Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Anyone in Jackson Willing to Scout Billboard Locations?

I think it would be great to have an atheist billboard in Mississippi. It looks like the Freedom From Religion Foundation is interested in placing a billboard in every state and is especially interested in state capitals. According to their web page on the subject, this is what they need from us:

1. When you're out and about, take note of promising billboard sites and locations. Contact the billboard company (whose name is on the bottom of the board) to ask about availability and costs. Most companies will shoot you an email with a photograph, estimated daily traffic figures, and monthly costs. This information can be forwarded to Annie Laurie Gaylor.

If the board you're interested in isn't available, ask the company for suggestions of promising sites. FFRF relies on a local contact to scope out billboard locations and confirm they are in a good spot, that trees, etc., aren't obscuring their view, etc.

Once a location is agreed on, FFRF asks for a nonprofit rate (sometimes extended), and signs the contract directly.

What's a good site? As a nonprofit, FFRF has managed to find moderately priced billboards, but some have been less expensive in rural areas and a few flashy boards in urban areas far more expensive. A smaller "poster" billboard by the side of a downtown building in a nice area may actually be better than a high-priced billboard on a freeway. It's a bonus if the billboard location permits easy access for photographs by media (and souvenir photographs by members!).

Accessibility and visibility of a billboard site is probably more important than traffic estimates for FFRF purposes. Thousands may zoom past a billboard on the highway without heeding our sign. But a smaller billboard in a pleasant, well-known urban location (particularly by state capitols or courthouses, landmarks or tourist sites) may attract more media attention.

2. You may donate toward the billboard campaign. Some of the billboards placed in the past year by FFRF have been suggested and paid for entirely or partly by generous local members. Others have been paid for via the Billboard Fund, a pool of contributions collected for this purpose. (Just earmark your check or Paypal contribution for the "Billboard Fund.") All donations to the Foundation are deductible for income-tax purposes.
What do you think? Anyone in the Jackson area willing to do some scouting?