Submitted by: Abby Fiske, Vice-President of Public Relations
Promoting your chapters through all aspects of public relations is vital for a successful chapter. There are so many ways to promote your chapters; anything from newspaper articles, social media posts, and giving a presentation at a local civic organization meeting are fantastic ways of getting your chapter events and announcements out to the public. We are going to dig a little deeper into all of these options and more to discover the opportunities your chapter has for expanding your public relations.
The first, and maybe the easiest way to get your information to the public is the good ol’ standby, the newspaper. Newspaper articles may seem a little old-fashioned; however, many of the people, of all ages, who live in your community read the newspaper. By submitting an article or an ad you are showing your community that you want their support. Always make sure to try to accompany the article or announcement with a picture as many newspaper readers won’t even look at something which does not have a picture with it. Depending on the frequency of your newspaper, you will need to find out deadlines for publication and how and what format they want to receive the articles, announcements, and pictures.
Since some small towns only have weekly or bi-weekly newspapers, a question comes to light, “How do we reach the public about events and projects happening now?” This is where social media comes into play. If your chapter doesn’t have a social media page on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, or even all three; I highly recommend getting one. These are the best ways to reach out to students and young adults. For example, you are sponsoring a concessions stand tomorrow night at the varsity basketball game. As part of the concession stand, your chapter is also having a soup and sandwich supper. It was in the paper last week, but you want to remind everyone to come hungry to the game. How can you do that? Use your social media! Don’t just stop at using your posts and tweets as a reminder, blast out pictures, updates, times, and prices as the concession day progresses. Parents, grandparents, school staff, and students love to see pictures of the kids!
Another way you can get your chapter’s name out there is by presenting to local civic organizations. Some options include Lion’s Club, Rotary Club, Optimist, etc. These organizations can provide knowledge about projects or events you are planning as well as maybe even offer physical or monetary support. Don’t just stop at your civil organizations; presenting to your local governments such as the school board, city council, or even county board can open up opportunities to your chapter. It also shows the good your chapter is doing for the community and school. Furthermore, adults who are leaders in your community and school are passionate about creating future leaders and like when young adults share what they are doing.
When you sponsor and put on functions in the community, you are showing the community members what FCCLA means and stands for. You are also gaining life skills through functions like public speaking and meeting new people. How are you going to promote your chapter and this organization?