This week’s blog is a little different than the average blog post. This week the officers have come together to give you their best tips for starting out the school year. These tips range from graphic design to outreach to help you and your chapter with fall recruitment efforts.
President, Carson Bock- General Recruitment Tips
Recruiting new members can be incredibly difficult for both old and new chapters. Here are some of the recruitment strategies that I have found work best in both an in person and virtual setting. While your chapter may already use some of these, they may spark ideas for expanding your current implementation of them.
It's incredibly important to have a chapter social media page. This allows existing members to share information about TSA and meetings to prospective members. In addition to having a page for your chapter to post information about introductory meetings, you should reach out to school run pages to see if they can post your information as well. This may include pages run by your school’s PTA program or pages run by larger organizations in your school.
Host an Introductory Meeting
This may seem like an obvious thing to do, but hosting an introductory meeting specifically targeted at new and prospective members will create an opportunity for those members to feel welcomed and to have the opportunity to ask questions about TSA. It may also be beneficial to host this meeting in a virtual format this year as a virtual town hall.
Put up posters around your school and in the community in places where students at your school are likely to attend. This may mean putting up posters at the community library, a local coffee shop, or other local restaurants. Many places around your community are likely willing to let you hang a poster. In fact, many restaurants have bulletin boards specifically for community posters. Once you’ve made your posters with the tips below you can just walk into the establishment and ask someone who works there if you could hang up a poster. They will help you find where to put it or direct you to a manager if you need to talk to someone else. It’s likely helpful to bring tape as some places may not have a bulletin board and may require you to tape the sign up yourself.
Bring a Friend Initiatives
One simple thing to do to recruit members to come to your interest meetings is to ask each of your existing members to bring a friend to the meeting. This is often referred to as relational organizing, but for you it just means easy growth. You will likely have more success in recruiting engaged members when they have been personally asked by someone they know to join your TSA chapter. Even if not everyone is able to find a friend to bring or not all of the invited friends continue to be involved, you have still created awareness of TSA in your school. If your chapter has 10 TSA members and each member brings a friend to your interest meeting, you now have 20 prospective members! You can even entice students to come to the meeting by offering food like Pizza or Cookies, although we would recommend something like stickers for this year.
Vice-President, Xiyan Zhu- Creativity on Canva
A little background: Canva is a free website that allows you to design posters, flyers, and all things creative. Since many chapters are recruiting currently, I will give a few tips on poster or flyer designs on Canva.
Start With a Good Color Selection
Since most of the posters or flyers I have made are for a club, they usually come with a color theme. TSA colors as seen in our logo are red, navy blue, and white. These are usually 3 good colors to start with when designing a poster for TSA. Since these colors are darker colors, it is easy to find lighter variation to create a fade effect in your posters. They are also good for contrast. One design I like is having a lighter color box with text inside a darker colored box so that the words really pop.
Align Your Objects
Alignment really holds the poster together. I like center alignment because it is comfortable to look at. For posters, I also like to have line dividers to help space myself when I am designing. It is important to keep alignments consistent unless you are trying to emphasize content.
Adjust the Brightness of Images
Images are attached at 100% transparency. Sometimes, for the background, it is easier to have them be more transparent. I like to have a solid circle or something in the background and then a 50% transparent picture on top of it. For different colors, it is up to you to decide how much transparency you like.
Explore new designs, experiment with new colors, and engage your audience visually! If you’re really feeling unsure, ask a friend to look at your design. But at the end of the day, be proud of what you designed. If you feel stuck, take a break and come back to it. You will get to rest your eyes for a bit and rest your brain. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box!
Secretary, Riley Speas- How to Talk to Students About TSA During Class
Recruitment can seem like a very daunting task, especially in the unique situations that we are presented with concerning COVID-19. However, one of the foolproof methods is the classic door-to-door recruitment, and you can easily do this in your school! Here are some of the top tips for TSA door-to-door recruitment.
Make Sure to Ask Teacher Permission
Before you get started on speaking in front of a class, you need to make sure that you have teacher approval first. This not only allows you to have more authority, but also shows respect to the teacher for letting you take some of their time.
Get the Class’s Attention
It is very difficult to get your message across to a group of students that aren’t aware you’re speaking, so it is essential that you get their attention before starting your presentation. You can ask the teacher in the room to gather the class’s attention if that is easier, or you can loudly get the room together. I recommend asking the teacher, as students tend to listen to a teacher over a peer.
Make it Short and Sweet
This is important for two reasons: one, you can make your presentation more engaging and keep your audience’s attention for longer, and two, you don’t take away from the teacher’s time for an extremely long amount of time. Students will tend to zone out after more than 4-5 minutes, so keeping it within this range can be very effective. The best known method is to develop a 2-3 minute “elevator speech”, in which you can promote TSA’s highlights while also keeping a timely manner about it.
Bring Some Handouts!
It can be very effective to have some sort of paper handout for the students that you are visiting, this way they can remember your chapter and keep it fresh in their minds. If you are planning on having an interest meeting, you can also add in the details about your meeting date, time, and location. Personally, I like to list a variety of events and the highlights of the organization. Including pictures is also recommended!
I hope you all benefit from these tips and have good luck in recruitment this year! Remember that this classic method can be incredibly helpful and effective when it is done correctly. Best of luck Tennessee TSA!
Treasure, Zoe Tripp- Virtual Fundraising
Find Zoe’s tips for virtual fundraising in our previous blog post!
Reporter, Jake Officer- Ways to Reach Out to Students
Especially now with people spread out between online and in-person classes it is more important than ever that communication between advisors and students is as efficient as possible. Below are some methods to help with this.
Remind is a free app that allows teachers to sign up students for messages and updates. The teacher can print out forms with the Remind code or have students manually enter the code through the app.
Groupme is a text-based app where a teacher or advisor can set up classes and group chats for members to message through. This can work through texts with their number or the Groupme app.
For advisors looking for an outlet to share files and assignments, Google classroom is the way to go. Classroom allows you to post forms, doc as well as interactive assignments and announcements for students to view. Students can join a classroom by inputting a class code either online or in the Google Classroom app.
While a more non-traditional outlet, Discord has seen an increase in popularity in the midst of current events. Discord allows advisors to create a server for their chapter that members can join and interact through both texts and voice channels. Advisors could also give members special privileges such as chapter officers.