Editor’s Note: This post was written by Dr. Aariel Charbonnet, Phi Theta Kappa’s Manager of Member Support and Outreach, and Heather Yush, Phi Theta Kappa’s Director of Membership Services.
In higher education, the holiday season signals the end of the fall academic term — students are busy studying for final exams, completing class projects, and anxiously awaiting their winter vacation. Now, more than ever, it is critical to equip prospective members at your chapter with the resources they’ll need to learn more about PTK and accept membership over the holiday break. To accomplish this, take some time to make one, final membership recruitment push on your campus this term.
Here are five tips to grow membership at your chapter during the holiday season. (Remember: these tips can be effective year-round.) But, they are critical before a holiday break to ensure your chapter’s membership success. Eligible students have earned and deserve the opportunity to accept membership in Phi Theta Kappa. We do not want school closure to pose a barrier to access our organization and potentially life-changing benefits. So here are some things advisors and chapter officers can do:
- Before you dash off campus and temporarily “unplug” from your school and/or work email, set up an out-of-office-reply that includes contact information for Phi Theta Kappa Headquarters. PTK Headquarters staff will respond to emails and voicemails over the Christmas break to assist students in accepting membership before the deadline. Sample out-of-office response: “If you have an inquiry about joining Phi Theta Kappa, please direct all correspondence to ptk.org/contact or email@example.com for immediate assistance over the holiday break.”
- Organize a holiday potluck or “Lunch and Learn” on Phi Theta Kappa membership. Face-to-face interaction will personalize PTK membership for prospective members on your campus. Fellowship with festive food and games will create a memorable end-of-the-year celebration.
- Plan a phone-a-thon membership drive as a final activity for your officer team. It is important to meet your peers “where” they are. (And one “place” you’ll likely find other students is on their phones.) Encourage prospective members to ask questions about PTK and assist them in accepting membership.
- In the spirit of meeting students “where” they are, encourage prospective and current members on your campus to go online. Change your profile frame on Facebook to the #IAMPTK frame. Encourage your administrators, faculty, staff, advisors, and members to do the same! Additionally, register for our free webinar, Why Accept Membership in PTK, on Wednesday, December 6th, from 6 – 7 p.m. CT. Finally, send an email blast to the prospective members on your campus, personally inviting them to accept membership and provide the registration link to the December 6th webinar. Share some of your membership story in the email. Personalization is key to recruiting new members.
- Maximize access to membership at your local chapter by promoting PTK Catalyst 2018. Tell prospective members via email, social media, and in person that they could be a part of history at this once-in-a-lifetime Centennial celebration. As we like to say at PTK Headquarters, “We only turn 100 years old once!” PTK Catalyst will take place April 19-21 in Kansas City, Missouri, and our goal is to host 6,000 attendees. Hear from our renowned speakers: Leadership Expert and Best-Selling Author Susan Cain, Social Psychologist and Best-Selling Author Amy Cuddy, and Tony and Grammy-Award Winner Daveed Diggs. Meet with four-year university representatives at one of two college fairs, and gain personal and professional development through our Education Forums.
Serving as a strong ambassador for your local Phi Theta Kappa chapter plays an invaluable role in your chapter’s success. A robust membership base is a substantial first step in paving the way to Five Star Chapter success! (To view your chapter’s current progress, click here.) Finish strong this year!