blog

New Website (and Blog!)

Phired Up Productions is proud to announce the launch of their newly formatted website at www.PhiredUp.com.

The new site includes an internal blog where you can find regularly updated recruitment tips and tactics to help all membership organizations (but especially fraternities and sororities) recruit a higher quantity of higher quality members.

The site also features some free resources, which at the time of the launch included several articles on recruitment, a Names List database tool, and free access to the company’s proprietary Phi Mountain strategic planning system.

Phired Up Productions is proud to be the provider of Dynamic Recruitment education and resources to membership organizations around the United States.

We are the recruitment experts.

blog

Previous Blog Posts

Just joining the Phired Up Recruitment Blog community? Welcome. You might have missed some of the early posts which were put on our original blog called, WISDOM SPARKS: http://phiredup.blogspot.com. Check out some of those posts, and be sure to come back here often. This is where all the newest recruitment information can be found. We hope to have all of our old posts here soon.

Thanks for joining us! Good recruiting…

Rush T-Shirts Page 52

Rush T-Shirts

by
Josh Orendi & Matt Mattson

Does your chapter have Rush T-Shirts made every semester?If so, here are a few quick questions”
How much money do you normally spend on Rush T-Shirts?
How much time do you normally spend trying to think of the coolest idea ever?
How many members have you gotten because of the time and money you’ve spent on Rush T-Shirts?

The only people you are recruiting with “cool t-shirts” are screen printers.

It is amazing to look at the creativity, passion and dedication that fraternity/sorority members have for… designing T-shirts. I swear, if we didn’t plan events and design T-shirts, I’m not sure Greek Life would even exist. We come up with funny, kitschy, goofy, disgusting, often offensive slogans, logos and themes, but we rarely sit back and examine whether those things actually get any results.

Think of it another way” If you just arrived for your freshman year, and some stranger walked up to you and your parents on campus with a shirt that had the word “RUSH” paired with letters from some foreign language on the front, and on the back of their shirt was some risqu© slogan that is demeaning to women or sexually suggestive, would you be super excited to pledge your life to him? Probably not.

Your Rush T-shirts belong in the SOCIAL BUDGET. The recruitment budget should be reserved for “results producing activities.” Nobody joins because of a Rush T-shirt. Let’s be honest, the shirts are more for the members than they are for the prospects. Become obsessed with focusing your dollars and energy on “results producing activities.” And if you do make T-Shirts, remember that your Grandma will probably see it someday, and if she doesn’t, 30 years from now your 14-year-old daughter will run across a picture of you in it. Just something to think about.

It is amazing to look at the creativity, passion and dedication that fraternity/sorority members have for… designing T-shirts. I swear, if we didn’t plan events and design T-shirts, I’m not sure Greek Life would even exist. We come up with funny, kitschy, goofy, disgusting, often offensive slogans, logos and themes, but we rarely sit back and examine whether those things actually get any results.

Winter- The Other Conference Season Page 52

Winter: The Other Conference Season

By
Josh Orendi

Many of our organizations and campuses use the summer months to bring members together for retreats, conference, conventions, etc. However, there is a growing trend in the fraternity world of organizations/campuses capitalizing on winter months (January and early February primarily) for programming. It’s been a busy winter for Phired Up, and I’d like to thank the groups that chose to partner with us to provide high quality programming to your students:

Phi Kappa Sigma – Men of Honor conference
Phi Kappa Theta – President’s academy
Phi Gamma Delta – Annual conference
Alpha Sigma Phi, Purdue Univ – Chapter development workshop
Alpha Gamma Rho – Recruitment School
Bradley University ‐ Dynamic Recruitment Training
Illinois Wesleyan ‐ Dynamic Recruitment Training
Penn State Altoona – Leadership retreat
University of Connecticut – IFC recruitment programming
Psi Upsilon – Univ Illinois – Chapter development workshop
University of Illinois – IFC recruitment programming
Sigma Pi – Annual conference
Tau Kappa Epsilon – Regional leadership conferences
Washington State – Dynamic recruitment training
Northern Arizona – Dynamic recruitment training
Washington & Jefferson – Dynamic recruitment training
MGCA – regional leadership conference
NGLA – regional leadership conference
WRGLC – regional leadership conference

Speaking of trends … there have been several trends that surfaced from these programs. Though every campus/organization is different, from your comments, it’s clear that there are some common challenges we’re all facing:

*Facebook: Learning how to use it. Learning how NOT to abuse it. Learning how to manage our members who are using/abusing it. For more information on using Facebook, check out the Facebook discussion going on at Phired Up’s Facebook RECRUITMENT IDEAS AND SUCCESS STORIES group.

