So you followed the recruitment tips, and your Chapter is full of new members. Now what? While increasing membership is good, getting members actively involved in your Chapter is even better. Here are the “AEIOUs” of getting your members involved:
If your meetings usually involve the executive board talking at the general membership, try making it more of a conversation. Ask your members what they would like to take away from meetings or what speakers and topics they would like to see covered.
Upperclassmen, who tend to have more PRSSA experience, may intimidate some freshmen. Encourage your underclassmen members to get involved by setting up committees to accomplish some of your Chapter’s tasks. If you’re planning a fundraiser, hosting an event, or working on your monthly newsletter, encourage underclassmen to get involved.
It doesn’t matter how strong your events are if no one attends. Make sure your members are informed of events, meetings and opportunities to get involved. Use email, newsletters and social media to keep members updated on organization happenings.
One of the easiest ways to get members involved is to have events they are interested in. Take time at general meetings to brainstorm event, speaker and/or fundraising ideas. Ask other PRSSA Chapters what has worked for them. Make meetings more exciting by bringing in a speaker from your sponsoring PRSA Chapter, or stream a webinar on a topic of interest.
Find out what industries members are interested in, and get them involved by using those interests to help them gain practical experience. Ask graphic design majors to help with posters for events, or ask journalism majors to write articles about events for the school newspaper or Chapter newsletter. By getting these students to help by doing something they already enjoy, it will be easy and mutually beneficial for them to get involved.
It’s important to remember that having a large number of members is not always as important as having members who are actively engaged and excited about their PRSSA Chapter.
What does your Chapter do to get students excited about PRSSA? What best practices have helped encourage students to actively participate in your Chapter?
Katlin Hess is the vice president of public relations for the Mercyhurst College PRSSA Chapter. She received her bachelor’s degree from Mercyhurst in strategic communications and visual media and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in organizational leadership.