Engagement isn’t just for your social media accounts. Actively working to engage with your campus and local community can positively impact your chapter’s reputation. The fraternal community is constantly having to push back against a sensationalized image portrayed in the media. Your chapter stands for much more than that, so it’s time to share what you’re really about.
In ourChapter Leader Playbook series, we cover how to optimize and leverage the resources you’ve been given by National, how to keep your chapter flourishing and tools that are essential to any successful chapter leader.
TELL YOUR CHAPTER’S STORY
Your organization may have a strong National presence, but what about in your local community? With a nation-wide organization, there is an inevitable difference between chapters from campus to campus. Your campus and local community are part of what makes you unique.
Before you put your plan in place to generate local interest, your chapter should spend some time discussing your chapter culture, values and the image you want to present to your community. Ask yourself what sets your chapter apart?
- Do you have the highest cumulative GPA on campus?
- Have you raised the most funds for your philanthropy?
- Do you offer extensive personal and professional development programming for members?
- Did your members put in the most volunteer hours?
Develop a cohesive story that expresses what you want your chapter to be known for and make sure it’s consistent with how you are actually operating.
FOUR FOCUS AREAS FOR YOUR CHAPTER’S PUBLIC RELATIONS
Whether you are a new or established chapter, you’ll benefit from building positive public relations (PR) on campus and in your local community. This could result in volunteer opportunities for your members and support from local businesses for event sponsorship.
You want to share all the positive work your chapter is doing, but where do you even start? Regardless if you are a PR Chair, chapter officer, or a committee member, there are four areas you can keep in mind when building the foundation for a strong local network:
#1 GET A TEAM TOGETHER
When it comes to getting the word out, two is better than one. Enlist chapter members, volunteers, and leaders who can help generate ideas and share in the task load. If enough people are interested, form a committee that can bring energy to your chapter’s plan. Work together to develop a plan that includes activities that align with your chapter story.
#2 ENGAGE COMMUNITY LEADERS
Garnering support from campus and community leaders can lead to positive word-of-mouth marketing for your chapter. Can you have the chapter volunteer for any of their events or activities? If your chapter is already established in the community, remember that their support is not guaranteed. Keep in communication to sustain and continue building on those important relationships.
#3 CONNECT WITH NATIONAL
You don’t need to do it all on your own. Leverage the expertise and resources that National has available. Reach out to your point-of-contact at National and discuss what help is available to you. Take the tools and resources available and adapt them to the unique needs of your chapter.
#4 PLAN SUCCESSFUL EVENTS
Chapter events provide a platform to share your chapter’s values and increase your membership pipeline. Events give your chapter the opportunity to interact in-person with your campus and local community, giving you big potential in terms of networking.
While it can be exciting to watch your social media interactions increase, it’s clear that the real engagement is the interactions your chapter has on campus and in your community. These relationships can have a tangible impact on your membership pipeline. In the next post in our Chapter Leader Playbook, we examine how asking the right chapter finance and accounting questions can impact your chapter operations.