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Sorority Recruitment Recruitment event and bid day ideas, membership retention, publicity, recruitment policies, etc.


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  #31  
Old 07-02-2007, 07:28 PM
KSUViolet06 KSUViolet06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaGamUGAAlum View Post
I was afraid that was too narrow and perhaps self-conscious a group to expect hear much from, but I'm certainly interested to hear what the chapters formerly so struggling the PNMs cried but who have turned it all around have to say.
I'll bite. My collegiate chapter had a formal recruitment in 2005 that was much like what carnation described. We were also half the size of the other groups on campus.

This is going to sound cliche, but you just have to relax. Really. When our HQ came in to help us after that, they told us that we really just needed to relax and not be so worried about "selling Sigma" to the PNMs from day 1.

As others have said, you can be so wrapped up in pushing your sorority that you creep the girls out. You have to go into recruitment looking to connect with women as friends first for the first 2 rounds. After they've connected with you as people, then you move into selling the sorority experience during 3rd round and Pref. The PNMs can't see you as sisters if they can't see you as friends first.

Also, PNMs can sense when a sorority isn't as confident in themselves as the others. You have to know that you are a great chapter and do everything you can to convey that in your appearance and gestures. You can't think negatively of yourselves and expect PNMs to flock to you.

Recruitment really is an ALL YEAR thing. After that recruitment, we did everything we could during the year to improve. We developed a marketing and image plan for the chapter and implemented it, and started getting our name out more. We participated 100% in every Greek event (even if we didn't always win). We planned socials with a couple of the bigger fraternities (you never know who wants to have a social if you don't ask). We also took time out to get to know each other better outside of the sorority (because it's important to become a more cohesive unit).

Fast forward to Fall 2006 recruitment. We matched quota (with a group of girls that were pretty much all our "rush crushes"). We also did amazing with COB and doubled in size by the end of this last school year. We will most likely be at total after fall 2007 recruitment.

Just goes to show you that it can happen ladies. It just takes work. If you're struggling, you can't expect to do well at recruitment without working hard all year.

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Last edited by KSUViolet06; 07-02-2007 at 10:22 PM.
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  #32  
Old 07-02-2007, 07:32 PM
UGAalum94 UGAalum94 is offline
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That is fantastic! And so fast too! In two years!

Who lead you in developing the marketing plan? Was it just your chapter?
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  #33  
Old 07-02-2007, 07:40 PM
KSUViolet06 KSUViolet06 is offline
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Originally Posted by AlphaGamUGAAlum View Post

Who lead you in developing the marketing plan? Was it just your chapter?
Everyone talks about their HQ's "pressuring" them to "get the numbers" but let me be the first to say that our HQ was fabulous to us and provided us with tons of resources.

We had an LC assigned to our chapter. She suggested implementing a marketing plan on one of her visits. We organized a chapter committee to work on it (which I was on as PR chair). She was available all the time if we had any questions about anything we were putting in it.
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Last edited by KSUViolet06; 07-02-2007 at 07:48 PM.
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  #34  
Old 07-02-2007, 09:25 PM
Faith4Keep Faith4Keep is offline
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I know this is off-topic from this thread but I would LOVE to hear a marketing/imaging plan for a chapter.
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  #35  
Old 07-03-2007, 01:19 PM
Faith4Keep Faith4Keep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaFrog View Post
If she's THAT far gone that you need to start from square one rushing her, you might as well not even count on seeing her at your house the next day, even if there is a bid card printed with her name on it.
Not necessarily. I think by the time recruitment starts winding down, and you are left with chapters you weren't looking at joining originally, a PNM has to think if she still wants to be greek or not. I know that when this happened to me- when I got cut from 2 of my favorite chapters- I kind of had to say "okay, what's left?", and really look again at the chapters I had previously dismissed.

You're never going to get some girls back, but I don't think it would hurt to reiterate some things that were talked about in previous rounds so that the PNM can get a handle on the chapter before she completely dismisses them because she can't remember a darn thing from previous rounds.
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  #36  
Old 07-03-2007, 10:49 PM
bluefish81 bluefish81 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KSUViolet06 View Post
Everyone talks about their HQ's "pressuring" them to "get the numbers" but let me be the first to say that our HQ was fabulous to us and provided us with tons of resources.

