Get parents excited about actually helping at your upcoming summer events
We’re guessing you have an event or two left this term. So what’s the best way to get everyone primed and ready to muck in?
People’s lives are so busy that to cut through the noise of a million other messages, you need effective, engaging communication tactics. So here are our top tips for getting your message noticed!
Argh my inbox!!
Our inboxes get filled with so many emails every day that yours really needs to stand out. A snappy and enticing subject line will help make sure your PTA email gets opened and not dumped straight into the trash without a glance. You could try different approaches to this, including:
- exciting (PTA Events in April You Won’t Want to Miss!)
- humorous (Oh no, not another PTA email! You’ll love this one though….)
- short and sweet (Summer Bonanza!)
- urgent (Very limited Quiz Night tickets left - don’t miss out!)
105 billion emails are sent EVERY DAY, so you gotta be creative with your subject line and grab the reader’s attention.
But what do we say?
Give them a quick intro, don’t assume they know what the event involves or who it’s for. New parents join every year, so the more you spell it out, the more likely parents will understand that it applies to them.
No one has time to read pages and pages of text, so make your communications short and sweet and right to the point, adding bullet points to make important information stand out.
And how do we say it?
If they’ve never been involved with PTA events before, they might be apprehensive. But we all know that helping out at a PTA event can be quite a giggle, especially if you do it with friends! (Or come ready to make some new ones!)
Create a light-hearted tone to your email or letter - fun and inclusive will win you more supporters than threatening to cancel an event if no-one replies! However make sure they understand that the events are only made possible with adequate support available.
Make the emphasis on a joyful, collaborative effort that will bring the community together and help people feel like they are making a difference.
Make it eye-catching
Include graphics, photos or images to make it more interesting; for example images from a previous successful event, a photo of your amazing top raffle prize, the event poster, or even a picture of whatever it is you’re fundraising for. If the reader is inspired by what they see, they’ll be much more likely to take action.
Make volunteer requests as specific as possible
It’s more effective if you ask for help with a very specific task, and spell out exactly what’s involved too. (Psssst. We make this super-easy with PTAsocial, our free app for PTAs, used by almost 2000 PTA groups across the world.)
Don’t expect too much of them
Give them a chance to help for just half an hour, for example. 99% of parents would find this a reasonable request, whereas asking for 3-4 hours will rule out the majority.
But explain the impact of their actions
Make the point that by agreeing to take one small action, which could be as simple as stapling leaflets or bagging up popcorn, they’re playing a crucial role in raising funds for their child’s school, and setting a great example for their kids too.
Remember… Keep it short
Try your hardest not to waffle on - be respectful of people’s time. A long message packed with news is counter-productive as they’ll just opt to “read it later”. Little and (not too) often is better to keep people updated and engaged, and each time it’s opportunity to gently nudge people to step up.
Here’s an announcement about a summer festival, using PTAsocial’s message wall to send a “call to action” to the parents at school:
Create that feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out!) and watch those volunteer slots fill up 🙂 Here are some great posters here to get you started!
Want a much easier way of contacting parents than email lists, Whatsapp groups or Facebook pages? Be more environmentally friendly by printing less reply slips, letters and paper tickets.
Come and join PTAsocial! Our free-forever web app is designed to minimise admin and take away the barriers that stop many people from volunteering. Get started now in 2 minutes and start building your online volunteer community today.