Attendance at your events are directly related to promotion and marketing implementation. The promotion strategies your group uses will be different depending upon the goals and context of your event. For example, if your event is meant for group members only, a post on GopherLink News, an email to your member listserv, a social media posting or a few meeting announcements may be sufficient. Your group will need to engage in more large scale practices to ensure that the message gets out about your event as the size of your audience increases.

Things to consider while your group is planning promotion, publicity and advertising for your events throughout the year:

  • Determine your targeted audience
    Example: “This event is free to University of Minnesota students with valid U-Cards.”
  • Establish a timeline for implementation
    Example: Your group plans to have all posters designed and sent to the printers two weeks before the event.
  • Determine the unique attributes and details attendees will want to know about the event
    Example: Your event features a guest speaker from off-campus.
  • Determine best marketing vehicles to reach your intended target audience
    Example: Social media, posters, digital signage, etc.
  • Ensure advertising strategies fit within your group’s budget
    Example: “Your group dedicates $10 on social media to boost your event.”
  • Establish a timeline for implementation
  • Example: "Your group plans to have all posters designed and sent to the printers two weeks before the event.

Below is a list of tactics and platforms your student group can use to promote your events:

  • GopherLink Events and News
  • Literature Distribution on Campus
  • Posters and Flyers
  • Chalking on Campus
  • Mailing Lists
  • Newspaper/Press Release
  • Social Media and Networking
  • Digital Signage

Remember: Your student group promotion team is acting on behalf of your group. If members and volunteers don’t follow posting policies, your group is held accountable. Make sure your promotion volunteers are aware of the policies prior to implementing your promotion plan.

GopherLink is a comprehensive tool to connect students to student groups on campus. It features opportunities for students to join a group, participate in an event and tracks their experiences. You can find events hosted by student groups and departments happening around campus through this tool. GopherLink also provides a platform for sharing news. Student groups have primarily used this feature to debrief their meetings, discuss relevant topics and share information about their upcoming events.

Literature Distribution on Campus

There are specific policies and procedures for the distribution of handouts, indoor postings, outdoor postings, chalking and placing publication bins and racks on campus. Student groups are responsible for knowing and adhering to these policies.

See the specific policy under Distributing Publications and Installing Banners at the University for more information.

Posters and Flyers

Hanging signs or posters on campus is one of the most popular ways to get the message out. The University allows posting for student groups in approved locations. Any posting that is not displayed in an approved location may be removed. Any damages to buildings incurred due to inappropriate posting will be assessed to the student group and its officers. Academic buildings and off-campus businesses have different policies on posting. Make sure your group asks for permission and get specific procedures for each building. We recommend dividing campus locations and businesses among your promotion volunteers so that your posters do not concentrate the same areas. We also recommend keeping a list of the locations and businesses that allow you to poster for future use. Be sure to include the URL link to your event page on all of your group’s flyers, media posts and all online platforms your group use.

The Student Unions & Activities and Residence Halls both have an approval process for poster/flyer distribution highlighted below:

Student Unions in Coffman and St. Paul Student Center

  • All posters or flyers must be approved through the SUA Post Office, bearing the original stamp of SUA approval.
  • SUA staff will be responsible for placement of all posters and flyers including restrooms.
  • Posters or flyers are allowed at designated posting areas only.
  • No posters or flyers shall be put on any glass, carpeted, paneled, papered, painted, or wood surfaces.

Distributing Publications (handouts and flyers)

  • This activity is subject to all of the rules and regulations as defined under the University Wide Policy on Distributing Publications and Installing Banners at the University.
  • Publications may be distributed outside of SUA facilities provided the distribution is not disrupting traffic or blocking any SUA facility entrance and distribution is 25 feet from any building entrance.
  • Distribution of publications inside of SUA facilities is allowed only at a reserved contact table.

Residence Halls/Apartments

The approval process for posting information for Residence Halls can be reviewed on the Housing and Residential Life website.

Use of Banners on Campus

If you would like to post a large banner, you need to get approval from a sponsoring University Department via the guidelines listed on the Banner Installation Request Form.