We had an LC assigned to our chapter. She suggested implementing a marketing plan on one of her visits. We organized a chapter committee to work on it (which I was on as PR chair). She was available all the time if we had any questions about anything we were putting in it.
I agree wholeheartedly. For several years, my undergrad chapter struggled with formal recruitment, we were great at informal but when formal would come around some of the members who'd joined via informal weren't comfortable with the setup of Formal Recruitment. It took a long time for them to realize that while it was a different method of joining the chapter (then they had) it wasn't something awful to be feared and it was a lot less time consuming in the long run than COBing 5 days a week, every week of the semester. That is so draining on a chapter.

As many of the previous posters have stated, the solution isn't going to happen during a recruitment party with an unhappy PNM who doesn't want to be at your party in the first place. Chances are good that you know she doesn't want to be there anyway. Especially if it's pref. I think that in that situation it's probably best just to be as kind and gracious to her as possible but spend more time focusing on the PNMs that want to be there and will hopefully be joining your chapter the next day. That's not to say that a conversation that you have with her couldn't turn it around, she won't love your ceremony, the speeches won't strike some chord in her, but if she's just killing an hour until she heads off to ABC...

The real solution is a 24/7 PR effort, it's developing a PR plan and then implementing it. The undergrad chapter that I attended and used to advise started developing a PR plan a few years ago. AFAIK, this is something that all of Thetas undergrad chapters have to do. I also think it's important to have a committee develop the plan, but at some level, other members of the chapter have to be aware of the plan. Otherwise, how can you expect them to participate? Honestly, I also think this is where my undergrad chapter has started to see some of their success. Yes they continued to COB (so does every other chapter on campus to some extent), but they aren't getting 9 girls thru formal and 18 girls via informal anymore, it's more or less the other way around.

And Faith4Keep I'm going to be sending you a very longwinded PM!
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  #37  
Old 07-05-2007, 01:46 PM
adrie435 adrie435 is offline
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The thing that I think turned things around for my chapter was really spending a lot of time pre-recruiting (we have deferred recruitment) in addition to a new PR plan. When we got to know our rush crushes very closely outside of recruitment it was a lot easier to get them to forget about a stereotype and join the group with the girls they love. Sometimes all it took was three or four sisters being very close with them and really motivated to represent the chapter well. I think the important thing for us was that we didn't get to know them as sorority women.. we actually became friends and naturally introduced them to our friends (and v/v they introduced us to other freshmen). It becomes a lot easier when you know the girls to make them feel chosen-- they obviously know that you want them to be your sister since you are already friends..
My pledge class was about a third of quota my freshman year bringing our chapter size to about half of total.... Once our class got initiated, we got motivated and determined to turn it around. We took almost 2/3 of quota the next year and my class alone knew almost every one of the new pledges personally before recruitment began. We kept it up the next year with close to 2/3 quota and then my senior year we took something like 3 less than quota (with only 3/7 actually making quota) and ended up over total.
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  #38  
Old 07-11-2007, 03:49 PM
ZTA zetahunny ZTA zetahunny is offline
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"chosen"

Quote:
Originally Posted by carnation View Post
I received a pm from a GCer who's a member of a smaller group on a big campus. Without outing her group, she wanted me to ask y'all how they could make PNMs feel like they were "chosen", not like they were all their group could get. She said that frequently they're in the position of having to ask back girls who have cut them and that frankly, a lot of girls who are crying at their prefs aren't doing it from happiness.

So GCers, how can they make their guests feel special and not let them think they're the "leftovers" in recruitment?
I would look to see if any of those new members had a personal rec, and then have any alums who wrote those personal recs write notes saying something to show that they were pulling hard for her all along. You need to give these girls something to hold on to. This post has been on my mind since the day I read it.
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  #39  
Old 07-11-2007, 04:18 PM
adrie435 adrie435 is offline
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Are chapters allowed to give PNM's notes/ written letters during recruitment parties in formal rush as long as they take them back at the end and don't allow the PNM to keep it? I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't be like showing them something on a poster or a brochure... So, if a sister couldn't be there for some reason and had a close connection with a girl, or if there is a not-in-house legacy in the group, or something to that effect could they write a letter to the PNM and have an active member give it to her? Could an alum who knows her and perhaps wrote a recommendation for her write a letter that is given during a party?

I feel like it could be a very powerful recruitment tool in some cases (depending on how well you know someone). The thought that someone obviously took the time outside of recruitment to write a personal letter would mean a lot to some girls. Speaking for myself, I've always been more moved by writing than someone just speaking to me (but it could just be me)..

