The Reach - Phi Theta Kappa's Blog

The Reach

All the latest information, news and stories to inspire and inform Phi Theta Kappa members

To Increase Membership, Communication Counts

To Increase Membership, Communication Counts

During its spring conference, the Indiana Region celebrated a few milestones: At least six chapters increased membership by 5 percent or more, and more students completed Five Star Competitive Edge than in the previous seven years combined.

We asked Regional Coordinator Dr. Leo Studach to tell us how the region achieved these highpoints. In both circumstances, it was clear — consistent communication was key.

(Editor’s Note: The following was written and submitted by Dr. Leo Studach. It has been edited for clarity.)

Increasing Membership

Over the past two or three years, usually at our regional summer planning meeting, we take time to discuss and share strategies for effective recruitment. Also, the regional officers are encouraged to maintain good communication with their assigned chapters, and occasionally they will touch on this topic.

Finally, regional officers over the past few years have been incredibly supportive when it comes to induction ceremonies. Already this year we’ve visited 15 or 16 chapters, and that shows chapters and their new members we are committed to making PTK a stellar experience.

A few chapters choose to do summer recruitment for two reasons. One, students who are new or returning to college have the opportunity to join PTK right away; and second, these students have the opportunity to engage with the chapter on projects or attend our summer planning event.

Even as campuses are quieter in the summer, that may mean your PTK members have fewer classes — and this means the opportunity to meet, plan and fellowship before the fall rush!

The 2018-19 regional officers are setting a goal for a 5 percent increase in regional membership. It’s a lofty goal, but working together and maintaining consistent communication with our members, we think it can be achieved.

Competitive Edge

Sustaining regular communication across a region is incredibly important to engagement, particularly when it comes to attendance at regional conferences and regional programming. With a sustained push from our 2017-18 regional officers, we had 18 of our 24 chapters in attendance at the spring regional conference.

Even more impressive was a record number of chapter members and advisors completing Competitive Edge. Not only does communication count when it comes to engaging students, we also know those soft skills are critically important in the workplace.

So how did the Indiana Region see this record Competitive Edge completion? First, direct contact with chapter officers. Each year, during our spring officer training session, Indiana Regional Officers select four or five chapters and maintain regular communication with their assigned chapters. They remind students and advisors about upcoming programming opportunities, regional conferences, and, of course, Competitive Edge.

Second, they held sessions at local campuses and had breakout sessions at our regional events. A sustained effort counts. Third, those who complete Competitive Edge are recognized at the Spring Regional Convention and also challenged to pass along their enthusiasm for Competitive Edge.

Practicing soft skills like effective communication and etiquette are super important when it comes to the classroom, going for a job interview, and seeking promotions. Competitive Edge gives you that and more — and it’s a great learning experience.



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