If you are running the group for a political party office or party affiliated subgroups or any other public group, make sure that the responses by any interested people come to you, even though the particular agency may have helped with the initial publicity. Then you can establish a group listing, with your own favorite means of reaching such a group (Facebook, e-mail, etc.) and take over the reins of communication. I do request a “Did-you-know–we-are- sponsoring- a -political –book- club?” reminder now and then from the organizing agency, again listing my own name and contact information for the response.
Even people who do not attend the meetings will often stay on the list to get information on upcoming books, if a few simple courtesies are followed. I try to limit my communications, although there is a cluster of contacts during the time you are giving all a chance to vote on books, explained further in the November 10 blog. Once schedules are set up, and your participants understand basic operational procedures (see next section), you can get by with just these:
a memo about 10 days before the meeting week with details of the meeting, a request for a donation of simple refreshments
a memo shortly after the meeting week, presenting any input or suggestions from the participants, along with the reminder of the next book with a brief summary of what it is about- and a personal welcome to first-time attendees. Sometimes they will have a ballot with a slate of books from which they can vote for their favorite.
I utilize the blind copy option in the e-mails, and if you don’t do that, I suggest that you periodically remind members that they should reply only to you, not to all. I ask people to RSVP only if they plan to attend meetings. Tables and chairs and refreshments are arranged, based on an approximate count.