PRomoting Your Chapter to Success

Getting the word out about your Chapter on-campus and in the community is absolutely vital in order to have a successful year. Promotion, if done correctly, provides the necessary interactions with prominent campus leaders, boosts membership and establishes mutually beneficial relationships with local organizations. These goals, however, can be difficult – especially if your Chapter is young or unknown.

Promote your Chapter to success with these considerations:

Meet the Right People
Make an effort to meet for lunch or set up a coffee date with the prominent decision makers on your campus. Inform them that you would simply like to introduce your Chapter and explain how your work is benefiting the campus.

Share a detailed and well-designed booklet of information. This should include the history of PRSSA, its mission, facts about your Chapter and its members and the events you have done/are planning. You may also want a less-detailed handout (for example, a flier promoting your next event) for those interested in participating but perhaps not fully joining PRSSA.

Also be sure to invite these new connections to your events.

PRSSA at LSU Chapter president Paige Weber speaks in front of a class. Photo by Alli Bixler.
PRSSA at LSU Chapter president Paige Weber speaks in front of a class. Photo by Alli Bixler.

Speak In Front of Classes
To properly promote your Chapter, work with your executive board and Faculty Adviser to schedule visits to relevant public relations, communication, advertising and/or marketing classes. Limit your presentation to 5-10 minutes and make sure you have encompassed the scope and benefits of joining PRSSA.

Widen Your Audience
PRSSA is not just for communications students – anyone interested in preparing for their career and learning to brand themselves properly can join. Consider business, integrated media, English and other majors. Different skill sets and perspectives add volume to your Chapter’s diversity and overall performance.

Work Well with Others
Get in touch with the on-campus groups and offer your public relations talents. This will not only provide members of your student-run firm great experience, but will also expand your on-campus network.

Make An Impression
Our role as public relations professionals is to insert our clients into the proper contexts and conversations. If you have not already, you should be strategizing ways for your Chapter to do this on campus. This can be a random act of kindness or an unexpected stunt that redirects all attention to you for a few minutes. When you are strategizing these events, don’t forget your call-to-action: Join PRSSA.

Community Involvement
One of the most important goals of your Chapter should be impacting the local community. Do your research – who needs your assistance? Where are they? How can you approach them? After you answer these questions, it is as simple as picking up the phone or stopping by their place of business to let them know who you are and that you would like to help in whatever capacity possible. You may be surprised who takes you up on your offer.

What ways are you promoting your PRSSA Chapter this year?

This is a guest post by PRSSA vice president of public relations Ben Butler. Follow him on Twitter @BenButlerPR.

3 thoughts on “PRomoting Your Chapter to Success

    • Author gravatar

      Good post, Ben. I have to emphasize your assertion, “PRSSA is not just for communications students…”–that can’t be overstated! I know many chapters do a great job of promoting to other Mass Media / Comms and journalism students, but what about those English and creative writing majors? Writing is a huge part of PR. And, what about those in the B-school–not just marketing, but management, business law & ethics, organizational leadership, small biz/entrepreneurship. And, don’t forget graphic design–it’s not just for advertising, international studies, urban studies, and agriculture. Any of these might have an interest in public relations.

      I know the Southeast Missouri State chapter (@PRSSASE) was actively recruiting at the Welcome Back Picnic and at the student involvement fair last week–both of which are open to ALL university students, not just those in the Comms area. (DISCLAIMER: Although I had nothing to do with those activities, I am their professional adviser so I’m a bit biased ;)).

    • Author gravatar

      Tressa,

      Thank you for such a positive response! I couldn’t agree more with you — I’ll never forget when PRSSA had a session at the 2012 PRSSA Leadership Rally devoted to Diversity. Diversity is an important consideration for every Chapter to keep in mind, not only in terms of race, but also in terms of fields of study.

      In the professional world very rarely do you find a PR Firm or team made entirely of PR people. It’s a balance of exactly what you stated — business people, graphic designers, writers and etc.

      And that’s great they were actively recruiting to any student interested. I think that’s incredibly important. PRSSA is for anyone looking to improve their personal branding efforts , as well as learn a bit more about how to promote the organizations they will one day represent.

      Thanks again for the feedback!

    • Author gravatar

      Correction above: should state “PRSSA 2012 Leadership Rally”

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