions for Affiliation. This group’s questions and attitudes are formed by their experiences at their former Lodges.

8 “What do I need to do?” “How long will it take?”
Who will be visiting? 4. Men who are interested in Masonry and think they want to join. Interested – they WANT to join. You just need to close the deal. They will have different questions: “What do I need to do?” “How long will it take?” “How much does it cost?” “How much time will I have to devote?”

9 Consider creating your own literature specific to YOUR Lodge.
If you can anticipate the questions, you can create literature to answer it. The questions people ask can help you determine what kind of visitor they are. Are they asking general questions about Masonry? They are likely from categories 1 & 2. Are they asking specific questions about your Lodge? They could be from categories 3 or 4. Consider creating your own literature specific to YOUR Lodge.

10 Consider creating your own literature specific to YOUR Lodge.
Talk about what YOUR Lodge does in the community. Talk about what charities YOUR Lodge supports. Talk about what fun events YOUR Lodge offers. Talk about what activities YOUR Lodge participates in. Business card-sized? Index-card sized? Whatever works for you. Consistent fonts and graphics. BRANDING. Make an impression upon their mind. Keep in mind the politicians’ rule: don’t answer the question you were asked, answer the question you wish had been asked.

11 Literature Keep it short. Bullets points are fine. For written material, no more than half a page. PICTURES!!! Putnam Lodge #46 AF&AM Putnam Lodge #46 Ancient, Free, & Accepted Masons of South Woodstock, Connecticut is a vibrant and active group of men dedicated to service, self improvement, and social enjoyment. Freemasonry is an organization where men of all backgrounds, faiths, and beliefs can gather and meet as equals. The only requirements for membership are to be a man age 18 or older, of good moral character, and who believes in a Supreme Being. Putnam Lodge #46 is active in many charitable pursuits – some of the charities we support are: the Connecticut Child Identification System (CTCHIP), the Shriner’s Hospitals for Crippled / Burned Children, the Eden Institute for Autism, the Hole In The Wall Gang Camp, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Jog With Judy, the Woodstock Recreation Commission, the National Masonic Foundation for Children, the Eastford Recreation Committee, the Woodstock Little League, the Marvin A. Barrett Educational Award, the Putnam Lodge #46 Educational Award, the Pomfret-Eastford Little League, the Scottish Rite Learning Centers for Dyslexia, the Special Olympics, the American Legion Boys & Girls State programs, DeMolay International, and many more. Masons contribute more than $3 million a day to support charitable causes world-wide. We raise the money to support these causes through various fundraisers throughout the year. We hold a Fisherman’s Breakfast on the first day of fishing season, a spring and fall Southern Barbeque dinner, a tag sale, a car cruise, a Mother’s Day brunch, and we park motorcycles at the Lodge during the Woodstock Fair. Masonry is a social organization as much as it is a service organization. Every year the Lodge holds several “fun” events for its members: a Lady’s dinner in February, a field trip to the Masonic-Shriner’s Park in Warwick, RI in the summer, a family picnic in August, a Halloween party in October, and other events as they fit into our schedule. Masonry encourages all its members to engage upon a journey of reflection and self improvement, and assists them by providing a setting where a man can surround himself with other men of similar convictions. This is an environment where a man can feel safe and secure in the knowledge that within Masonry he will not be taken advantage of by those of a less than scrupulous nature, and where he can find constant encouragement in his pursuit of moral improvement. To get more information about Putnam Lodge #46 AF&AM or to apply for membership, visit one of the Lodge websites: or The Lodge can also be reached by at: Interesting to look at. Engaging to read. Tailor your message towards the type of person you want to attract. Highlight things you think potential members are interested in. Use pictures of happy-looking members! Remember: you will attract what you portray, so if you portray happy individuals having fun, you will attract happy individuals who like to have fun. Try to maintain consistency between all literature – same logos, same fonts, same catch-phrases…

12 Literature Copies of your Lodge trestleboard, including past issues. This showcases what YOUR Lodge is doing, and lets perspective members know what they can expect in the future.

13 Literature Connecticut FREEMASONS newspaper. Showcases what Masons across the state are doing. Understand that plenty of what is in the newspaper is of little interest to non-masons. The newspaper is for a very targeted audience, so you don’t have to hand out issues to everyone who walks through the door. Additional copies of the newspaper are available from the Grand Lodge office.

