A Unique Challenge + A Creative Response = Success

By Stephanie Geiser, Beta Upsilon Chapter ’11, Senior Region Consultant

Many Chapters rely on a mailing list of eligible students for their recruitment. However, as privacy laws change, more and more Chapters are becoming unable to utilize this very valuable resource. So then the challenge presents itself…how do you recruit well without a mailing list?

The Alpha Zeta Chapter at York College of Pennsylvania knows this challenge all too well. In fall 2011, the Alpha Zeta Chapter learned right before recruitment was schedule to start that it could no longer receive a prospective member mailing list. As a result, the Chapter’s fall recruitment number suffered, with the Chapter inducting less than 50% of its average fall induction number.

However, instead of letting this get the Chapter down, Brothers rallied in the spring to come up with creative ways to recruit effectively – absent the mailing list.

Here are some tactics the Chapter implemented that may help your Chapter:

  • Incorporated a puzzle theme to show consistency through its marketing pieces.
  • Advertised rush events using various media including Facebook, York College’s online portal, campus television station and campus radio.
  • Posted posters and table tents in various locations on campus.
  • Placed handbills (mini-posters) in all of the student organization and resident assistant mailboxes.
  • Handed out candy, handbills and purple pens with Phi Sigma Pi in gold letters printed on them during two days of tabling at an information table (decorated with purple and gold balloons) in the campus Student Union.

Once the Chapter had prospective members at their information sessions, the Brothers ensured that the Chapter’s information sessions were strong. Brothers made a concerted effort to be friendly and welcoming to attendees. During the session, the Chapter gave prospective members a brief overview of Phi Sigma Pi, along with the specific requirements necessary to gain membership. (For more information session tips, review the National Mock Information Session presentation and Information Session Tips sheet.)

Above all, the Chapter started their recruitment advertising early – about three weeks before rush started – and the entire Chapter was involved. The rush/PR committee had regular meetings and each committee member contributed ideas, supported each event in some way and led at least one rush event.

All of this hard work paid off. The Alpha Zeta Chapter inducted triple the number of new Members in spring 2012 than it had in spring 2011. This was more than 50% of the prospective members who attended the Chapter’s information sessions. I’d call this a huge success!

Is your Chapter experiencing difficulty acquiring a mailing list? Take notes from Alpha Zeta Chapter and get creative! For more creative recruitment tactics, check out our Recruitment 365 handout.

Start early and get all Brothers on board for a successful recruitment season.

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