*Motivation: Membership apathy and retention are at all time lows. There is no magic cure for motivating everyone. Often, the best thing we can do as leaders is to reframe how we manage mediocrity. For example, rather than asking “How can I motivate my brothers to recruit” try asking “How do I recruit with my motivated brothers.” By changing the way you see your problem, you’re able to focus on finding a solution.

*Rules & Administration: Many campuses have chained themselves to mediocrity by creating an overwhelming amount of rules, policies, and procedures. If every (legal) idea you come up with is shot down because “it’s against the rules,” then it’s time to revisit the rules. I always recommend being creative and working within the rules. However, a wise man once said, “It’s often easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.”

Best of luck to everyone this winter/spring. I hope you took advantage of networking at your winter conferences. All of us at Phired Up are looking forward to working with your groups again in the near future.

 

 

 

Young & Hungry

MGCA Article (and Get Ready for Regionals!)

by
Matt Mattson

As the Spring approaches for fraternity and sorority leaders, the best of the best start thinking about gathering with their peers at fancy hotels to network and learn together during regional Greek leadership conferences.

Have you never been to MGCA, NGLA, SEIFC, SEPC, WRGLC, SGLC? If you don’t know what those letters stand for, be sure to ask a Fraternity/Sorority Professional near you, or check out the links below. Those regional conferences can be an awesome way to get some of the best recruitment and leadership training available in the country for Greeks. Plus, Phired Up will be represented at MGCA, NGLA, and WRGLC this year!

But before you check out those conferences, check out the great articles in MGCA CONNECTIONS, the newsletter of the Mid-American Greek Council Association. Phired Up is featured in an article alongside several other great articles about recruitment for both fraternities and sororities. Enjoy!

Plan to attend the regional conference near you:

New Year's Recruitment Revolution - Page52

New Year’s Recruitment Revolution

By Matt Mattson

The new year is a time of hope and promise. Many fraternity and sorority chapter leaders are returning from a long break to find a chapter in disarray and in need of some major work. Luckily, it is the new year and everything looks a little more promising in January.

My own chapter has recently declared that they must get ready for a HUGE recruitment class during the Spring of 2007 if they want to survive. It turns out that some of the guys are graduating, and others are inactive” after several semesters of not-so-great recruitment efforts, panic is setting in.

It is in the spirit of hope and panic that I offer these top 10 Tips for IMMEDIATE, SHORT-TERM RECRUITMENT RESULTS for those chapters that are in desperate need of a New Year’s Recruitment Revolution.

IMPORTANT NOTE: these tips are meant to generate short-term results. I
can’t promise long-term results with these tips, and for that matter, you might
risk sacrificing quality if you’re depending on a quick-fix to survive ‐ but
there occasionally comes a time when caution is thrown to the wind and
desperation rules the day. So, good luck.

Top 10 Tips for Immediate, Short-Term Recruitment Results

1. Don’t Sacrifice Your Values. Many chapters that are motivated by survival easily toss their values out the door in favor of numbers. Don’t do that. A chapter of 100 idiots is much worse than a chapter consisting of 8 decent men. Be sure you determine measurable values-based selection criteria to screen men. Hopefully by the time you follow the other 9 tips below, you’ll have more than 5 guys to choose from.

2. “Quality” is Not a Valid Excuse. It is a mediocre chapter that says, “We didn’t get enough guys because we put quality before quantity.” If you’re using that excuse, you just didn’t have enough people to choose from to begin with. Trust us, there are enough potential members on your campus of your caliber or better to quadruple the size of your chapter. You just have to meet more people from which to choose. So, start by meeting as many people as you can. No kidding. Meet thousands of people. Your recruitment goal shouldn’t be to recruit 20 guys this semester ‐ it should be to meet 5,000 men and choose the best from among them.

