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I have this idea that posting flyers is unique to city living.

Posting a flyer inside the Union Square record shop

It’s not, exactly. As a kid in New Jersey, my family sometimes pinned notices about kittens (FREE!) to the local grocery store bulletin board. Summers, I hand wrote bubble-letter yard sale announcements on bright pink poster paper.

Unstraight and the Clear Deigns show announcement

I’d claim flyering in the ‘burbs plays “rarely-visiting distant cousin” to the “endless house guest” of taking to the streets with packing tape, cracked box of pushpins secured with a rubber band, and slowly wrinkling stack of flyers tucked under an arm as one narrow-eyes a telephone pole, wondering how long a notice might stay before someone else covers it up, or rips it down . . .

Triple portrait in window - Phoebe, David, cyclist

This weekend, my partner and I flyered for his band’s upcoming show in Somerville. I’ve beat the streets fairly consistently since my days organizing the Boston NOW Feminist Culture Club (defunct) and Boston Knit-Out & Crochet festivals (re-imagined), also frequently flyering for my current job. So I had a few ropes to share with David: do’s and dont’s, whys and hows of this decidedly analog approach to getting out the word.

Phoebe’s flyering dos and don’ts
DO design your flyer to catch the eye and make good use of white space
DO include a call to action (i.e. “COME to our wicked-awesome dance party!”)
DO post wherever you find a dedicated board – check libraries, coffee shops, post offices, supermarkets, thrift stores, ice cream parlors, and realtors – and it’s polite to ask before posting if the pizza guy is staring you down while flipping his dough
DO use flyering as an opportunity to better get to know your neighborhood AND grab a treat while you’re out

DON’T cover up someone else’s flyer, if at all possible (DO exercise your Tetris skills and shift other flyers around -removing any that have expired – until everybody fits)
DON’T flyer near signs that read “post no bills,” especially if the flyer has your name and contact
DON’T flyer at colleges, universities, or city offices unless you’ve secured clearance -they patrol and your flyer might be removed immediately (what we-in-the-business call “wasted effort”)

Union Square donut and ice coffee


Our treat, while in Union Square, Somerville, was to finally get a taste of the popular new donuts I’d been hearing so much about. Lucky for us, there were none of the purported lines or long sold out pastries, and all of the clever flavors, cheerful, enthusiastic staff, and fluffy-buttery deliciousness. Yum!

Donut case and ice coffee chalkboard sign

Snuffy doll atop sign invites people into the donut shop