Student Chapter Toolkit

Welcome to PHR

Mission Statement

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) mobilizes health professionals to advance health, dignity, and justice, and promotes the right to health for all. Harnessing the specialized skills, rigor, and passion of doctors, nurses, public health specialists and scientists, PHR investigates human rights abuses and works to stop them.

Our research takes us to conflict zones, to US prisons and immigration detention centers — and our advocacy brings us to the offices of national and international policymakers. The courts, decision makers and the media have come to rely on our credibility and expertise. Motivated by moral urgency, based on science, and anchored in international human rights standards, PHR’s advocacy advances global health and protects human rights. PHR is building a new movement for human rights based on the solid foundation of over two decades of investigation, advocacy and accomplishment.

About PHR

History

PHR was founded [1]in 1986 with the idea that health professionals, with their specialized skills, ethical duties, and credible voices, are uniquely positioned to investigate the health consequences of human rights violations and work to stop them.

Since its founding in 1986, PHR members have worked to stop torture and political killings; investigated deaths and trauma inflicted on civilians during conflicts; documented inequities in health and health care due to racial, ethnic and gender discrimination; exposed exploitation of children in labor practices; documented evidence of genocide, exposed human rights abuses within prisons; and helped build local capacity to combat global AIDS.

PHR is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and also has an office in Washington, DC. We are a non-profit, non-sectarian organization funded through private foundations and by individual donors. Membership is open to all, not just health professionals. PHR shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.

Board of Directors [2]

Staff [3]

Mission Statement Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) mobilizes health professionals to advance health, dignity, and justice, and promotes the right to health for all. Harnessing the specialized skills, rigor, and passion of doctors, nurses, public health specialists and scientists, PHR … Continue reading

Orientation and Welcome

An overview of the history and mission of PHR and the National Student Program.

An overview of the history and mission of PHR and the National Student Program.

Forming a Chapter

How to establish a new PHR Chapter at your school

Form a Core Group

Most Chapters start off with just a few dedicated students.  Start with your own contacts: ask your friends and classmates help launch a PHR Chapter. Ask faculty who teach relevant topics and attend pertinent events to reach out to participants.

Consider reaching out to other schools or departments within your University system.  If you are at the medical school, connect with the schools of public health, nursing, dentistry, or pharmacy. For example, at Boston University, the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health created a joint chapter.

Host an Introductory Meeting

Encourage attendance by providing an informal informational session where you can articulate your Chapter’s vision and purpose, and offer a preview of the work you’d like to do this year. Structure your meeting and provide substance, but be open to attendees’ input. Some of the materials in this Toolkit make it easy to explain PHR’s mission and how students can contribute, like this presentation. <<link to intro ppt>>.  Bring a few handouts. Collect the contact information of attendees. Ask those who commit to becoming a member of the Chapter to bring a friend to the next meeting.

Register with PHR

To be recognized by PHR, complete the Student Chapter Registration [1].  The National Student Program will contact you to provide information, resources, and support.

Each member of your Chapter should sign up to receive PHR news [2], action alerts, and invitations to various opportunities though our online action center.  Students also have the opportunity to become a member of PHR [3] at a discounted annual membership fee of $15.  Consistent connection with PHR will help your group stay up-to-date on crucial human rights issues and alert you to the opportunity to participate in PHR campaigns and training sessions.

Register with your School

You will most likely need to work with the office of Student Life or Student Activities to become an officially recognized student group.  Here are a few pointers:

  • Submit all required paperwork early in the year or term
  • Communicate your reasons for wanting to start a chapter
  • State how your chapter will positively impact your institution’s academic goals
  • Network with other student organizations to gain support
  • Gain the support of a faulty member or department at your institution
  • Discover what resources are available

Completing paperwork in a timely manner may affect the funding or support available to your Chapter and the chance to recruit members at school functions. In addition, gaining the support of other organizations and faculty on campus will also significantly assist you in establishing and sustaining a strong chapter.

