Want to Get Campuses Excited about Your Branch? Here Are 4 Tips
If you’re reading this, your branch is probably a rock star at connecting with local campuses. You’ve already recruited a new college/university (C/U) partner member. You’ve taken steps to engage your local college or university.
Take things to the next level by raising the profile of your branch and of AAUW and stepping up your relationship with a partner school. The more involved and well known you are with the school, the more success you will have making connections on campus.
So how do you get noticed for your work on campus? Here are four ways to start.
- Meet the campus newspaper student editors and advisers.
Students at your local college campus should know what your branch is doing. One of the best ways to get on their radar is to get in their newspaper — but first you have to know who to talk to. Tobi Balma, a member of the AAUW La Palma-Cerritos (CA) Branch, met with the Cerritos College campus newspaper staff after talking to their C/U representatives. Following that meeting, the newspaper ran several stories about the AAUW branch’s local events and opportunities for students.
Even if you don’t have time to go visit with newspaper staff in person, make sure to connect with student editors and the newspaper adviser over e-mail. Keep them updated with interesting stories. For example, did your branch table on campus to promote voter registration? Let the student newspaper know ahead of time so they can send a photographer.
- Connect with the school’s community relations staff.
Many colleges and universities have at least one person in charge of community relations. Search the school’s website to find out who that person is. Often, community relations staff serve as local resources and liaisons with community organizations (like your branch). Their office enjoys mutually beneficial relationships with community partners. These staff members want to know how their school connects with the local community and will be happy to promote this mutually beneficial relationship.
- Get social.
It’s easy to use social media to promote your branch’s work and to highlight your local college or university. Find out which Facebook pages, Twitter handles, and other social media accounts the school uses. Whoever is managing your branch’s social media accounts should make sure to highlight the work of the local C/U once in a while. For example, when you’re headed to campus for an event, your branch’s Twitter account can tweet about it using the school’s hashtag and handle. Post photos of your tabling or other activities on campus on Facebook. (Need help with social media? We have a handbook that can get you started.)
- Don’t forget to table.
Tabling can be a great way to meet new people on campus in person. It’s your chance to share your branch and promote your upcoming programs. You can sign up e-student affiliates and talk to different members of the campus community. Face-to-face contact is just as important as having a print and online presence.
Some things to keep in mind
- Know your brand and tailor your message!
Timing is key when promoting AAUW. You have a limited amount of time to get the attention of any audience. Stay on message, and tailor your message to your audience. For example, if your branch provides scholarships for local students to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders, focus on that work with your campus media partners. Interview a student who attended NCCWSL thanks to your scholarship and send the story to the local campus newspaper in the fall. Send a flyer or announcement to campus departments to promote scholarship applications. Even with just one branch program, you can tell many sides of the story.
- Keep your website updated.
By getting mentioned in the school paper, e-mails, or other campus communications, you’ll get traffic to your AAUW branch website. Make sure your website is updated and that it tells your branch’s story in an easy-to-understand way for newcomers. The national office helps branches with web content updates and site maintenance for a low annual fee through the Site Resources program.
- Take and use pictures.
When you’re on campus, don’t forget to take photos. You can use photos later to recap how your latest activity went on social media, on your website, or in a branch newsletter. We have two resources to help you choose the best photos for online and print.
- Connect with your C/U representatives.
Don’t forget to stay in contact with your local C/U representative. They may have additional ideas for what works best to raise visibility on campus.
Have additional ideas or questions for raising visibility on campus? Send us your ideas!
This guide is meant as Social Media 101; it explains the basics, makes a case for why your AAUW branch should use social media, and then explains how to get started.
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