Learning From Chapter Best Practices [National Conference]

Editor’s Note: The PRSSA 2011 National Conference is in Orlando from October 14-18. To follow the events live, use the Twitter hashtag #PRSSANC. All National Conference posts can be found here.

To kick off the PRSSA 2011 National Conference, some of the Society’s top Chapters shared their best practices for fundraising, recruitment, event planning and more, during Chapter Development Sessions. Use this advice from presenting Chapters to improve your membership and Chapter dynamic:

Programming Your Way To Be the Best Chapter in the Sea — University of Northern Iowa

• Identify possible program themes for your Chapter.
• Examine your already-established audiences.
• Utilize distant speakers via webinars and Skype.
• Don’t be afraid to reach out to well-known professionals to speak at your Chapter.

How Your Small Chapter Can Dominate National Competitions — University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh

• Research competitions extensively by conducting literature reviews, surveys and assessing past events.
• Plan for the competition by brainstorming, delegating tasks and providing deadlines.
• After the competition, implement a post-event survey, analyze statistics and measure objectives.

Once Upon at Time: Tell Your PRSSA Story — University of Nebraska Omaha

• To improve diversity, recruit members from all majors.
• When fundraising, ensure you have items to hand out that provide more information about your Chapter.
• Grow your PRSA family by arranging shadow days with PRSA members for real-world advice.

Cash In On Communication: Reaching Your Fundraising Goal — Kent State University

• Reach out to your network, alumni, professors and advisers for financial support and guidance to reach fundraising goals.
• Instead of hosting numerous small fundraisers, plan a few larger ones that will net more financial benefit.
• Show your appreciation by writing a thank-you note to those who have supported you.

Seeing the World, One Agency Visit at a Time — Grand Valley State University

• Plan agency visits outside of your university’s area to gain a greater network of professionals.
• Introduce your members to various industries such as corporate, boutique and nonprofit.

DePaul PRSSA’s Favorite Things — DePaul University

• Talking to classes and using word-of-mouth strategies will encourage students to join your Chapter early.
• Work with PRSA and young professional organizations near you to maximize networking for members.

Dialogue Across the Divide —  Elon University

• Use social media strategically to reach out to members.
• Engage your members with hands on experience by delegating work.
• Build meaningful relationships between executive board and general members.

Changing Perceptions: How to Rebrand Your Chapter — University of Delaware

• It’s important to measure the perceptions of each key audience.
• Communication must be interactive and engaging.
• Constantly evaluate your Chapter’s performance.

Thanks to these great Chapters for sharing their tips and advice to the attendees at the PRSSA National Conference!

What are some of your Chapter’s best practices? In what areas does your Chapter succeed and how?

This is a guest post by Marisa Strupp, Purdue University Chapter vice president of communication. You can follow her on Twitter @risastrupp.

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