Recruit New Members

In addition to planning, member recruitment and retention are vital aspects of building a successful chapter. The more motivated and committed individuals in your group, the more you can accomplish. Use every opportunity to recruit new members.  Stay in touch with individuals once they express interest.
As a PHR student chapter leader, it is important to recognize that your involvement and the involvement of others requires commitment—especially so because as a student in medical, nursing, or graduate school, time and energy are very precious commodities. Be direct when you ask for an action or commitment, such as attending a meeting, staffing a PHR table, or getting 15 others to sign a petition. Be clear to your fellow students that you are relying on them; encourage students to let you know in advance if they are unable to fulfill their commitment.
Ideas for recruitment include:

  • Presentations and meetings
  • Posters and flyers
  • Mass phone calls and emails, as well as personal follow-ups
  • Tabling, petitioning, and postcards

Find a Faculty Advisor

Your faculty advisor should be someone with whom collaboration would be beneficial to both your PRH chapter and the advisor. You might identify a prospective faculty advisor based on what they teach, their role on campus, or their demonstrated passion. Professors that teach relevant classes, such as medical ethics or classes on international medicine are valuable resources. Mentors or professors you work closely with are also a good resource for support.

Having a faculty advisor helps your chapter navigate the bureaucracy that comes with registering as a new campus group or initiating change, like introducing health and human rights education. Advisors may help find new members for your group. They can help plan events or offer advice on fundraising and school funding opportunities, and will have contacts and connections with the school. Faculty members who are not your Chapter’s Advisor can help with these topics, but it is ideal to have at least one professor on whom your group can depend for advice on strategies and long-term goals. Advisors can also offer institutional memory and continuity from year to year.

Faculty members are often looking for ways to get their students engaged in dialogue about how to operationalize academic topics outside of the classroom. Your PHR chapter provides a channel for students to discuss and realize how many aspects of their studies are intrinsically connected to human rights. From a faculty perspective, you’re helping enrich what they teach in their classroom by broadening the horizons of a typical school curriculum. Some professors may even be interested in integrating health and human rights issues into their coursework.

Charting your course

Once your Chapter is established, determine your shared priorities.  Do the members of your Chapter want to educate the campus about a particular human rights issue? Build advocacy skills? Start or improve a clinic? Introduce a health and human rights education initiative?

Once you’ve established your priorities, plan events that will promote them. You may use PHR’s National Conference, Regional Advocacy Institutes, and National Actions as anchors, as well as planning local events or actions. Many Chapters find that educational events that prompt further discussion – like a film screening or a speaker’s panel – offer a strong foundation for later advocacy efforts. Put together a calendar of events for the year to avoid scheduling conflicts and facilitate the planning process.

How to establish a new PHR Chapter at your school Form a Core Group Most Chapters start off with just a few dedicated students.  Start with your own contacts: ask your friends and classmates help launch a PHR Chapter. Ask … Continue reading

Planning and Leading an Event

A successful event takes planning, organization, timing, and follow-up. Use this guide for tips on how to produce an effective event.

Brainstorm

Events are most effective when they advance your chapter’s overall strategy; they provide great opportunities to recruit members, raise awareness, educate, promote advocacy, and raise funds or materials for the specific issues your chapter has chosen as a focus. Events can also be effective ways of attracting media attention, influencing policymakers, and promoting dialogue on your issue. Agree on your objectives before planning an event.

  • After agreeing on your objectives, establish SMART goals.  The outcome of your event should be:

Specific
Measurable
Achievable/Ambitious
Relevant
Time-bound (fit to deadlines)

  • Events can lead to direct action aimed at a social or policy change. If you intend to incorporate an action component, establish specific success objectives.

