You may think it’s time to throw out the sorority communication basics when sisters are all locked in their houses under orders to shelter in place.
However, keeping sisters engaged virtually applies many of the same basic ideas of chapter communication—just in a new way.
With virtual classrooms, virtual workplaces, virtually hanging out with friends, and even virtual family gatherings, we are finding creative ways to keep in touch.
These platforms give sisters the ability to stay connected in the same way.
OmegaFi offers several software solutions for managing a chapter remotely, including:
- OmegaOne – our premium, all-in-one chapter communication tool.
- Vault – a comprehensive chapter budgeting and financial management solution.
- OmegaRecruit – store recruitment data and vote and bid electronically.
- Compass – a comprehensive sorority membership database.
Yet these solutions on their own solve only half the problem—giving sisters the tools.
Getting sisters to stay engaged right now, and keeping them positive, all boils down to how you use these tools.
Here are a few tips from OmegaFi for staying safe while Keeping Sisters Engaged Virtually.
Sorority Communication Basics #1: Stay on Schedule
Under normal circumstances, sisters live by their chapter calendar. Without it, the chaotic pace of sorority life would quickly overwhelm them.
Suddenly, most people don’t even know what day of the week it is.
Is it Mon-Tues-Wed-Thur-Fri-Sat-Sunday? Yes, it’s that one.
We’re up at odd hours, sleeping till noon, in pajamas and bathrobes 24-7, and the rigors of the classroom and chapter house are but a distant memory.
How do you overcome that?
Simple: Keep using your chapter calendar.
OmegaOne communication software has a built-in chapter calendar feature. This calendar connects directly to a central hub of alerts and messages sisters can view directly on their phones.
You can update sisters on upcoming “events” such as teleconference meetings or other deadlines, and you can track remote attendance with a customizable numeric check-in code.
However, it also helps for executive officers to maintain their own communication schedule. That includes things like:
- when to send emails
- when to post on social media
- when to use outside communication apps
- when to plan/hold teleconference meetings or virtual recruitment workshops
- when and how to use OmegaOne features (alerts, file sharing, event management, and more)
Sorority Communication Basics #2: Keep Things Personal
If you crack the whip too much when everyone is already stressed out and restless with cabin fever, you’re going to have an insurrection on your hands.
Meeting this. Planning that. Deadlines abound. Blech. Who needs it?
Sisters also don’t want to get lost in the bigger picture of remote chapter management right now. It’s easy to feel alone when you’re, well, alone.
Consider how to connect sisters on a more personal, one-on-one level.
"For both larger meetings and one-on-one chats, sisters can use video conferencing platforms"
Match sisters with one another for virtual meetups.
You can then share the document using OmegaOne and add these meetups into the chapter calendar so no one forgets.
These will give sisters a chance to really check in with one another and share their experiences, relieving stress and offering that much-needed connection.
Sisters can talk about:
- how they’re coping mentally
- how classes are going
- what’s going on with their families
- fun activities they’re doing to occupy their time
- other personal updates and news
Sorority Communication Basics #3: Social Media
We’re way more online right now than usual. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram.
The problem is that a lot of what we see on our screens is grim; while being informed is important, too much of this with no breaks demoralizes us and stresses out our brains.
To keep sisters from falling into this cycle of negative thinking, regular social media posting can make a major impact. Now is a time to stay positive as much as possible.
- Remind sisters that, eventually, this crisis will pass.
- Distract them with fun memories and pictures of you all together.
- But also share how sisters are coping and connecting.
This helps sisters, alumnae, and parents feel like the chapter is there for them when they need it most. It also helps break the cycle of negativity and gets your followers thinking more positively, too.
Sorority Communication Basics #4: Let’s All Go to the Lobby
The movie theaters are closed, so the popcorn you’ll be munching will come from a bag. But so are sisters’ living rooms, due to the whole social distancing thing. No guests, remember?
How are sisters supposed to enjoy a film or TV show when they must watch Netflix alone?
Mercifully, there’s an app for that. It’s called Netflix Party. This Chrome browser extension lets you sync Netflix programs and chat with friends by forming or joining a “party.”
So now sisters can cozy up on the virtual couch and discuss the latest episode of Tiger King to give them some sense of normalcy—well, as much normalcy as Tiger King can offer.
Some Final Thoughts on Engagement
Remember that engagement is about building sisters up, and this is especially true now that we’re going through something difficult.
When you’re running your chapter remotely, building some leeway, empathy, and understanding into the way you communicate can go a long way.
Here are a few ways to flip the script and stay positive:
- Stay informed. Having information allows you to transform that information into positive action. Stay up on CDC guidelines and keep in contact with chapter advisors and other Greek officials who can update you about what to do next.
- But also get some distance from COVID news. As a chapter leader, you need to have as level a head as possible. That means you’re informed of the daily updates, but you aren’t swimming in it all day every day.
- Lead the way with self-care. Practice self-care, whatever that means for you. Get away from everything, including the chapter, for some time each day. Take showers. Eat healthy. Try not to lose hours of sleep. Connect with loved ones. Read a book. Spend time with a family pet.
OmegaFi provides software tools to fraternity chapters for recruitment, budgeting, communication, and more. See what we have to offer here or call us direct at 800.276.6342