Chalking on Campus

Distribution of Information by Chalking

Chalking on campus is limited to recognized student groups, University of Minnesota departments, faculty members, staff members and any registered U of M student. Chalking must comply with the University Administration Chalking Policy. Facilities management reserves the right to clean and remove any chalking, which does not comply with this policy.

Distribution of Information via Snow

In accordance with outdoor space policies, during winter months, groups are not permitted to decorate or deliberately discolor the snow. Groups must remove any discolored snow after an event. The organizing group will be financially liable for clean-up costs if the area is not returned to original condition.


Use your GopherLink profile to manage your group's membership roster. If your group has developed an email or direct mail member distribution list, determine how you want to use this list to promote your events or direct them to where they can find more information about your group. Be sure to include the URL link to your event page on all of your group’s flyers and all online platforms your group use.

Newspaper/Press Releases

Consider advertising in an on-campus publication as many students are frequent readers. Costs vary depending on the size of your advertisement. We recommend contacting each publication to inquire about costs for student groups.

Your group can also consider preparing a press release to send to local papers, websites and some on-campus newsletters. Press releases typically feature detail the “who, what, where, when and why” of your larger events. In your press release, make sure to highlight why your event is newsworthy, especially to those who may have no affiliation to your group. Please note, this is not a guarantee they will cover your event, but it does increase your chances of receiving publicity. We recommend sending your press release at least five days in advance for a daily publication or two weeks for a weekly publication. Visit the publication’s website for press release procedures and contact information. Be sure to include the URL link to your event page in your articles.

Social Media and Networking

Social media platforms are a great way to get the word out about your events, engage with your student group members, potential members and other student groups. Your group may want to consider dedicating an officer position to your maintain your social presence.

Here are a few general guidelines that may help you determine which social media platforms makes sense for your group:

  • Facebook is highly recommended for student groups as it is a great place to keep information about your group, as well as showcase any events coming up. Followers can engage and ask questions. It is a great way to share photos and upload albums about previous events or general group photos. Ensure that content is uploaded regularly throughout the week to keep information up to date and relevant.
  • Instagram can be used to showcase what your group is about and inform students about any upcoming events. We recommend that your group use Instagram stories for live coverage of any events, for live announcements, question and answer forum, and other small video segments. Due to the highly visual nature of this channel, it is recommended that clear, high quality photos and videos are used and that content is posted frequently to stay active and keep users engaged.
  • Twitter is typically used for more “news” related information. Tweets can be used to share about upcoming deadlines or events, live tweet at your group’s event or an interesting article your group just read. Just remember Twitter is meant to be more informative and get a conversation going among your followers.

Original and authentic photos must be used for all channels. Do not use photos found online or from another person’s profile. Should it be decided that use of another’s photo is necessary, always be sure to reach out to that individual or organization and ask for their permission, and also tag or credit them for their photo.

Once you have decided on which social media platforms work for your student group, don’t forget to include the URL link to your event pages in all of your group’s social media posts and all other online platforms your group use. You should include your group’s social media handles and can also include the direct URL link to your GopherLink profile. You can also feature your handles on any hand out information your student group provides at the Activities Fairs.

Digital Sign Event Advertising in Student Unions

On average, building traffic for Coffman Union is 24,000+ per day. There are five digital screens in Coffman Union, two located on the Second Floor and three located on the Ground Floor. All student group screens run on a continuous loop. Space is limited and will be given on a first come, first served basis. Promotions are displayed for 12 seconds each.