Examples of Success Objectives:

  • Written letter from each chapter member
  • Published letter to the Editor, Op-Ed (or other publicity)
  • Action by Member of Congress (or other elected official)
  • Formation of a coalition

Letters to the Editor

Writing a letter to the editor is a simple but effective way to make your voice heard in the public dialogue about current events and to influence public opinion. Beyond this, policy makers and legislators review their local papers’ letters to the editor to gauge their constituents’ priorities. Letters to the editor should be concise and well-written; state your main assertion in the first few lines of the letter, and be sure to proofread your letter. The letter is more likely to be published if it is written in response to a recent news item, which you should refer to in your letter.  Submission guidelines differ, so be sure to follow the guidelines set by the specific publication you wish to publish your letter. To find out how to submit a LTE for your local paper visit their website. The excitement of seeing your name in print and the ability to influence decision makers’ opinions make writing a letter to the editor well worth your while.

Successful events require resources.

What resources may be in reach? Here are a few possibilities (see Develop Resources [3] for more information):

Within your PHR chapter In your community From PHR
  • Computer, writing, or art skills
  • Media contacts
  • Connections with businesses
  • Commitment to the issue
  • Personal knowledge and/or experiences with the issue
  • Local relevant institutions
  • Local businesses
  • Supportive faculty
  • Nearby NGOs and other organizations
  • PHR Toolkit
  • PHR videos & reports
  • PHR staff
  • Nearby PHR chapters

Build Coalitions/Work With Others

Build power in numbers. Other groups may be happy to work with your chapter on an event and just require a specific ask about how they can help.

  • Coalition partners can help with planning, publicity, and participation.  Be clear on what type of assistance you need.
  • Consider partnering with groups such as: the student council, academic departments, faculty associations, other student organizations from your campus or other schools, community groups and NGO’s.

Assign Tasks

  • Create a timeline with a breakdown of tasks (recruitment, materials, publicity, media, general, etc). Work backwards from the due date of each task to ensure all the components come together in timely fashion.
  • Plan out your volunteer needs.  You will need people to cover the program, recruitment, registration, set-up, folder-stuffing, copying, greeting media, audio-visual set-up, photographer, etc.
  • Delegate responsibilities clearly.  If you have enough volunteers, set up work teams. Make event planning fun and express the importance of each person’s contribution.
  • Check in regularly with your event team to provide support and ensure they meet their goals and timelines.

Build an Audience & Publicize Your Event

  • Set a target number of people you hope will attend the event. Make it an ambitious but reachable goal. Consider whether you are looking for sheer numbers and/or certain people, e.g., health professional students, policymakers, the general public.
  • The law of halves: Consider that you will reach about half of the people you call or email. Of the people you talk to or reach by email, about half of those will express interest, and about half of those people will actually come. This means that if you want 100 people, 200 have to say yes. For 200 to have said yes, you must have reached 400 people, and sent out emails or tried calling about 800.

Consider the Four C’s when recruiting prospective attendees: Connect with people in a friendly way; provide the Context of the event and importance of issue; ask for a Commitment; and Common ground (relate the issue or event to the invitee.)

  • Start wholesale (group emails/mailings), and end up retail (individual emails, calls, and meetings). Nothing beats individual contact!
  • Recruit others to recruit for you. Utilize links from other websites and include event notices in others’ newsletters and emails.
  • Publicize your event widely!

Consider: fliers, listservs, tabling, announcements in class, Facebook & Myspace, banners in public spaces, letters to the editor of school paper, announcements in publications, Evite.com, presentations at club meetings, advertising on T-shirts, public service announcements on your local radio station, and asking faculty to announce your event during class.

Media/Publicity

  • Prepare a news advisory to be released ahead of the event and a news release for the day of event (see media training for how to write and distribute these and then do follow up pitch calls).
  • Utilizing strong visuals will increase chances of getting media coverage and will provide a visual record of your event.
  • Consider preparing and distributing a press kit (see PHR online advocacy toolkit).
  • Contact PHR [2] if you need help getting media attention, and send PHR any media coverage you receive.
  • See the guides on Publicizing your Event [1] and Working with the Media to Raise Awareness [4] for more information.

