Editor’s Note: This post was written by Anne McLeod, Membership Services Specialist — Division 1, and Onjalai Flake, Membership Services Specialist — Division 4. Anne and Onjalai are PTK alumnae.
A few years ago, I attended the graduation ceremony at my college to support my friends and fellow Phi Theta Kappa members. After the ceremony, one of the members approached me and said, “If it wasn’t for you and your enthusiasm, I would never have joined PTK. I’m fortunate that I didn’t miss out on this opportunity.” This was certainly a fabulous compliment, but completely unexpected. I didn’t realize I had that kind of impact on someone.
This experience taught me two things — you never know who you may be inspiring, and your enthusiasm is contagious. Think about why you became a member. What inspired you to join? After you answer these questions, consider how your personal story might engage your chapter’s new and potential members.
We acknowledge that being enthusiastic isn’t always enough to convince others to take advantage of the life-changing benefits of membership. Does your chapter participate in New Student Orientation or club fairs? Does your chapter collaborate with other organizations on campus? If the answer is yes, you may still hear people ask, “What is PTK?”
The Alpha Lambda Zeta Chapter at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, Connecticut, faced a similar challenge and came up with a creative way to address it. Chapter officers and members thought outside the box and approached the college’s marketing professor for advice on increasing awareness.
The professor allowed his class to revamp the chapter’s marketing approach by redesigning the chapter logo and using strategic messaging to raise awareness of PTK on their campus. It didn’t take long to notice the results. The chapter’s orientation attendance increased, and more students accepted that semester than in previous years. The chapter has continued to utilize these marketing strategies to steadily increase membership.
Here are four things to consider as you develop strategies to recruit new members this spring:
- Know your story — Why did you join PTK? How has it benefited you? Be prepared to share with potential members, professors, and family members.
- Get excited — Most of my purchases are a result of personal testimonies from someone who loved a product. Phi Theta Kappa is no different. Enthusiasm is contagious. Share the experience.
- Be creative — Whether it’s a taking a marketing course or recording a commercial to be featured on your campus radio station, how can your chapter utilize the resources around you?
- Be aware of the barriers to membership acceptance on your campus — Is it financial? Is it a misunderstanding of what PTK is or requirements for membership? Does your chapter/campus offer membership fee waivers to eligible students who can’t afford it? If you understand the barriers, you will be equipped to answer any questions that arise.
Putting these tips into action comes with a bonus — they will help you grow you as a leader and encourage you to develop and utilize soft skills that will prepare you for the workforce.
Need more recruiting ideas? Check out our recruitment toolkit online.