3. Be Unique. Inevitably your chapter will probably choose a theme or a catchy catch-phrase for marketing purposes (even if we advise against it you’ll do it anyway). If this is something you must do, think about how you can position your organization to actually be different from the others on campus. Not just a slight variation on the basic frat theme. Not just the funniest play-on-words that you can fit on a t-shirt. Actually position yourself with a simple, clear, easy-to-understand message that communicates that your organization is different from other fraternities on campus ‐ heck, I’ve even advised groups to not call themselves a fraternity and actually BE something different. But that might be a stretch for short-term results. Identify the UNIQUE value that your chapter offers to its membership (and here’s a hint ‐ you DON’T have the tightest brotherhood on campus because that’s what everyone says, DON’T use your national catch phrases like “To Better the Man,” or “We’re Balanced Men,” and leadership, scholarship and service are not unique.) Think hard on this one. Differentiate yourselves.

4. Do It Yourself. Guess what” if you want to quickly turnaround your chapter, you’re not going to have time to motivate the slugs with the spit-cups at the back of the meeting to do their part. It is up to you. Choose to start the revolution yourself. Revolutions don’t normally get passed by committees ‐ they’re started by wild, independent, brave do-ers and the people who are smart enough to come along for the ride. Leave everyone else in the dust. Do the work yourself, and engage anyone who is open to dramatic improvement and dream realization.

5. Names, Names, Names. As we mentioned, don’t set a goal for x many new members. Set a goal to see how many people you can meet in the shortest period of time. You can’t recruit who you don’t know, so you’ve got to start there. Do marketing efforts and events ONLY IF THEY GENERATE A LOT OF NAMES. Taking 4 guys to Hooters doesn’t get you more names ‐ it just gives your four names a boring stereotypical view of your chapter. Do things that generate names. Keep a simple spreadsheet of names (you could call it a “Names List,” and record which brother met them, their contact info, and anything else you know about the. Try these ideas for getting names:

A raffle.
A scholarship.
A new club.
A petition for better
organizations.
A political rally.
A big service event.
“15 Minutes on
the Quad” (between class periods, fan out across the quad on campus and just
introduce yourself to people ‐ see tip 6 for something to talk about)
“5 for 5″ (go out to meet 5 new people a day for 5 days straight ‐ and get others to
join you in the challenge)
Referrals from profs, sororities, friends, R.A.’s,
coaches, campus religious leaders, volunteer centers, other organizations and
organization leaders, your office of Greek life, etc.
(If you’ve read Good Guys, see the section on the 6 Cylinders)

6. Give Something Away. Often, if I’m making a cold-call when doing sales work, I like to open by saying, “One of the reasons I’m contacting you is to make sure you’re aware of this great resource”" It works every time. What can you give away that is of value to others so that you have something easy to talk with them about. Maybe the chapter is having an event that you want to make sure everyone’s aware of. Maybe the chapter is organizing a weekly study night / poker night / bean bag game / basketball tournament / memorial ceremony / philosophy discussion. Maybe the chapter is raising money for charity and giving away a prize. Maybe the chapter is looking for volunteers to serve on a focus group that is evaluating campus life (or fraternity life). Give something away. It makes it easier to talk with people.

7. Do what has ACTUALLY worked before. Often when given this simple piece of advice, chapters will plan to do some big event that they had fun with before. Just because it was fun or seemed cool doesn’t mean it actually drove results. And remember, the most important results are NAMES ‐ you can’t recruit who you don’t know. Think back to what you’ve done before and do the things that have actually driven potential members’ names to a list from which you could choose.

8. Do Something Other than a Rush Event.
All frats do rush events. Are you just another frat? If not, do something different than what they do. Do brotherhood or service or social events that you can bring dozens or hundreds of prospective members to. Heck, I’d recommend not doing events at all ‐ they’re often a waste of time and really expensive, but if you’re going to do them anyway, don’t do RUSH events. If you are brave enough to avoid events, try doing normal people activities (lunch, work out, hang out, watch basketball, etc.). After all, it is important that you know that normal people (non-Greeks) are afraid of RUSH events.

