Silver Wings Chapter Marketing Guide

This guide provides a brief overview of ways to help your chapter communicate internally with current members and externally to potential members, alumni, and your community. It is highly recommended reading for any current or future chapter officers particularly those members fulfilling the President, Public Affairs, Activities, and Development roles!

  1. Silver Wings - The Bigger Picture
                a. Leveraging Your Membership
                        i.  What does SW offer? - first step to marketing Silver Wings is knowing Silver Wings. Here are some things that Silver Wings offers to benefit members:
        1. Professional development
        2. Community
        3. Networking
        4. Chapter involvement
        5. Community service
        6. Internships
        7. Scholarships
        8. Leadership experience
        9. National events and conferences
        10. Active engagement in civic awareness
                b. Top Factors for Chapter Success
                       i.  Know your audience
                      ii.  Communicate value
                                 1. Create a theme for each chapter meeting - what are your members going to walk away with?
                                          a.  New skills
                                          b.  New friends
                                          c. New experiences
                     iii.   Build your chapter brand
        1. What will your chapter focus on?

                                          a. Silver Wings as a whole focuses on Community Service, Professional Development, Civic Awareness and Personal Development - but that doesn’t mean you have to treat all topics the same! If your chapter members really love professional development training, try to gear your brand and meetings toward that.

               c. National Snapshot

                       i.  SW regional map
                      ii.  Lead & Grow with Silver Wings - Executive Board positions
        1. One of the most unique aspects of Silver Wings is that it is completely student and member run from top to bottom - that means you have the rare opportunity to serve in leadership positions that actually lead and make change to the organization.
        2. Run for National Staff & Extended National Staff

                                          a. Be the leaders of the organization and gain critical skills like leadership, project management, development, fundraising, social media management, accounting and more that employers look for in prospective employees
                                                        i.  National Staff
                                                       ii.  National Business Chair
                                                      iii.  National Webmaster
                                                      iv.  National Chief of Protocol
                                                       v.   National Conclave Staff

                                     3. Run for Region President and Staff

                                          a. As Region President, you manage an entire region on Silver Wings chapters. This kind of direct project and personnel management experience is very attractive to future employers.

  1. Member Marketing

               a. Marketing Through Messaging - Words Matter
               b. How to Gain Interest in 20 Seconds or Less

                      i.  Nail your elevator speech, here’s a sample:

        1. Silver Wings is a national nonprofit organization focusing on building strong community leaders through professional development and community service.

               c. Who’s Your Target Audience?

                     i.  While Silver Wings is open to anyone, it may not be for everyone. Decide who your target audience will be and locate areas where you can recruit people who you think will be interested in all that Silver Wings has to offer, like certain classes, clubs, or people in your network.  

  1. Chapter Communications

               a. Email Communications

                      i.  Using your official SW email address

        1. Each Chapter President is assigned a specific email address to use for continuity. Be sure to use this email for all Silver Wings matters and check it regularly for important information and updates.
                     ii.  MailChimp
        1. MailChimp is a great (and free!) online program to use to send out email blasts to your chapters. Design and make them your own using fun graphics and branding specific to your chapter and include the official Silver Wings logo.
                    iii.  Newsletter
        1. Stay in touch with your members. Be sure to write a regular Silver Wings Newsletter (weekly or monthly) to make sure all of your members are on the same page. You can send this to any sponsors your chapter might have or your local AFA chapter, too!
                    iv.  Event Marketing
        1. Eventbrite is a great site for organizing and managing any events your chapter is hosting. You can even send emails directly from Eventbrite to your chapter!

               b. Create a Calendar

                    i.  At the beginning of each semester, look at the semester ahead and layout goals, projects, events etc. you want to host

        1. Make necessary arrangements to schedule and plan for them
                   ii.  Use a Google calendar using your SW email address and easily share with chapter members
                  iii.  Include info on your website so prospective and active members can see what is on the agenda and why they want to participate
  1. Branding Specs

               a. Official SW Logo and Uses

                      i.  Use the Silver Wings high-res logo on all of your communications, if you’re doing a joint event with AAS, be sure to use the intertwined SW-AAS logo found.

