A Dozen Ways to Get Free Chapter Publicity

Your chapter works hard on campus and in the community, but do your efforts get the attention they deserve? If not, never fear — try these 12 ideas to bring your accomplishments out of the shadows and into the spotlight:

  1. Make a New Friend

Introduce yourself to the college public relations staff. Share what your chapter has planned for the year that may be newsworthy. Don’t forget outlets like your campus newspaper, radio station, newsletters, etc.

  1. Inductions are a Big Deal

People love to see their names and the names of their children in print. Newspapers know this, so provide your college PR office with a list of new members after each induction and new officers after each election.

  1. Put Honors into Action

Television stations and newspapers like the action in Honors in Action. Notify them of your HiA project and why it’s important to the community. Explain the research component and how it led to this activity.

  1. Get Social

Think of social media as another channel to get the word out on what you are doing. You can promote events, invite guests, report your results, and interact with reporters/public relations professionals. Make sure what you are doing is visual, with photos and video that can be shared on Instagram and YouTube in addition to Twitter and Facebook. Use popular Phi Theta Kappa hashtags such as #PTK, #PhiThetaKappa, and #IAMPTK and tag others to join the larger social conversation.

  1. Two for the Price of One

Combine two events for maximum coverage. Join forces with other organizations or chapters to host a campus or region-wide event. The work is shared and your chances of coverage increase. Larger crowds and a high-profile speaker are other ways of drawing more attention to your efforts.

  1. Invite the Media to Your Event

Make sure it’s a big, well-planned affair with an interesting agenda. Send a media advisory in advance, highlighting the time, date, location, what’s happening, and why it’s newsworthy. Schedule chapter volunteers to assist reporters and answer questions when they arrive that day. Or, go to them, as the Alpha Zeta Kappa Chapter at Delaware Technical Community College did, pictured above.

  1. Follow Up

Reporters didn’t show up? Then follow up — share a press release about what happened including Who, What, When, Where, and How. Provide accompanying photos or video if you have them.

  1. Share People Stories

Journalists love human interest stories, particularly near graduation and All-State Academic Team celebrations. These are great times to pitch member stories, especially about those who have overcome challenges to achieve success. Just make sure you have the student’s permission to share.

  1. Everyone Loves a Winner

Notify College PR If your chapter has a scholarship winner or receives Hallmark or Five Star Awards, or if your advisors/administrators/College Presidents have been recognized.

  1. Share Your Regional/International Experiences

Did your chapter attend a regional meeting, PTK Catalyst or Honors Institute? Share these stories with your college PR office. Provide a link to the Phi Theta Kappa website. Talk about the speakers you heard, the lessons you learned, and the adventures you’ve had to bring your experience home to others who couldn’t attend.

  1. Tell the Story You Want to Hear

You may be interested in the inner workings of your chapter, but others aren’t. Don’t make your story about policies and procedures. Make it about people, action, and the difference you are making in the community.

  1. Don’t Forget to Share Your News with HQ

Send us the best photos of your College Project, Honors in Action, and outstanding member accomplishments. Include a summary and email to news@ptk.org. You may see yourself on Phi Theta Kappa’s website or social media channels.

And finally, if you do something wonderful and you are interviewed by the media, be sure to say “I AM PTK!”

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