Public awareness of FBLA should be a major focus of a chapter’s plan of action. Recognizing public relations as a systematic approach to achieving goals will enable the chapter to establish activities for informing groups of the chapter and its goals.
A well-planned, aggressive recruitment campaign can strengthen a chapter and increase its membership. The most intensive work in membership recruitment should be done at the beginning of the school year, with an additional campaign conducted at the beginning of second semester.
Here are some techniques the chapter can adapt for its membership campaign:
1. Prepare a brochure for new business students to be distributed in the business classes or at an orientation party. The brochure might include the following information:
- An explanation of the business education curriculum
- Short biographical sketches of the business department faculty
- Reasons for choosing a career in business
- A section on FBLA that include:
- why a business student should belong
- where and when meetings are held
- what the chapter does at meetings and for special projects
- who the officers and members are.
2. Establish an intensive publicity campaign with slogans such as:
- "Put a Friend on the Right Track with FBLA.”
- "FBLA the Key to Success, Self-Improvement, Professionalism.”
- "Each One Add One."
3. Declare the FBLA campaign period FBLA Week, and
- have special activities planned for each day during the week
- recognize outstanding chapter members
- publicize the chapter throughout the school, using posters and changing them frequently
- emphasize identity with the business department and its students
- indicate that FBLA is for ALL business students.
4. Have chapter representatives tell the FBLA story in various business classrooms. They should be prepared to answer questions. The story should include
- the purposes of the organization
- how FBLA is organized
- local chapter activities
- types of membership and requirements for each
- conferences and awards program
- emblem items and publications available to members.
Include visual aids such as
- illustrations and photographs of chapter activities
- FBLA emblem items
- certificates, plaques, and other awards won by the chapter and its members.
5. Establish a special information booth in the business department staffed by FBLA members. The booth could be set up before and after school, during lunch hour, and between classes.
6. Advertise in the school newspaper. Have the chapter president write a welcome letter to the new members within ten days of sign-up. Ask an active member to serve as a buddy to the new member for a few months. This will enable the new member to become part of the group more rapidly and give him or her the sense of being important to the group.
Chapter Public Relations Program Development
The following suggested list of activities may be helpful in promoting a positive public relations image within the chapter, school, and community. To earn points toward becoming an Honor Chapter, a chapter may submit a report of the planned public relations program by November 15.
The report format is suggested by the following activities:
Promotion within the Local Chapter
- Give responsibilities to every member.
- Be sincere in recruiting new members.
- Balance work activities with entertainment.
- Acquaint new members with FBLA, using brochures, pictures, local chapter handbook, bulletin board displays, and exhibits.
- Present stimulating programs; involve chapter members in the programs.
- Prepare attractive and appealing bulletin boards with current information about FBLA activities.
- Recognize an outstanding FBLA member.
- Display FBLA banner in school; wear pins and blazers to meetings and when working for FBLA in school.
Cooperation with Other FBLA Groups - Local, Regional, State, and National
- Exchange FBLA ideas and news through Tomorrow’s Business Leader and the Pride of Virginia.
- Have meetings, programs, and socials with other FBLA chapters.
- Work on community projects with other FBLA chapters.
- Participate in regional, state, and national FBLA activities.
Cooperation with Other School Organizations and School Administration
- Cooperate with other school organizations in conducting school and community projects.
- Offer office services to other organizations and administration and faculty.
- Publish a student handbook.
- Recognize the outstanding business senior.
- Present a gift to the school each year.
- Hold a meeting and/or social event with other school organizations.
- Work with other organizations in preparing a career and technical education exhibit during American Education Week and FBLA/Career and Technical Education Week.
- Invite a school administrator to be a program speaker.
- Give an assembly program.
Communication with Parents of FBLA Members
- Extend an invitation to all FBLA meetings.
- Publicize activities in school and local newspapers.
- Invite parents to an open house, parents’ night, or career day.
- Provide a program for the PTA and other parent groups.
Cooperation with Local Businesspeople and Business and Civic Organizations
- Ask business or civic organizations to serve as chapter sponsors.
- Invite individuals from business to speak at program meetings.
- Offer administrative support services to civic and charitable organizations.
- Provide programs to business and civic groups.
- Take field trips to business offices.
Cooperation with Local, State, and National Government Officials
- Acquaint government officials with FBLA.
- Assist with voter awareness campaign.
- Invite government officials to awards banquet.
- Invite government officials to be program speakers.
Communication with General Public
- Prepare attractive displays, store windows, billboards, and marquees in your community.
- Celebrate FBLA Week, National Education for Business Week, Professional Secretaries Week, Career and Technical Education Week, or American Education Week.
- Participate in community events.
- Assist with community fundraising campaigns, such as March of Dimes, Red Cross, Cancer Society, Heart Fund.
- Identify yourself as an FBLA member by wearing the membership pin or blazer when working for FBLA in the community and by displaying the FBLA banner when appropriate.
- Distribute copies of Tomorrow’s Business Leader and Pride of Virginia in prominent places, such as doctors’ offices, libraries, etc.
Cooperation with Business Sponsors of FBLA
Serving as liaisons between the chapter and the business community, business sponsors can make vital contributions to the successful programs of FBLA chapters. Many chapters have profited from sponsoring organizations such as the Business and Professional Women’s Club and the Chamber of Commerce. A business advisory council composed of several community leaders is another way of involving FBLA with the business community. Representatives should be selected from among businesspersons, school administrators, and civic, labor, and government organizations.
- Identify how to select a business sponsor.
- The chapter should have business leaders as members.
- The membership of the organization should have a good reputation in the community.
- The purpose of the organization should be of a business or educational nature.
- The organization should have a service interest in the education of future business employees.
- The organization must be in a position to sponsor FBLA.
- The approval of your school administrators should be sought.
- Identify how a business organization can assist an FBLA chapter.
- The sponsor should help in developing good relationships
between employers and future employees.
- The organization should lend prestige to the FBLA chapter to be sponsored.
- Businesspersons could serve as judges for events, as vocational counselors to members, and as speakers at meetings.
- Participants could give students and teachers an opportunity to work directly with key businesspeople in the community.
- Businesspersons might suggest activities to the FBLA chapter and assist in implementing activities.
- The organization might give financial aid for delegates to state and national conferences.
- The organization might give awards to outstanding members.
- Identify how a business organization can profit from sponsorship of an FBLA chapter.
- The educational committee of the organization would acquire an excellent contact with the school.
- FBLA members could assist the sponsoring organization.
- Occasional clerical assistance with projects could be obtained.
- FBLA could provide programs for meetings.
- Communication would be established with potential employees and their educators.
- Identify how to interest a business organization in sponsoring an FBLA chapter.
- Representatives could be invited to FBLA meetings.
- Representatives could be asked to take part in a program.
- A program could be presented to the potential sponsoring organization.
- Organization members could be invited to a social.
- Advice from the organization about chapter projects could be sought.
- Key members of the organization could be contacted regarding FBLA.
- An employer-employee function could be held.
- A good publicity program could be implemented and maintained.