14 PLEASE don’t pre-sign petitions
Literature PETITIONS For membership AND affiliation Attach a business card or other contact info ** Make sure that if you hand someone a petition, they know how to get it back to you ** You might even consider asking THEM for THEIR contact info so you can follow up. PLEASE don’t pre-sign petitions

15 10 Reasons to become a Mason
Although Freemasonry in Connecticut was established in 1750, the reasons for becoming a Mason today have never been more compelling. 1. Masonry is a place where you can confidently trust every person, and entrust your family with them. 2. Masonry is a place where, within moral and civil guidelines, free thought, free speaking and the spiritual growth of man can grow to its fullest potential. 3. Masonry is a place, which provides the opportunity to meet, know, and call “Brother” outstanding individuals from all walks of life who you would not otherwise have met. 4. Masonry is a place to be part of an organization that has for its principle tenets – Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. 5. Masonry is a place that provides self development opportunities, leadership training and experience, and the chance to improve public speaking skills. 6. Masonry is a place you can give support, as well as seek it. 7. Masonry is place where moral virtues are taught and, through those teachings, a regular reinforcement of the moral virtues is experienced. 8. Masonry is a place to spend time with a group of Brothers, who, by acting as good men, can make you want to become a better man. Not better than others, but better than you would have otherwise been. 9. Masonry is a place to become better prepared to serve your place of worship, your family, and your community. 10. Masonry is a place to meet with involved members of the community and to become part of that community. If you feel you don’t have enough “speaking points”, consider 10 Reasons to become a Mason. It is available off the GL website. It answers a lot of questions.

16 Friend to Friend & Should I Ask?
There is a reason TV commercials & radio commercials are only 30 seconds long… For the average person, a 30 second commercial is about 29 seconds too long. Visitors are coming to talk to PEOPLE, not read long boring pamphlets. Lodge members can pre-read the pamphlets and use that info as conversation starters, etc. These are very long. If you’re going to use any pamphlets, make sure you know what is IN those pamphlets. Be prepared to answer questions about what visitors may read in the pamphlets.

17 Literature Make sure every piece of literature you hand out contains:
Contact Name Contact Phone Number Contact Address Optional Info: Imagine that of all the info you hand a visitor, only ONE piece will survive the ride home and make it into the house. Pick any 1 random piece of info – if that is all he has, will he be able to make contact with the Lodge? Only include your Lodge website if you keep it up to date. Lodge Website URL (www.mylodge357.org) Contact Facebook Name Lodge Facebook Name Any Other Info Where A Visitor Can Contact A Member Of The Lodge

18 Catch-Phrases / Slogans
Making Good Men Better Connecticut Freemasons – Making A Difference Is There Greatness Within You? If you are going to use a catch-phrase to sell Masonry, be able to explain it: what it means & how it applies to Freemasonry REPETITION REPETITION REPETITION!!!! ** Identify and define your message BEFORE the Open House. Everybody should be selling the same message, and that message should be on all your literature. ** Whatever message or slogan you choose, make sure each and every member can explain it using the same ideas and words. ** “Making Good Men Better” Are you saying Masons are better than me? Not better than you, but we are better than we would otherwise be. So you’re saying I need to be better? We believe that no man is perfect. As good as we may each be, we can all strive to be a little better. Okay, so how do you do that? As Masons we have a core set of morals and values which we believe have been embraced by cultures across the planet and throughout history, and we teach these to our members through our ritual. So…how is some hocus-pocus mumbo jumbo supposed to make me “better”? The ritual doesn’t “make” you better. Masonry teaches moral tenets, and then gives you a place where you can meet with like-minded men who will support your efforts for self-improvement and not take advantage of you. Masonry doesn’t make you better, Masonry gives you the tools to make YOURSELF better. “Connecticut Freemasons: Making a Difference.” Making a difference in our members’ lives Making a difference in our members’ families lives Making a difference in our communities Making a difference in our places of worship Freemasonry allows men of similar values to work together to provide community service and creates bonds of friendship – brotherhood – that enable us to provide moral support and create trust between members. “Is There Greatness Within You?” Implies Freemasons are “great” people Non-judgmental. We are asking the listener to judge themselves, we aren’t doing it for them Implies Masonry only accepts “great” people Implies Masonry can help develop latent “greatness” Most of all, who would ever answer “No” to this?

19 Videos These days almost anybody with a fancy cell phone can make a video and put it on the internet SHORT! Better to have two or three short videos than one long video 30 seconds to 1 minute Try and keep to just one message per video For “actors”, use men like those you want to attract (similar age, etc.) If possible don’t completely ad-lib – we’re Masons! We should be able to memorize a short script! Allows you to get YOUR message across For lack on anything else, consider one of these topics: There are several short videos available on the internet on sites like YouTube. If you want to reuse one of those videos, make sure you preview it first. Be familiar with it so you can answer any questions people may have after watching it. Why did you join Masonry? What does Masonry mean to you? What do you enjoy MOST about your Lodge? Spotlight ONE of your Lodge’s events

20 Videos These days almost anybody with a fancy cell phone can make a video and put it on the internet A laptop and webcam, a digital camera, and even many smartphones are all you need to create videos and put them on the web.

21 Final Thought Masonry is a life-long commitment
Petitioning is not a decision that should be taken lightly Answer questions and give enough information so potential candidates can make an informed decision Don’t demean our fraternity or the application process by making it too easy or trivializing it. Make sure you’re your attitude insures visitors understand this is a serious decision.

22 Grand Lodge of Connecticut
Open House Training Seminar 30 July, 2011 Grand Lodge of Connecticut


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