9. Ask For Help. “Hi there volunteer club thanks for letting me talk to you for a few minutes, my name is Matt and I’m a member of XYZ fraternity. We realize that the fraternity system here is not great, and because of that many of you aren’t a part of it. We want to change that. In fact, we want to change everything about the fraternity system and to do that we need better men to lead that effort. We need men better than us. We need men like you who do” blah blah blah. All we’re asking is for a chance to talk with you or your friends about a pretty amazing opportunity ‐ to revolutionize the way fraternities are seen on this campus. We’ll even buy you lunch.” Imagine a scene like that at every major organization on campus and with every professor you know, and with every administrator you know” It will work.

10. Be Brave. How many people have never joined your chapter because you never asked them? How many people have never joined because you never even bothered to meet them? Be brave. Step outside of your comfort zone for 2 or 3 weeks and give people the chance to have the life-changing experience you’re having in the Greek World. You’re doing them a favor. Be brave enough to offer a great gift to others.

Bonus tip #11: Have Multiple New Member Classes. This is a no-brainer to me, but not to everyone else. Why try to do it all in a couple of weeks at the beginning of the semester. Have rolling new member classes that start and end whenever they need to.

Good luck!

New Year's Recruitment Revolution

By Matt Mattson

The new year is a time of hope and promise. Many fraternity and sorority chapter leaders are returning from a long break to find a chapter in disarray and in need of some major work. Luckily, it is the new year and everything looks a little more promising in January.

My own chapter has recently declared that they must get ready for a HUGE recruitment class during the Spring of 2007 if they want to survive. It turns out that some of the guys are graduating, and others are inactive" after several semesters of not-so-great recruitment efforts, panic is setting in.

It is in the spirit of hope and panic that I offer these top 10 Tips for IMMEDIATE, SHORT-TERM RECRUITMENT RESULTS for those chapters that are in desperate need of a New Year's Recruitment Revolution.

IMPORTANT NOTE: these tips are meant to generate short-term results. I
can't promise long-term results with these tips, and for that matter, you might
risk sacrificing quality if you're depending on a quick-fix to survive ‐ but
there occasionally comes a time when caution is thrown to the wind and
desperation rules the day. So, good luck.

Top 10 Tips for Immediate, Short-Term Recruitment Results

1. Don't Sacrifice Your Values. Many chapters that are motivated by survival easily toss their values out the door in favor of numbers. Don't do that. A chapter of 100 idiots is much worse than a chapter consisting of 8 decent men. Be sure you determine measurable values-based selection criteria to screen men. Hopefully by the time you follow the other 9 tips below, you'll have more than 5 guys to choose from.

2. "Quality" is Not a Valid Excuse. It is a mediocre chapter that says, "We didn't get enough guys because we put quality before quantity." If you're using that excuse, you just didn't have enough people to choose from to begin with. Trust us, there are enough potential members on your campus of your caliber or better to quadruple the size of your chapter. You just have to meet more people from which to choose. So, start by meeting as many people as you can. No kidding. Meet thousands of people. Your recruitment goal shouldn't be to recruit 20 guys this semester ‐ it should be to meet 5,000 men and choose the best from among them.

3. Be Unique. Inevitably your chapter will probably choose a theme or a catchy catch-phrase for marketing purposes (even if we advise against it you'll do it anyway). If this is something you must do, think about how you can position your organization to actually be different from the others on campus. Not just a slight variation on the basic frat theme. Not just the funniest play-on-words that you can fit on a t-shirt. Actually position yourself with a simple, clear, easy-to-understand message that communicates that your organization is different from other fraternities on campus ‐ heck, I've even advised groups to not call themselves a fraternity and actually BE something different. But that might be a stretch for short-term results. Identify the UNIQUE value that your chapter offers to its membership (and here's a hint ‐ you DON'T have the tightest brotherhood on campus because that's what everyone says, DON'T use your national catch phrases like "To Better the Man," or "We're Balanced Men," and leadership, scholarship and service are not unique.) Think hard on this one. Differentiate yourselves.

