Promoting your organization is essential. In the past, on The Happy Arkansan, we discussed five great ways to get your organization noticed on campus. I have a plethora of other ideas for getting your organization seen, so I wanted to share those today. You can use these ideas for a sorority, or any other campus group. Don't be afraid to experiment and try these ideas out!
1. Bring Puppies To Campus During Midterms/Finals Week
Puppies are amazing, aren’t they? What better way to relieve stress during finals week and midterms than all the puppies? Bringing puppies would take a lot of university approval, but if you could find a way to work with a local animal shelter to bring puppies/dogs to campus I am sure your university community would love you.
Put this event somewhere accessible like by the library or in front of the student union so that people on campus are likely to see your puppies.
Many schools are already doing something like this, take a look at this awesome list of schools. Do your research and take steps to make this a reality for students at your school.
2. Give Out Flowers During Valentine’s Day (Or Any Day Really!)
Flowers are such a nice gesture, especially during Valentine’s Day. Stand out in front of the Student Union and give out a free flower to people as they are walking in our out of the union. Have your organization’s name written on the card attached to the flower, or wear your organization’s shirt while handing out the flowers to make sure people know who is hosting the event.
Flowers are a nice gesture any day of the year, so any day you decide to do this event will be a nice day to do this–especially during the spring when it’s nice outside.
3. Attend A Registered Student Organization Fair
One of the easiest ways to get your organization’s name out there is to attend the RSO fair. Most campuses have these at least once a year during the fall (some even have them during the spring semester.) Make sure you sign up for any of these days as they come around.
Your school may also have a fair during big recruiting days. When I was an Ambassador in college I had to work our Information Days (we called them Bear Facts Days.) We had an event during this called the Bear Fair (we were the UCA Bears in case you didn’t recognize this by now.)
During the Bear Fair all of our student organizations could register to set up a table so they could talk to prospective students before they even stepped foot on campus. See if your school has a similar organization fair for prospective students.
When you attend an RSO fair (for current or prospective students), you need to have something that pulls people to your table besides just your beautiful face. Do a raffle, giveaway free items (branded pens, frisbees, etc. anyone?), you could even give out free candy. It doesn’t matter if the prize is small or big, just as long as it gets people to your table.
4. Host A Movie Night
Movies are fun, free popcorn and pizza are even nicer. Host a movie night (and during an election year you could even host a debate watch party if you belong to an organization like the Political Science Club.)
People want to interact with others and watch things with other people, but they don’t want to pay. If you could get a movie soon after it releases or even have a Netflix party, this could be a great way to bring people to your organization to get to know you.
Get lots of boxes of pizza, some bottled water/canned sodas, along with some great popcorn, and you have yourself a great night ahead. Host this movie night on a field or in a place with tiered seating for maximum impact.
5. Leave Candy Bags In Classrooms
If you are an academic organization, this idea is 100% perfect for you. Back to my collegiate days again! During finals week the Sociology Club at my school made treat bags and then distributed them to various classrooms during finals that sociology classes were taught in. If you have a block of courses that you know specific majors usually hang out in, pass out candy bags.
You could even reach outside of your department if you thought that they might be interested in becoming a member of your organization. For example, if a Sociology Club is providing the candy bags, they may also decide to leave some candy bags in the Political Science and Gender Studies classrooms if they think that people who study those topics would be interested in the events they are hosting.
6. Work With Other Organizations That Have Similar Values Or Goals
If you have other organizations that share your values or your goals–work with them. For example, if you have an organization that focuses on women and women’s rights–find other organizations that have the same goals.
If you are a sorority, maybe find another sorority or fraternity whose charity is similar to yours and work on something together.
Two heads are better than one when it comes to hosting a larger event, so team up with a group on your campus to host a promotional event.
7. Get Your Members Business Cards With Group Information On Them
Sometimes your members will meet someone who seems like they would be an excellent fit for the organization, and they want to make 100% sure that person knows how to find the organization. For these cases, create a business card with all of your organization’s information.
Make sure you share all of your social media profiles, on the business card as well as a way to contact the person who is in charge of recruiting for the organization. Provide a few of these business cards for your members to put in their wallet and hand out as they attend classes, go to lunch, or hang out with friends.
There are many places to get business cards. Some of my favorite places are:
With all these choices for cute business cards, you are sure to find one that resonates with your organization.
8. Host A Tailgate During Football Season
If you live in the south like me, you know that football season is a huge deal. Depending on your school, this can be a great promotion activity. Get a tailgate spot and show up at each game. Bring great food, good music, and fun things to do at your tailgate. Make sure that your members are having fun, and want to be there. Show your school spirit with other organizations and have a good time.
If you want to combine this point and number six, host a joint tailgate with another organization at one of your tailgate spots for a game. Finding a way to connect with other organizations can even make your organization look bigger (especially if you both have small-to-medium organizations) which will help you both with recruitment.
Tailgating is an enjoyable part of football season (and honestly one of the only parts I went to after my freshman year) so finding a way to capitalize on that is great for any organization.
9. Use Social Media & A Website To Promote Your Organization
If you are not using social media (and potentially a website) to promote your organization, what are you doing? Get on the social media platforms where your ideal member hangs out at. Most college students love Instagram and Snapchat so make sure you are utilizing at least one platform to get your name out there.
Check out my post How To Create Irresistible Sorority Social Media Profiles, it’s related to sororities specifically, but I feel that this information is beneficial for a lot of people who want to create great social media profiles for their organizations.
10. Make Sure You Have Press Available At Your Major Events
Last, but certainly not least, make sure that the press knows about any of your significant events. Contact your school and cities newspaper and nightly news shows to let them know that your organization is doing something awesome. Contacting press is an important step, but one a lot of people skip over, people still read the paper and watch the news so you should always include your events there.
Furthermore, if your school has a daily digest of happenings going on around campus, make sure your events get put in that digest. Shockingly, people read that too, so you want your event to be in that as well.
There are multiple ways to get your campus organization noticed! Have fun, think outside the box, and think about all the cool ways you can reach your school's students. Also, think about the larger community of your college town. When should all be talking about the amazing things we are doing around town!