Marketing a Student Organization to a Diverse Population

By Chase Mulligan, Opinion Writer

A major reoccurring problem that most clubs and organizations share among Seton Hall University is attendance during events. This leads to the underlining question of; “how do we as student leaders and club members raise awareness in-order to improve participation in our club events our membership?”

First, we all must understand that a major cause of your attendance leads back to your marketing strategy. I will share with you some key tips and tricks that will make your club stand out, and can turn your events from poorly attended to a room filled with enthusiastic interest.

A club should create unique and interesting flyers, less words the better. Where you place them matters. What people do not realize is that when you only market to one specific group or major you will on get those specific people; this strategy diminishes the number of possible student attendees. If you want to increase your attendance, you must create unique flyers, posts, and ads that can generally appeal to every student. My suggestion is to start with a question that everyone will say “yes” to. Such as, “Are you creative?” A simple and short question like this can appeal to any major, ethnicity, or person in general. Once you have created an amazing flyer, do not just stop there. Your next step will be to post flyers in every building and not just the building of your major, but place the flyers in the university center, arts and science building, dorms, the library. Post flyers everywhere to reach a much larger audience.

Next, your sales pitch matters: A specific scenario that I have experienced while advertising ticket raffle sales was when approaching people stating “Hey! Would you like to purchase a raffle ticket for. . .” was not effective at all. However, when I first posed a question like “Do you like winning?” everyone replied yes; then I posed a following questions “Well, do you like winning  tickets for front row seats to see these music artists (pointing to our poster)?” I was amazing how many more people actually started buying tickets after just simply changing the pitch.

Your goals matter, as a team, you and your organization need to set individual goals and have a deadline for that goal to be achieved.  Follow-up on these goals during every board and club meeting to ensure productivity. An example of a concrete goal would be that each member is encouraged to start a conversation with 3 people about an experience they have had with their club or organization. Then have a follow-up goal such as attempting to get one new member to attend our next event. Overall, goals create a mission that provides a purpose.

Finally, your events need to provide value. Value gives an incentive for people to keep come back. There are many ways to provide value, such have a guest speaker share their experiences or providing some type of knowledge that students can use. Common examples that engage students are workshops, philanthropy events, guest speakers, co-sponsorship events with another organization, fundraising for a cause, and many more that help provide your members with valuable learning lessons.

Clubs that tend to have the greatest turn out have the best marketing skills. A good social media account, unique posters and a wide social circle with alot of klout are all helpful. Of course this does not happen overnight but is a process that begins with the basic marketing skills that I have estabblished.

We all seek to have great events but turn out can be lack-luster. Not only does this diminish drive within the club, the hard work you put into creating this event will go to waste and the message will not be heard. I hope these marketing tips and tricks have shown you how important it is to create and develop a space that will provide value to any and all members within our community.

 

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 7th print edition.

Contact Chase at

chase.mulligan@student.shu.edu

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