Editor's letter (August 27 issue)

One of the most important roles in any bird club is that of publicity officer. You need to be enthusiastic, well organised and confident, but you also need to be imaginative in order to come up with good ideas to promote your club. And you need to know what the media wants – and how they prefer it to be delivered.
I mention this because recently a reader grumbled to me that the only way his club could gain coverage in the pages of Cage & Aviary Birds was if he changed its name to Wirral Birdkeepers, or the Budgerigar Society of Ireland. I told him this was rubbish.
The reason those two clubs get coverage in our pages is not because we favour them over any other club, but because they continually let us know what is going on. Both clubs regularly send out press releases by email and make themselves available, either by email or phone, if we need to find out more. And they send pictures and a report after the event for inclusion.
Other clubs could learn a lot from the ways in which these organisations promote themselves.
The Wirral Birdkeepers are to be particularly commended for being so incredibly pro-active and imaginative in spreading the word about their activities. This coming weekend they’re attempting to break a world record (see News, page 3, in this week's issue) and attracting all kinds of media coverage, including local radio and press, as a result. This is brilliant for them, but also brilliant for birdkeeping as a whole, because it presents the hobby in a positive light.
So instead of complaining that Wirral Birdkeepers gets too much attention in Cage & Aviary Birds, how about taking a leaf out of their book and telling us all the great things your club is doing to promote the hobby? You know our address...