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Myths Around Marketing & Dirty Rushing: Focusing on Social Excellence and Relationship Building Through Marketing!

There are a lot of widely circulated myths in the fraternity/sorority world, especially when it comes to Panhellenic rules and recruitment culture.


Maybe you’ve heard some of them…


“During recruitment you can’t talk about the B’s – boys, booze, and bars”

“There used to be a law that more than 4 women living in a house is a brothel”

“You can’t speak to any freshmen until after formal recruitment because it’s dirty rushing”


…I could go on… *eye roll*

But let’s get into one of the major myths displayed in that last example. Let’s talk about dirty rushing and how this myth is killing your marketing efforts.


First >>> we need to get on the same page about those marketing efforts before we get to how dirty rushing myths are killing them.


Marketing is about reaching out to – and building relationships with – your target audience.


That can look a bunch of different ways:

  • Social Media

  • Print Marketing

  • Digital Media

  • Attending/hosting events

  • Presentations

  • Informal hangouts

  • Personal messages/invites

  • Elevator pitches

  • Campus Tours

  • Open Scholarship Opportunities

  • Campus Ambassadors

  • Virtual Open House

  • Webinars

  • Networking Seminars

  • Open study sessions

  • Welcome Week tabling

  • Virtual coffee chats

  • Email newsletters


… etc, etc, you get it!


And if you’re really marketing your sorority experience then you’re not just pushing out info, you’re personally engaging with someone about that info.


It’s the difference between an Instagram post saying…

“Hey humans of the internet, there’s this event next Thursday”




A DM to a woman in your biology class saying…

“Hey [person I know from class], what are you doing Thursday? Wanna come to this event with me?!”


Got it?


Next >>> Let’s get on the same page about dirty rushing.


Dirty Rushing includes activities or tactics used by a member of an organization to recruit or influence PNM/Is (potential new members or interests) outside of the official recruitment process. This can include offering special privileges, gifts, exclusive access to events, or early promising them a bid of membership to secure their interest and dissuade them from pursuing other organizations.


In short, Dirty Rushing is an act that sabotages the recruitment process for a PNM and other organizations within the community.


If your communication with any potential new member(s) is intended to sabotage a PNM’s process of joining any sorority, or any sorority’s ability to fairly recruit her then you are participating in dirty rushing.

It’s cheating.

It’s manipulation of people and organizations participating in the recruitment process.

It’s active sabotage.


Does this happen?

Sometimes, on some campuses, sure.


Is saying “hi, how are you” to a freshman while riding in an elevator active sabotage?

Absolutely not.


Is chatting in the line at Starbucks with a few new first-years and talking about their professor’s bid promising? Of course not.


Is accepting a follow from a new student and DMing about fun Fall events at your school dirty rushing? Nope, not if you’re being open and sharing about all the events that are to come. It’s actually inclusive, caring, and a great way to build relationships and make new friends!


See the difference?


If marketing is about reaching out to and connecting with our target audience

>> and our target audience includes students at our institution who are not sorority-affiliated

>> then we should absolutely engage in conversation with those students!


If you are marketing (re: connecting) from a place of curiosity, generosity, and authenticity then there is no way you can be dirty rushing!


But AVOIDING building connections with your target audience out of fear of some greatly misinterpreted (or even non-existent) rule is killing your marketing efforts.


So, take the leap. Answer that DM. Engage in the chat. Comment on that post and let those unaffiliated students know that you and the rest of your community are excited to get to know them!


Now you can go forth and connect without fear!


Just don’t sabotage anyone, and you’re safe :)


455143222-headshot-circle_karli Written by Karli Sherman, Growth Consultant