                     ii.  All logos are found here.

              b. SW Colors

                     i.  While, Blue

              c. Motto

                     i.  Knowledge, Wisdom, and the Courage to Serve

              d. Symbols

                     i.  White Rose

              e. Founder’s Day

                     i.  7 Feb

              f. Refer to Branding Toolkit for more

  1. Media & Press Relations

             a. How to Build Relationships with Local/School Media

             b. Op-Eds/Articles - get your word out!

                    i.  Op-Eds are a great way to communicate your opinion and advocate for your Air Force. These should typically be no more than 500 words and express strong support or opposition on a certain topic. Submit your Op-Ed to a local newspaper or magazine and build relationships with members of the press to support your Air Force through advocacy. -- Bonus: this is a great way for your own professional development to get published work out there!

           c. Press Releases

                   i.  Announce upcoming events or milestones
                  ii.  Press Releases are another great way to inform the press and the public about news in your chapter. Submit press releases to local news outlets informing them of upcoming events, new changes, messages of support etc. Members of the press may take your press release and republish it for a wider distribution. If your chapter has a website, be sure to upload these press releases to your News section.

           d. Invite Press to Events

                  i.  School Newspaper or Local Outlets
                 ii.  Whenever your chapter is holding an event, like a dinner or seminar, be sure to invite members of the press to attend free of charge. Having press at your events will keep them informed of what your chapter is doing to support the Air Force and community and will also assist in building these important relationships in the future.  
  1. Chapter Websites

                a. Easily Get Your Chapter Website Started

                  i.  Wix, Squarespace, WordPress etc.

                 ii.  Many with low fees and free templates

               b. Update Information Regularly

               c. Uses

                 i.  Your chapter website can serve as a portfolio to gather all of the things your chapter does
        1. Photos, event info, chapter info, etc.

              d. Link to your social media profiles

              e. Include your website on everything sent from or about your chapter

  1. A Picture is Worth 1000 Likes

             a. Pictures are a great way to publicize your chapter, include photos on social media, websites, press releases and anything you can to really show what Silver Wings is like. Here are some tips for finding great photos:

               i.  Take High-Res Photos
                               1. And take many!
                               2. If you don’t have a DSLR camera, you can often rent one from your school
              ii.  Finding relevant, free stock photos
             iii.  AF.Mil and DOD photos are public domain and often have relevant photos for use
             iv.  SW national, AFA, Air Force Magazine Flickr accounts
              v.  Always credit non-original photos
  1. Social Media 101

          a. Best Social Channels for Your Chapter

             i.  Keeping up a few strong social profiles is more important than having several dormant ones

          b. Finding Great Content

            i.  Post regularly
           ii.  Follow AAS-SW national accounts
          iii.  Follow accounts relevant to your chapter, like AFA, US Air Force, news outlets and others to share posts and gain inspiration

          c. Setting Up Your Social Profiles

            i.  Profile Picture

        1. Use official SW logo
           ii.  Be consistent with your account handles across platforms
          iii.  Include brief - but enticing - chapter information in About sections (think about your elevator speech!)
          iv.  Posting
        1. Post regularly and often - focus on content that works best for each platform
        2. Post with purpose - action

a. Lead followers back to your website, encourage them to attend your events etc. Always have a call to action in your posts.

                                  3. Use good judgement

                                       a. Silver Wings is a professional organization, so it’s important to maintain a professional appearance on social media, while still having fun.

          v.  Attracting followers

        1. Include links to profiles on all communications (website, emails, email signature block, flyers etc.)
         vi.  Analyze your posts
        1. Set up business accounts for profiles (it’s free!)
        2. What content do your followers like best? Least? Track this through analytics
  1. Resources For Creating Professional, Appealing Documents
                 a. Piktochart
                 b. Adobe
                 c. iMovie
                 d. Canva