Anyone know if that is allowed??
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  #40  
Old 07-11-2007, 04:27 PM
KSUViolet06 KSUViolet06 is offline
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A chapter on my campus writes preference letters to their PNMs. It's perfectly okay as long as they don't leave the house with them.
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  #41  
Old 08-25-2007, 10:20 AM
AOII Angel's Avatar
AOII Angel AOII Angel is offline
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I want to harp on something mentioned earlier...campus reputation. I think this is one of the most important things to focus on to improve a chapter. KSUViolet06 touched on it a little. You have to make your chapter memorable. You don't have to be the chapter full of beauty queens to have a good rush. Find what your chapter is good at and ADVERTISE it. If your chapter is very involved in philanthropy activities, spread the word! If your campus gives chapter awards, fight for them! The problem with struggling chapters is that they often feel like they can't beat the "better groups" at their own game. Being pretty or popular doesn't make you good at organization, leadership, etc. Many of the top chapters have programs in place that members just have to follow to look good. Smaller chapters have to work harder. When the PNMs come through rush, they'll see the small chapter that wins all the awards or the small chapter that does so much for charity, or the small chapter with the great sisterhood rather than the small chapter full of nobodies who do nothing!
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  #42  
Old 08-25-2007, 11:35 AM
Fleur de Lis Fleur de Lis is offline
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AOII Angel, that is great advice.

When I went through, my pledge class was the beginning of a "turn around" for our chapter. I met a sister first semester who introduced me to a TON of other sisters and really got me excited about joining. They always invited me to charity events, etc. and had one of the best GPAs on campus. You could tell they genuinely cared about each other. I also loved when someone I knew 'rushed' me - that made me feel remembered and special. It honestly never occured to me that they were a smaller chapter and it didn't end up mattering anyways because now the chapter is doing amazing!

Any updates on carnation's "correspondent"??
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  #43  
Old 08-25-2007, 11:54 AM
carnation carnation is offline
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They rush later in the fall, so we'll see how the advice worked then!
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  #44  
Old 08-26-2007, 12:13 AM
cluelessUGAmom cluelessUGAmom is offline
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Have current, updated websites!

It was a disappointment to see very "outdated" websites of some of the sororities while pnm's were researching before and during rush. (even After rush!)

There were comments I heard from D and some friends that said they really didn't get a "good feel" about so and so because their photo albums were empty or most of their members didn't bother to post their bios or list the campus activities and awards that their members had received or were involved with etc.

My suggestion would be to make sure the chapter's website is the BEST it can be as this is the first face PNM's get to see -- even before they hear tent talk and campus reputation! They also get to see if the current girl's "look" like them -- and this is not meant to be shallow as in only looking for beauty queen's -- some may NOT want to be there.

You can also tell the "got it together" chapters by how quickly they changed their website AFTER rush welcoming their new members - even if it was with one picture!

If you've put together a rush and bid day presentation that you are proud of then put it out there for the world to see! Show pictures it along with house tour photos - socials - fun times - formals - member awards etc. etc. Tout your average GPA if you are in the running for the top spots - or even how it has improved etc.

i would think this should be a first step in reflecting the image you want to project!
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  #45  
Old 08-26-2007, 11:13 AM
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AOII Angel AOII Angel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cluelessUGAmom View Post
It was a disappointment to see very "outdated" websites of some of the sororities while pnm's were researching before and during rush. (even After rush!)

There were comments I heard from D and some friends that said they really didn't get a "good feel" about so and so because their photo albums were empty or most of their members didn't bother to post their bios or list the campus activities and awards that their members had received or were involved with etc.

My suggestion would be to make sure the chapter's website is the BEST it can be as this is the first face PNM's get to see -- even before they hear tent talk and campus reputation! They also get to see if the current girl's "look" like them -- and this is not meant to be shallow as in only looking for beauty queen's -- some may NOT want to be there.

You can also tell the "got it together" chapters by how quickly they changed their website AFTER rush welcoming their new members - even if it was with one picture!

If you've put together a rush and bid day presentation that you are proud of then put it out there for the world to see! Show pictures it along with house tour photos - socials - fun times - formals - member awards etc. etc. Tout your average GPA if you are in the running for the top spots - or even how it has improved etc.

i would think this should be a first step in reflecting the image you want to project!
I think this is a great suggestion. Maybe the chapter should elect an officer to keep the website current. In this technologically advanced age with all young women using the internet frequently, this is a great recruitment tool!
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