Reserving Sites and Preparing Materials

  • Reserve a venue well in advance; try to find a good fit for your event (parking and/or public transportation, price, size, neighborhood, convenience).
  • Ask everyone presenting at the event what they need ahead of time (slide or LCD projector, etc).
  • Be sure the message and appearance of any materials reflect your objectives and are appropriate for your audience. (Very important: contact PHR [5] regarding guidelines for using the PHR logo before producing materials!) Give yourself enough time for design, printing, distribution, and transporting materials to the venue prior to the event. Do a separate plan/timeline just for materials.
  • Have a sign-in sheet [7] (pdf) to collect names and contacts of the attendees. Send a copy to PHR [6].

Evaluate & Celebrate

  • In a following meeting, have an open Q & A to evaluate the event [What went well?  What would you change for the next event?]
  • Update contact information.
  • Have a post-event celebration with the event team and volunteers.
  • Send thank-you cards to all people involved in the event.
  • Report your event to PHR [8]. Send pictures and summary paragraph for possible use on the PHR student website.

A successful event takes planning, organization, timing, and follow-up. Use this guide for tips on how to produce an effective event. Brainstorm Events are most effective when they advance your chapter’s overall strategy; they provide great opportunities to recruit members, raise … Continue reading

PHR Campaigns and Research

PHR Library

The PHR Library [1]contains PHR public documents, including reports and press releases, congressional testimony, statements, letters, articles published in journals and periodicals and selected multimedia content. It contains all available reports, including those published in PDF format only.

PHR Action Center

The PHR Action Center [2] allows you to join PHR’s community of committed health professionals and other activists by signing up in the Action Center today. Once you’ve signed up, you will have opportunities to contact your legislators when human rights are at stake in their policy decisions. By signing up, you can participate in PHR’s work to protect health and human rights, and you can stay informed about the issues that matter most to you.

PHR Library The PHR Library contains PHR public documents, including reports and press releases, congressional testimony, statements, letters, articles published in journals and periodicals and selected multimedia content. It contains all available reports, including those published in PDF format only. PHR … Continue reading

PHR National Student Program

PHR recognizes the importance of organizing students to fight for health and rights. If we fail to fight for the basic social and economic rights of the poor and the marginalized, we will have failed in our mission.

– Dr. Paul Farmer, Director of Partners in Health

Vision of the PHR National Student Program

The goal of the PHR National Student Program is to advance health professional students’ understanding of and commitment to the right to health and to cultivate skills as advocates for health and human rights locally, nationally and globally.

To achieve this goal, the National Student Program’s objectives are to:

  • Advance a global understanding of health as a human right among health professional students and health-related institutions
  • Educate students and their communities about PHR’s research through events and materials
  • Support and strengthen PHR student chapters’ capacity to be effective health and human rights activists
  • Involve campus chapters in local, national and international policy debates and campaigns

The advancement of health depends on the protection of human rights. As future health professionals, you play a vital role in PHR’s work to advance health and human rights. Your commitment to health and medical ethics, and your demands for rigorous evidence and justice lend credibility and power to your advocacy.

Outreach and National Student Program Staff

Hope O’Brien [5], National Student Program Coordinator, works with the Student Advisory Board, the Regional Chapter Mentors, the Regional Training Coordinators, the HHRE Mentors, and the PHR staff and board of directors to lead the National Student Program.

PHR National Student Program Events

Please visit the Calendar [4] to learn about upcoming events and advocacy opportunities.

The National Student Conference

PHR’s annual National Student Conference features expert speakers, strategy sessions, and skill development workshops. The conferences allow participants to network and strategize with other dedicated students and faculty who strive to advance health as a human right on their campuses and in the world.  Participants meet human rights and medical professionals and hear them speak about their experience and expertise. We strongly encourage each Student Chapter to send at least two to three students. We also welcome applications from medical students who may not have a PHR student chapter but are committed to furthering human rights.

