Recruiting Tips and Tricks

1.    Social Media

Social media may be the best way for you to effectively recruit new members.  If you have a sweet Instagram and Facebook that’s full of pictures and videos of your club having fun on and off the water, you’re going to engage new people and basically prove to them that you are a club worth joining.  If you keep up regular posts that are high quality and creative, the pages will stand out and pique the interest of potential members.  Everybody has seen the same dull iPhone pictures of a fish; try to use higher quality cameras to take the pictures (most universities have a way for you to rent/borrow nice DSLR cameras cheaply).  Be sure to get your club featured on the Facebook groups or university sponsored pages for the incoming freshman class so you can get your club in front of them before they get on campus. 

2.    The Organization Fair

      Most schools have something like a student organization fair where organizations get a booth and can talk to students looking to join, make sure you club has a table.  We at Panther Fly Fishing stack our table with our 5Rivers gear, posters from the 5 Rivers Rally and a laptop with a slideshow of photos of our trips and projects.  Have a map or a list ready with locations where you fish, because 95% of the people who come by will ask about where you fish.   Have a sign up sheet ready so you can get the contact info for new people, so that you can get in touch with them before the first meeting.    

3.    TU Connection

      Exploit the connection you have with your local TU chapter, they definitely have kids that attend your college or know people who do.  Have them reach out through their newsletter to find even more people on campus who have a passion for fly-fishing or are looking to learn the sport. 

4.    Retention

This is the most important part of recruiting, keeping your members and newbies engaged and active in the club.  If your meetings are boring and your outings rare, you will have issues keeping new people involved because they will lose interest.  I found it successful when I was the president of the Panther Fly Fishing club that by showing a few fly fishing videos (IF3 work great), hosting guest speakers, fly tying demonstrations etc., all work well to keep meeting interesting and worth attending regularly.  My club tries to keep up a relatively continuous schedule of outings, be they day trips to a local stream or overnight camping trips farther out from campus.  By having an established schedule of events set up, you instantly get members looking forward to trips and time blocked off on their calendars earlier in the semester.  Set up a club group chat, using for instance the app Groupme, so new members are immediately included in the club conversation and have access to quick info, as well as access to the more impromptu fishing trips that aren’t necessarily talked about during meetings.  Finally, just make sure that the image you portray of your club is one of a group of college kids who like to have fun, while fly fishing, helping conserve our waterways.  Social events outside of fishing are perfect for building relationships within the club, like BBQ’s, tailgates or weekly hangouts on campus, these will also assist in recruitment year round, as members might bring along new people and introduce them to the club atmosphere and members. 

-Intern Zaz