By Steve Good
Communication is one of the basic functions of management in any organization and its importance can hardly be overemphasized. It is a process of transmitting information, ideas, thoughts, opinions and plans between various parts of an organization.
Mastering communication within your chapter can seem quite overwhelming due to the many audiences that you must reach. Once achieved, it will drive positive results in everything your chapter does. Chapter communication comes in many forms (external, internal, online, written, listening, spoken, in groups, one-on-one, etc.) but it should never be the responsibility of one member. A collective effort that breaks down your audiences and assigns specific duties to specific officers can get your chapter moving in the right direction.
The Chapter Communications Committee
To master the art of communication in your chapter, consider the development of a chapter communications committee comprised of the following five officers: President, Public Relations, Secretary, Alumni Secretary and Webmaster. The Secretary should be the chairman of the committee. Start by creating a communications calendar at the beginning of each term and then begin to meet a few times each month to check progress and discuss issues.
Below are examples of where each of these five officers should concentrate.
- Report campus activities to the chapter
- Report Greek activities to the chapter
- Communicate chapter successes to campus officials
- Communicate chapter goals & strategic plan to constituents
- Lead communicator with GHQ
- Lead communicator with Chapter Advisory Board
- Lead communicator with House Corporation
- Lead communicator with campus officials
- Encourage campus involvement by announcing opportunities
- Develop an awards program to recognize successful brothers
Public Relations Chairman:
- Communicate chapter successes to GHQ
- Manage the chapter’s Facebook page
- Manage the chapter’s Twitter account
- Gather content to share online – Website/Social Media
- Develop relationships with media outlets in the community and pass along successes
- Educate brothers about public relations
- Oversee all promotional and marketing materials
- Gather parent information and include in communication pieces
- Manage the chapter’s calendar
- Develop and share chapter/exec meeting minutes
- Track the submission of reports from the Chapter Greatness Checklist
- Assist with agenda building for chapter and executive board meetings
- Order and keep stock of correspondence materials
- Organize files for officer transitions
- Develop lists of pertinent information (Members’ contact information, extracurricular activities of brothers, student organizations on campus, sorority/fraternity founding dates, service & philanthropy dates, classes brothers are taking (majors), other important contacts and listserv/alumni information lists)
- Manage alumni contact information
- Gather content for alumni newsletters
- Develop alumni e-newsletters (Try these MailChimp, Constant Contact)
- Develop alumni profiles and successes to feature on the website/social media
- Communicate chapter events to alumni
- Gather information for chapter website
- Edit and update chapter website content
- Gather pictures for online content
While chapter communication encompasses much more than what is on this post, focusing on these areas will get your chapter moving in the right direction.
“Communication works for those who work at it.” – John Powell
After spending time as a Leadership Consultant, Director of Expansion and Director of Education & Technology, Steve is now the Director of Communications & Iron Phi for the Fraternity. He spent his undergraduate days at Iowa State University and completed his MBA at Xavier University. Steve was recently named an Iowa Statement Maker by the Iowa State Alumni Association for his work on the Iron Phi program. Steve enjoys sports of all sorts, traveling, photography, running, attempting to find the best burger, reading, accumulating bobbleheads and trying to keep up with his two dogs. Steve and his wife Tillie live in Ames, Iowa.