The theme of the 2011 National Student Conference was “Our Role, Our Responsibility: Defending Health and Human Rights.” Speakers addressed the unique opportunities and obligations of students and health professionals in the promotion of health and human rights. Attendees were able to confer with fellow students and colleagues during skill development workshops, and develop networking and hands-on advocacy skills with the guidance of journalists, policy analysts, and advocates.

2010’s student conference focused on empowering students and faculty to change the paradigm of medicine to one which embraces human rights through the incorporation of human rights in health professional education. Topics included the critical need to integrate health and human rights into education, strategies for incorporating quality human rights education in curriculum, as well as tangible skills and solutions for PHR student chapters to bring back to campus. The 2010 conference brought together almost 150 committed students and faculty who act as the front-runners of the curriculum change movement on their campuses.

Regional Advocacy Institutes

Join PHR staff and local experts in an intense one-day training to build your knowledge and skills and to network with other students.  Each Regional Advocay Institute will improve your understanding of some of PHR’s priority issues, further develop your advocacy skills [3] and foster collaboration between chapters in your region. For more information, contact the National Student Program Coordinator [1] or your Regional Training Coordinator.

In 2010, PHR held Regional Advocacy Institutes in Chicago, Baltimore, and Boston. Visit the student blog [7] [2] for information about upcoming opportunities.

National Actions

Each year, the PHR National Student Program leads targeted advocacy to address urgent human rights concerns and PHR’s advocacy priorities. Support is available for students to learn about these issues and, in turn, educate their campuses and involve their communities in the advocacy efforts. Visit the Advocacy Skills [6] section of this Toolkit for more information.

National Action: Health and Human Rights Education
September and October 2010

National Action: Human Rights and Health Access
December 2010

National Action: The Global Health Week of Action
April 2011

Visit the student blog [7] [2] for information about upcoming National Actions.

Student Leadership

“PHR restores my faith in the medical profession and reminds me that medicine is about more than showing up at the hospital every morning and leaving when the day is over – it is about changing the world.”
– John Chiosi, Student Chapter Leader

PHR depends on the visionary leadership of students to support our National Student Program. There are several ways for student to become involved in National Student Program leadership.

National Roles: the Student Advisory Board

The SAB is a national board of 7 or 8 students. The role of a Student Advisory Board member is:

  1. to serve as a liaison to student chapters within a certain geographic region, and
  2. to provide strategic and operational advice to the mission and direction of the National Student Program.

An SAB member is expected to be engaged in the development of the Student Program by completing his/her assigned duties, maintaining open lines of communication, and actively seeking areas for improvement in the National Program.

Regional Roles: Regional Chapter Mentors

Regional Chapter Mentors offer critical peer-to-peer support, advice, and problem-solving assistance to their region’s student Chapters, and help student Chapter leaders advance their Chapter development and activities. Regional Chapter Mentors provide the personal communication and online presence to ensure the chapters feel supported, appreciated, and connected to one another and to the National Student Program.

Regional Roles: Regional Training Coordinators

Regional Training Coordinators ensure that PHR’s National Student Program offers effective trainings in health and human rights advocacy. Regional Training Coordinators work with the National Student Program Coordinator to plan, run, and follow up on an engaging Regional Advocacy Institute. Therefore, the bulk of the work will be done August through November. Regional Training Coordinators will also support the regional community by supporting PHR’s direct communication and online presence.

School Roles: Chapter Leadership

Each Chapter should identify one or more students who will serve as the leader or leaders and provide vision and management of the Chapter activities. These leaders will maintain frequent contact with the National Student Program Coordinator, with their Regional Chapter Mentor and Regional Training Coordinator, with the members of their Chapter, with the Chapter’s faculty advisor, and with the campus administration.

Resources of the PHR National Student Program

The Student Blog [12] is updated frequently to make students aware of current PHR projects and opportunities.  Students often post to share their experiences.

Your Chapter may connect with others in your region through the Regional Hubs [11].

The PHR National Student Program has created a number of Toolkits [10] to educate students and facilitate involvement in advocacy.

PHR’s human rights work [8] is organized by campaign.  PHR staff and expert guests post frequent updates on emerging situations on the main PHR blog, the Health Rights Advocate [9].

PHR publishes its findings on human rights violations in reports [13], available for download.

PHR recognizes the importance of organizing students to fight for health and rights. If we fail to fight for the basic social and economic rights of the poor and the marginalized, we will have failed in our mission. – Dr. Paul … Continue reading

Leadership Transition

Choosing Chapter Leadership

Chapter Leaders offer vision and direction to their Chapter, while taking care of the logistics, relationships, and finances for Chapter activities. Both new and continuing Chapters will need to select their leaders. Possible roles include:

  • The president facilitates all meetings and has the authority to act on behalf of the organization when matters require immediate action. A vice president to run meetings in the president’s absence and act as a consultant on any issues requiring group leadership is suggested.
  • The Secretary records the minutes of the meetings, or simply documents the main decisions reached and the next steps to be taken, and shares this information. The Secretary may also handle the registration and other organization of the Chapter.
  • The Treasurer is in charge of all financial records and prepares the budget.
  • The Outreach Committee Chair is responsible for identifying and recruiting new members to the Chapter. He/She shall also coordinate the publicity and recruitment for specific chapter events with other committee chairs.
  • The Global Health Action Committee Chair is responsible for the annual Global Health Week of Action (GHWA) in April.  In addition he or she works with the National Student Program Coordinator to implement priority campaign events and actions.  A toolkit is available for the GHWA. [2]
  • The Health and Human Rights Education Committee Chair coordinates HHRE initiatives. A Toolkit is available for HHRE. [1] HHRE Mentors, who are students who have successfully introduced HHRE initiatives, are available as well [3].
  • Other issue committee chairs can be created at the discretion of the President to coordinate priority issues, events and/or campaigns for the chapter.

Registering your Chapter Leaders

When you have chosen your new Chapter leaders, please submit your new contact information [4]to ensure your Chapter’s new officers are officially recognized and are receiving resources, invitations to special events, and personal support from the national office. The new leadership team should also contact the National Student Program Coordinator [6] immediately to to ensure uninterrupted contact with the National Student Program.

Leadership Transition

During a turnover of the PHR student chapter to new leaders, it is crucial for the transition to run smoothly so that the club does not lose momentum or member interest. Ideally, the new leaders would be selected well before the end of the academic year to allow for sufficient overlap and for the new leaders to shadow the current administrators in their roles.

If you decide to wait until the fall to name new leaders, the current leaders will continue to receive PHR communication. Please be sure to continue distributing relevant information to the other members of the Chapter.

Capturing and Transmitting Information

Current leaders should can facilitate a smooth transition to new leadership and ensure a strong start next year by capturing and transmitting information like PHR and other human rights resources, speaker contact information, protocol for event management at your school, as well as any tips and advice the veteran team may have.

  • Document how to host an event, including how to reserve a room at your school.
  • Create a contact list and make note of previous speakers.
  • Make sure all passwords and keys have been handed over.
  • Put together a one-page “lessons learned” memo so that others may learn from your experiences.
  • Assess and document issue and advocacy resources (See Develop Resources [5] on the Student Blog).  
  • Host a fundraiser [7].

Choosing Chapter Leadership Chapter Leaders offer vision and direction to their Chapter, while taking care of the logistics, relationships, and finances for Chapter activities. Both new and continuing Chapters will need to select their leaders. Possible roles include: The president … Continue reading

Publicizing Your Event

Publicity is essential to the success of your event. Use this guide for tips on how to effectively publicize an event; print this checklist [1] to use as well.

Targeted Publicity Works Best

There are numerous vehicles for publicizing your event; decide which combination works best at your school. Also see Recruit for detailed information. Be strategic: consider who you want to attend and tailor your promotional efforts to reach that audience

Consider these options:

  • Use the internet → facebook, myspace, school blogs, and announcements on school websites, Evite, and e-mailing your chapter listserv.
  • Post flyers, fact sheets, posters, and banners in public places. Use the Know, Dare, Act posters, available from PHR.
  • Reserve a table in a high-traffic area on campus. Talk to fellow classmates about your chapter and event. Display flyers, fact sheets, or brochures about your event.
  • Ask faculty to help promote your event, by making announcements in classes. Occasionally, faculty will offer extra credit for students to attend events that are related to the course work… Ask your professors if this is an option
  • Submit a summary or press release to your school newspaper or radio station, and ask them to publish or announce your event. Post your event on campus or community calendars. Contact your school’s public relations department.
  • Continue to build coalitions by asking other student and community organizations to help you advertise by sending e-mails to their own listservs, tabling, presenting your event idea at club meetings, or asking them to cosponsor the event.
  • Use visual appeal. Get permission to paint a mural or hang a banner; ask if you can use sidewalk chalk or picket signs at heavily trafficked areas on your campus.
  • Explore all forms of media, including campus and community cable television stations and radio stations.
  • Wear it! Raise funds and advertise by making shirts, bags, or stickers displaying your event information. Sell them a few weeks prior to the event; ask chapter members and volunteers to wear the promotional items.

The Creative Edge: Engage the Eye

Make your advertising materials appealing! Use bright colors, compelling images, and a large typeface to make your posters and banners attractive and eye-catching. IMPORTANT: See the section of your welcome packet regarding usage of the PHR logo!

  • You don’t need a big budget to produce your materials. Ask for donations of markers, paper, printing, copying, or poster board from school departments or local businesses.
  • If you don’t have the budget to print your materials in color, use colored paper.
  • Set a production timeline with deadlines. Ideally, your materials should be printed and distributed 3 weeks prior to your event. Delegate tasks to your chapter members to help you produce your materials.
  • Find out if your school requires space reservations to put up banners or other large forms of advertising, or for tabling, and how far in advance of your event you can display them.

Posting Your Materials

Post your advertising materials in strategic locations. You want to reach as wide an audience as possible. Place flyers, posters, fact sheets, and banners in high-traffic areas. For instance:

  • Student Center
  • Classrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Bulletin Boards
  • Local Businesses
  • Nearby schools
  • Relevant institutions or organizations (Hospitals, non-profits, NGOs)
  • Dorms or Apartments
  • Student Mailboxes

For online advertising, start early, and send e-mails and invitations to as many people as possible and send another internet publicity blitz a couple days before the event. Include contact information so people can contact you for more information.

Use “Rounds” of Advertising

Complete the first round of advertising three weeks out, if possible. Do another round of advertising within the week leading up to the event. Re-post your materials on campus, and send out new invitations and e-mails. Ask other organizations, faculty, and community members to announce your event again.

Follow-up and Debrief

After your event is over, evaluate your publicity campaign. Were your advertising methods effective? What can you do better next time? Are there ways of advertising that you did not use? Is there a direct correlation between attendance and the methods you used to promote your event? Finally, be sure to thank your chapter members, faculty, community members, and anyone else who helped you with publicity.


Practice Exercise

Your chapter is hosting a major panel discussion on Global Health Disparities at your school in one month. You know from past experiences that it is extremely difficult to get your fellow classmates to attend events, as everyone always seems to be extremely busy. How can you effectively advertise on your campus? Aside from posting flyers about the event and using the internet (e-mail, facebook, myspace), what other methods can you employ to spread the word?

Publicity is essential to the success of your event. Use this guide for tips on how to effectively publicize an event; print this checklist to use as well. Targeted Publicity Works Best There are numerous vehicles for publicizing your event; … Continue reading

Chapter Management

Resources to guide the launch and management of your school’s Chapter.

Resources to guide the launch and management of your school’s Chapter.

Student Chapter Toolkit

[1]