Fraternity and sorority chapters are always striving to have the best public relations. A chapter can reap incredible rewards by having a good image on campus; from higher recruitment numbers, increased potential new member interest, and busier social calendars, to healthier relations within the chapter, university awards, and positive recognition by their international headquarters. Here are some ways your chapter can improve its name and image on campus and within the Greek community.
Attend University Events as a Chapter
Not only will your attendance show your chapter’s school spirit and support of the university, but showing up as a chapter will present a strong image of unity and brother/sisterhood. It’s also a great opportunity for members to bond over their shared pride of the chapter.
Keep Drama within the House
Let’s face it, drama happens. However, just because drama occurs doesn’t mean it needs to involve the entire Greek community or university. To address these situations, some chapters institute “unwritten” social rules that all members, no matter what, must act politely and acknowledge each other in public. While this may seem “fake”, it can actually have positive effects as it requires members to speak and be civil to each other.
Throw Events Geared Toward Younger Students
If you have older members who are set in their ways (aren’t social, aren’t involved, or don’t want to socialize with certain chapters), try revamping your public relations with your younger members. Young members may be more willing to meet new people and try different things; they may even have some new, inventive ideas of their own!
Pledge/New Member Mixers
Expand your chapter’s social circle by hosting mixers for your pledge classes. Mixers can be same sex (sorority/sorority or fraternity/fraternity) or opposite sex (sorority/fraternity) and as elaborate as you want. This is a great way to show off your pledge class, socialize with other chapters, and get your new members to meet other Greeks.
Sport Your Letters!
This may seem like a simple thing to do, but never underestimate the power of your Greek letters. Assign a specific day each week for letters and make sure your members have plenty of chapter gear. Also, encourage your members to look their best when wearing their letters. While a sweatshirt and jeans is acceptable, you don’t want your members always looking like hobos in their letters.
Encourage Involvement in Non-Greek Organizations
A great way to improve public relations on campus is through member involvement in campus organizations. Whether your members play sports, are involved in cultural clubs, or have executive positions in student government, campus involvement gets your members meeting non-Greek students (potential new members) and shows the diversity of your chapter.
Go Above and Beyond for Other Chapters
Good public relations can be achieved through the tiniest of actions such as sending holiday cards, candy, or flowers. Keep a calendar of major events for every chapter (founder’s day, charter anniversary) as well as major holidays and put a little money aside in your budget for the presents. You’ll find that a little effort will go a long way.
Attend ALL Fraternity and Sorority Events
Just like with university events, make sure your chapter comes out in force to other chapters’ events. It never looks good when only three members of a chapter show up, and it makes other chapters even less inclined to show up to your events. If your members are less than willing, try creating “event teams” (six to ten members depending on your chapter size) and assign events to each team. This way, each team will be responsible for a specific event and also for each other’s attendance.
Don’t Forget Brother/Sisterhood
Good public relations depend on the internal strength of the chapter. Thus, don’t forget to work on your brother/sisterhood. Members will be more willing to attend events together, push each other to get involved, and, overall, have more fun and present a more positive image.
For more sorority- and fraternity-specific ideas on how to improve public relations… look no further!
- Coach sorority sports and attend sorority sport games
- Be friendly with ALL sororities, even if they are less-amenable to your chapter
- Try to be friends with sorority girls rather than trying to get in their pants
- Co-host events with other fraternities (party, philanthropy, community service, etc.)
- Volunteer to help sororities with everyday things like moving furniture, making house letters, and even carrying groceries from the car
- Support other fraternities and their events (philanthropies, awareness classes, etc.)
- Be friendly with fraternities, even if your chapter doesn’t know them
- Come out in force to fraternity sport games and support each team
- Don’t play the “hard-to-get” game: be friendly, social, and easy to approach
- Co-host events with other sororities (fraternity dinner, campus-wide events, etc.)
- Support other sorority events such as fraternity dinner and philanthropies
- Host “sorority-only” events to improve sorority relations (no boys allowed!)
- As a sister, offer to tutor members of other sororities and fraternities in addition to your sisters in the chapter