May 15, 2012

Branding Your Chapter

Recruitment isn’t the only time of year to focus on marketing your chapter. Every day is an opportunity to show off the Alpha Phi lifestyle to potential new members, your campus community and other onlookers. Here are a few strategies to keep in mind while promoting your Alpha Phi home:

1. Keep a Blog. Beginning and maintaining a chapter blog is cheap, easy and fun. Examples of entertaining posts include a philanthropy event recap, a feature on a member who received an award, or an account of a sister’s travels while studying abroad. Keep posts concise but personal, and include pictures! Try websites like Blogger or Wordpress for free, customizable templates. For a great example, check out this blog created by the Omicron chapter (Mizzou).

2. Find Friends and Followers. Speaking of social media, blogging isn’t your only option. Facebook and Twitter aren’t only used for procrastination—they’re a marketer’s best friends. If you haven’t yet, create Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep viewers updated on chapter activities, and be sure to submit the links to Alpha Phi’s Executive Office so your pages appear on the Chapter Locator page. Interact with alumnae, organizations on your campus and other Alpha Phi chapters to spread your reach. Creating events or hashtags for philanthropy or recruitment activities can also be used to inform and generate buzz.

3. Invite Your Professors to Dinner.  Hosting an all-chapter “Professor Dinner” at a local venue or your chapter house can showcase Alpha Phi’s commitment to scholarship. Inviting professors, coaches or advisors for good food and conversation welcomes them to experience Alpha Phi and see it in a positive light. Introducing them to chapter advisors and giving house tours can also build connections between academic personnel and the extracurricular group you love.

4. Organize a Pen Drop. Everyone loves free stuff. Last year, my chapter came up with a creative way to market Alpha Phi and give away some useful utensils. During the first week of spring semester, we orchestrated a campus-wide “pen drop” of hundreds of ballpoints that read: “Alpha Phi wishes you a successful semester!” We left these pens all over campus—in the library, cafeteria, classrooms, and offices. The pen drop got our name out on campus, as well as in many students’ backpacks.

5. Be Panhellenic! Just like you chose Alpha Phi as the right fit for you, the women of other houses chose their sorority home for a reason. Keep that in mind, especially before recruitment. Putting down other organizations on campus doesn’t give them a bad reputation—it gives you a bad reputation. This is extremely evident to potential new members who are concerned about the catty sorority stereotypes. Showing respect for everyone in the Greek community can be one of the best marketing tools you have.

Maria Opatz is a collegiate member at Drake (Gamma Omicron). Read her bio here.

No comments: