Strategies to Increase Awareness of Your Chapter: Officers, Take Heed!
A common challenge for Psi Chi officers is learning how to spread the word about your chapter to members, potential members, and others in the community. So how can your chapter do a better job of disseminating information?
Everyone has a unique approach to news and the many places where we look to receive it. And that’s Ok! However, consider for a moment how this might complicate matters for a communicator trying relay a message to a large number of people. There are so many platforms to broadcast your message that you could never possibly implement them all! That's why it is vital that you ask around first to see where your members receive their news (e.g., e-mail, social media). Then, spread your message across those platforms to ensure that it reaches as many people as possible.
We recently published a blog post about this called, “Getting Students Excited About Your Chapter.” It contains lots of ideas for instituting annual chapter goals, creating engaging meeting content, and showing everyone the value in participation. In that article, the first point of advice was to “increase your chapter communications!” Today’s blog post expands upon that suggestion. Here are six forms of communication (with examples!) that could create additional interest and engagement for your chapter!
1. Create an E-Mail List
Do you have an e-mail list for your chapter? If not, you’ll want to start building one immediately. A LOT of people in college regularly check their e-mail, so this is generally a very effective platform. Some tips:
- Consider assigning a specific officer at your chapter who is dedicated to chapter communications such as e-mails.
- Make an e-mail sign-up sheet available at all chapter meetings.
- Include alumni in your e-mails, in case they would like to continue participating with your chapter!
- Don’t send too many e-mails. All chapters are different, but one e-mail per week is probably more than enough!
- Make sure that you provide an option at the bottom of each e-mail with instructions for how to “Unsubscribe.” Failing to do this could result in your e-mails landing in spam folders.
2. Establish a Chapter Presence on Facebook
A lot of chapters are doing a great job on Facebook! For example, the chapter at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (@utcpsichi) posts regularly about local events and relevant psychology-related articles. Looking for ideas for your chapter’s Facebook page? Be sure to explore these Facebook pages as well: @HELPUniversityPSiChi, @KSCPsiChi, @PsiChiNWMSU, and @PsiChiUMW. You are also invited to follow and share posts from the Psi Chi Central Office: @PsiChiCentralOffice
3. Don’t Forget Other Social Media Platforms, Too!
Instagram and Twitter have also become extremely popular platforms in recent years. And just because someone checks Instagram regularly, this does not mean that they frequent other social media. Try taking advantage of multiple platforms to spread the word about your chapter. This will also provide you with the opportunity to tailor information on each platform to support different audiences’ needs (e.g., career advice on LinkedIn or community service opportunities on Instagram and Facebook). Here are some outstanding chapter Instagram pages: @psichi_txst, @psichi_uprrp, and @psichi.uiuc. And here are some on Twitter: @PsiChiatVCU, @PsiChiUMW, @LSUPsiChi, and @UAPsychClub. The Psi Chi Central Office is on Instagram (@psichihonor) and Twitter (@psichihonor) too. See you there!
4. Release a Regular Newsletter
The Psi Chi Newsletter, an annual publication produced by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Chapter, is packed full of interviews with local psychology faculty and professionals. Take a look and think about whether this sort of publication might be handy for your chapter and community. This newsletter has a complete Table of Contents section, chapter contact information, and student snapshots too. To learn more, be sure to check out our recent magazine article, “Starting a Chapter Newsletter.”
5. Team Up With Other Local Publications
There are probably several established publications in your area that are hungry for relevant content and would be eager to share news about your chapter. Consider submitting Psi Chi stories and upcoming events to campus news organizations, your psychology department’s newsletter, and any relevant social media pages in your community!
6. Post Bulletin Boards and Flyers
Take advantage of the traffic in your psychology department halls and other places around campus. Posting flyers and brochures can attract new people who are not currently a part of your chapter. Psi Chi Central Office also provides posters and a flyer that officers and advisors can download and print for free.
In conclusion, we at the Psi Chi Central Office are here to serve you! Please let us know if you have any questions or other thoughts about managing or promoting your chapter. We look forward to sharing more articles like this in the coming months; be sure log in and subscribe above!