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.
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.
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.