Digital Signage Policy

  • Student groups must be registered and in good standing with Student Unions & Activities. An officer must be listed on their group's GopherLink profile to be eligible to submit your group’s request to post on a digital sign.
  • To allow all student groups opportunities for access and to prevent a monopoly on digital signs, the following limits are placed on reservations:
  • Due to the number of registered student groups we have on campus, postings must be specific to student group events (i.e. no generic student group promotions are allowed).
  • No more than two postings per student group are allowed at a time.
  • Registered student groups may not reserve space request postings on behalf of other organizations or University departments.
  • The student group requesting the posting must be primarily responsible for planning, implementing, and financing the event.
  • SUA reserves the right to evaluate and make final determination of the posting. If intentional misrepresentation has occurred, this may result in suspension of posting privileges in all SUA facilities.
  • Approval must be received by SUA on all postings before they will be displayed.
  • Postings must prominently display the name of the student group planning the event, as well as provide date, time, the location and the link to your event page.
  • Postings for program or event series that exceed one single event will only be approved if all events take place during the same calendar week.
  • Student groups classified as Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) must follow Use of the University Name, Marks and Logos policies. Student groups classified as Campus Life Programs (CLPs) need to follow University Brand policies and guidelines.
  • No videos are allowed.
  • Approval will not be given for postings advertising personal sales of items (i.e. cars, furniture, etc.) or for individuals seeking roommates
  • If the student group’s event is sponsored by an organization external to the U of M, the sponsor’s logo must not exceed 20% of the overall image.
  • You may utilize Facebook’s Grid Tool to determine the space the sponsor’s logo may take up on your marketing piece.
  • Promotion of beverages must be in compliance with the University beverage contract, available from University Dining Services Contract Administration at (612) 624-9048.

Submission Guidelines

  • Digital signs must be submitted as JPEG files at
  • Postings will be displayed no earlier than 2 weeks prior to the date of the event.
  • Please allow 2 business days for promotions to be posted.
  • We recommend that you use the following Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) statement in your promotions: “If you require disability related accommodations for this event, please contact the Disability Resource Center at 612-626-1333 or a minimum of two weeks prior to the event.”

Design Specifications

Digital signs are displayed for 12 seconds each.

  • No animation on or in a PowerPoint slide
  • File dimensions must be 1920w x 990h pixels
  • Save as JPEG File Interchange Format in landscape orientation

Art Guidelines

  • Text should be no smaller than 24 point, larger is preferred in order to ensure readability
  • Minimal copy is encouraged
  • Orange, yellow and red tones are discouraged since they tend to bleed on television screens
  • Horizontal and vertical stripes are discouraged since they tend to look distorted on television screens

Questions may be directed to the Student Group Communications Assistant at (opens in a new tab).

Recruitment Resources

Student groups play a critical role in creating a sense of belonging at the University of Minnesota. One key indicator of a successful student group is how they are recruiting and incorporating new members into their regular programming. This web page is dedicated to providing student groups with resources to create and execute an intentional recruitment plan that aligns with your capacity and values.

We recommend reviewing your group’s constitution for the membership policies to identify any barriers to join your group. Your group may want to consider passing an amendment to simplify the membership process if that is necessary.

Student groups with questions may schedule general advising appointments with Student Activities Advisors at (opens in a new tab). Student groups may also seek assistance in planning their events by scheduling an advising appointment with Student Events and Entertainment at (opens in a new tab).

Determine Your Group’s Capacity

Group’s capacities may be different depending on the context of the group and the individual students. A person’s capacity may appear in their time, financial resources, ability to be physically present, the skills and experience they’ve brought to the organization, and/or their social networks. Your group may want to consider involving general members in this conversation to gain a better understanding of all of your resources.

For example, a student may not have the capacity to financially donate to their student group’s upcoming event. However, they may have the time to help at the kick-off event’s check in table.

Questions to Consider

  • Who in your group has time to organize the recruitment campaign?
  • Who in your group has access to financial resources to your group’s efforts?
  • Who is available to be physically present to work on the campaign?
  • Who has a skill set that would be helpful to utilize?
  • Who has the social network to assist in promoting your recruitment campaign?

Create a Recruitment Goal

It is important to create a recruitment goal that aligns with the group’s capacity. We recommend a smaller goal when the group’s membership is smaller. Student groups may reference the Student Development Outcomes SMART Goals worksheet at (opens in a new tab) for assistance.

For example, the following sample goals

  1. Increase your membership by 10% by the end of the first month.
  2. Have 50 new attendees at the group’s kickoff event.
  3. Increase the number of email subscribers by 15%.

