Editor’s Note: This post was written by Membership Services Specialist and PTK alumna Danya Stuart.
With Awareness Week (February 26-March 2) quickly approaching, we encourage chapters to actively recruit new members and promote the benefits of Phi Theta Kappa at their colleges. Two chapters, the Beta Nu Chi Chapter in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and the Rho Eta Chapter in Leesburg, Florida, offer a back-to-basics approach to membership recruitment. Even though we are living in the age of technology, the “old school” method of snail mail is much more effective for them.
According to Jacklyn Pierce, advisor of the Rho Eta Chapter at Lake-Sumter State College, Leesburg, today’s students are inundated with notifications from Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, and many other sources. While email is still technology-driven, it is the grandfather of technological communication. Also, students receive multiple emails related to school, personal relationships, and work. It is less likely they will see their email invitation when they have numerous messages competing for their attention. How can chapters address this issue?
Advisor Dan Rooney at Western Technical College’s Beta Nu Chi Chapter shared a few strategies his chapter uses — other than emailing — to promote PTK and recruit new members.
- Schedule several information sessions at varying times to accommodate all the different groups of students on campus (i.e. traditional, online, evening, dually enrolled, etc.)
- Start a fund to help cover the cost of membership for those with financial challenges. Reach out to the college foundation and any other group on campus that might be interested in helping students be recognized for their success. Promote PTK’s Golden Opportunity Scholarship, which opens February 19.
- Host open house meetings where food is provided so that current and prospective members can learn about the benefits PTK has to offer.
Rooney said the personal involvement and dedication of his chapter’s advisors play a role in member involvement. If members see that PTK is a priority to advisors, they are more likely to make it a priority themselves.
Do not get me wrong. “New school” methods are very important to incorporate into your chapter’s awareness and recruitment plans. However, it is also very important that you don’t forget how effective the basics can be.
One last note: Get creative! Here’s a short list of some of the more creative membership recruitment strategies our chapters reported in 2017.
- Provide the names of eligible students to your academic advisors and student success coaches.
- Host a costume ball and invite all students to participate, not just members.
- Set up Awareness Week photo booths, where students use fun photo props and costumes. Post the photos in a high-traffic place and on your college’s social media channels.
- Start PTK Spirit Day, where all members and officers wear their chapter’s PTK shirts.
- Ask faculty or officers to present personal letters to each eligible member in classes.
- Ask your campus media staff or department to create a video highlighting your chapter’s achievements.
We’re looking forward to seeing what your chapter does for Awareness Week. Share your chapter’s efforts with us on social media using #IAMPTK or email firstname.lastname@example.org.