by Matt Mattson
Important question: Who has the most influence over what incoming students think about the idea of "fraternity" on your campus?
Think hard about that one.
Is it your IFC? Is it your chapter leaders? Is it your Greek Advisor? Is it your admissions office?
Honestly, for most campuses, it is probably a combination of local media and a handful of the worst fraternity men from your worst chapters on your campus. That's who probably has the most influence over what people think about and expect from fraternities on your campus. The least of our members create a story that the best of our members (you) have to somehow get prospects to not believe.
Others that might have more influence over "the brand of fratenrity" on your campus than you: older siblings who had a mediocre experience, parents who talk about the 'good old days' of when they were members, movie producers, the owners of TFM, non-members, campus newspaper journalists, non-Greek tour guides, sports coaches, etc.
Here's the point. YOU PROBABLY DON'T CONTROL YOUR OWN BRAND NARRATIVE. If you're an IFC officer or chapter leader (or FSL Pro) who cares about your fraternity community, this should piss you off.
Let's take back control of the story of fraternity. Let's recapture our own narrative. This is why we're passionate about doing marketing strategy work on campuses. You - fraternity leaders - deserve support and professional marketing expertise.
You need a narrative. You need a strategy. You need a social media plan. You need storytelling materials. You need to train your members on your narrative. You need to figure out how to reach high school students. You need to have a way to influence parents. You need control (or at least a little more than you probably currently have)!