Discern which Recruiting Strategies Align

Student group officers often limit their group’s recruiting efforts to gain new members by solely focusing on passive or active strategies. We recommend creating a campaign using combined efforts of passive and active strategies.

Passive Strategies

Passive strategies are strategies executed with little to no effort. Strategies may also become passive if they can continue to recruit without additional effort. Social media is an example of this. Your group may put in a lot of effort to create the content to introduce your group. However, it becomes passive when the content continues to assist groups to learn about your group long past the original post.

Examples of successful passive recruiting strategies:

  • Student group ambassadors commit to wearing a t-shirt designed by the group with the group’s logo through the first two weeks of classes.
  • Create business cards with a QR code that links directly to your group’s online presence
  • Posting flyers at approved locations with your group’s regular meeting information and contact information
  • Give every member club stickers to pass around
  • Advertise your events using free digital signage (opens in a new tab)
  • Create events on GopherLink (opens in a new tab)
  • Develop a welcome email or text message from the president for all new members
  • Use word of mouth to invite prospective members
  • Give out pens with your group’s name and social media handles
  • Send your student group’s information to your college’s academic advising team offering additional support to students
  • Create a website for your student group
  • Ask professors to advertise your group at the beginning of a lecture
  • Share your club experience with others
  • Reserve a bulletin board display in the student union showing pictures from chapter activities, membership information, and a calendar of upcoming events.
  • Reconnect with all members who have not come to meetings lately.
  • Mention your club at meetings of other organizations during announcements.
  • Get new members’ emails and add them to your e-newsletters
  • Send personal invitations to prospective members.
  • Request a Student Group Spotlight (opens in a new tab) feature on SUA social media.

Active Strategies

Active strategies are executed with robust effort. Typically, this kind of strategy includes volunteers, a budget and a promotion campaign. It could also include partnering with other organizations.

Examples of successful active recruiting strategies:

  • Hosting an open-house event with music and food (with proper permits).
  • Designating an officer who meets with every prospective and new member.
  • Offer a prize to the person in your group who recruits the most new members in the first month of the semester
  • Bring food and treats to meetings (with the proper permits)
  • Host your meetings in a building with higher traffic
  • Co-host a meeting with another group
  • Participate in an Activities Fair and/or Explore U
  • Host a welcome event in partnership with Office of Transition Experiences
  • Chalk the sidewalks of your campus
  • Have public meetings outdoors
  • Ask your professors to offer extra credit for participation
  • Have a student wear a costume around campus with a sign with your group’s information
  • Advertise in newspapers and magazines
  • Hang posters in dorm bulletin boards and in approved public areas
  • Host a booth/table in the student unions
  • Post a event for all your group’s meetings on all social platforms
  • Request a partnership with Student Events and Entertainment

Student groups can reference additional promotional resources at (opens in a new tab). SUA Grants (opens in a new tab) are available to assist student groups in their recruitment events.

Create and Execute a Recruiting Plan

Having an effective recruiting plan is an important part of maintaining and growing a student group. Recruiting new members for your team can be a complex process, so developing a plan for attracting and selecting quality members is essential. A recruiting plan includes information on each step of the process, from creating role descriptions to onboarding a new member.

Here are guiding questions to assist in creating your recruiting plans:

  • Who is your targeted audience?
  • What is a reasonable timeline for implementation?
  • What passive and direct strategies align with your goals?
  • What budget is needed to implement the plan?
  • What tasks / initiatives should be delegated in order to create more capacity?
  • What vendors could your group use that align with your values?
  • What benchmarks are needed to determine success?


We recommend creating time and space to debrief your recruiting plan and document all learnings. This will be critical information to pass onto to future officers.

Questions to Consider

  • What benchmarks did your group create?
  • How many new members did you gain?
  • What was successful about your plan?
  • What challenges did you encounter?
  • Are there any updates needed to your constitution now that your plan has been implemented?
  • What additional support would your group need in order to implement this plan again?

Student groups with questions may schedule general advising appointments with Student Activities Advisors at (opens in a new tab). Student groups may also seek assistance in planning their events by scheduling an advising appointment with Student Events and Entertainment at (opens in a new tab).