4. Do It Yourself. Guess what" if you want to quickly turnaround your chapter, you're not going to have time to motivate the slugs with the spit-cups at the back of the meeting to do their part. It is up to you. Choose to start the revolution yourself. Revolutions don't normally get passed by committees ‐ they're started by wild, independent, brave do-ers and the people who are smart enough to come along for the ride. Leave everyone else in the dust. Do the work yourself, and engage anyone who is open to dramatic improvement and dream realization.

5. Names, Names, Names. As we mentioned, don't set a goal for x many new members. Set a goal to see how many people you can meet in the shortest period of time. You can't recruit who you don't know, so you've got to start there. Do marketing efforts and events ONLY IF THEY GENERATE A LOT OF NAMES. Taking 4 guys to Hooters doesn't get you more names ‐ it just gives your four names a boring stereotypical view of your chapter. Do things that generate names. Keep a simple spreadsheet of names (you could call it a "Names List," and record which brother met them, their contact info, and anything else you know about the. Try these ideas for getting names:

A raffle.
A scholarship.
A new club.
A petition for better
organizations.
A political rally.
A big service event.
"15 Minutes on
the Quad" (between class periods, fan out across the quad on campus and just
introduce yourself to people ‐ see tip 6 for something to talk about)
"5 for 5" (go out to meet 5 new people a day for 5 days straight ‐ and get others to
join you in the challenge)
Referrals from profs, sororities, friends, R.A.'s,
coaches, campus religious leaders, volunteer centers, other organizations and
organization leaders, your office of Greek life, etc.
(If you've read Good Guys, see the section on the 6 Cylinders)

6. Give Something Away. Often, if I'm making a cold-call when doing sales work, I like to open by saying, "One of the reasons I'm contacting you is to make sure you're aware of this great resource"" It works every time. What can you give away that is of value to others so that you have something easy to talk with them about. Maybe the chapter is having an event that you want to make sure everyone's aware of. Maybe the chapter is organizing a weekly study night / poker night / bean bag game / basketball tournament / memorial ceremony / philosophy discussion. Maybe the chapter is raising money for charity and giving away a prize. Maybe the chapter is looking for volunteers to serve on a focus group that is evaluating campus life (or fraternity life). Give something away. It makes it easier to talk with people.

7. Do what has ACTUALLY worked before. Often when given this simple piece of advice, chapters will plan to do some big event that they had fun with before. Just because it was fun or seemed cool doesn't mean it actually drove results. And remember, the most important results are NAMES ‐ you can't recruit who you don't know. Think back to what you've done before and do the things that have actually driven potential members' names to a list from which you could choose.

8. Do Something Other than a Rush Event.
All frats do rush events. Are you just another frat? If not, do something different than what they do. Do brotherhood or service or social events that you can bring dozens or hundreds of prospective members to. Heck, I'd recommend not doing events at all ‐ they're often a waste of time and really expensive, but if you're going to do them anyway, don't do RUSH events. If you are brave enough to avoid events, try doing normal people activities (lunch, work out, hang out, watch basketball, etc.). After all, it is important that you know that normal people (non-Greeks) are afraid of RUSH events.

9. Ask For Help. "Hi there volunteer club thanks for letting me talk to you for a few minutes, my name is Matt and I'm a member of XYZ fraternity. We realize that the fraternity system here is not great, and because of that many of you aren't a part of it. We want to change that. In fact, we want to change everything about the fraternity system and to do that we need better men to lead that effort. We need men better than us. We need men like you who do" blah blah blah. All we're asking is for a chance to talk with you or your friends about a pretty amazing opportunity ‐ to revolutionize the way fraternities are seen on this campus. We'll even buy you lunch." Imagine a scene like that at every major organization on campus and with every professor you know, and with every administrator you know" It will work.

10. Be Brave. How many people have never joined your chapter because you never asked them? How many people have never joined because you never even bothered to meet them? Be brave. Step outside of your comfort zone for 2 or 3 weeks and give people the chance to have the life-changing experience you're having in the Greek World. You're doing them a favor. Be brave enough to offer a great gift to others.

Bonus tip #11: Have Multiple New Member Classes. This is a no-brainer to me, but not to everyone else. Why try to do it all in a couple of weeks at the beginning of the semester. Have rolling new member classes that start and end whenever they need to.

Good luck!