A well-produced recruitment video shows potential new members, alumni, parents, and the community the benefits of Greek life, and more importantly, the benefits of joining PIKE.
So what makes a great recruitment video?
Highlight the strengths of Pi Kappa Alpha.
Consider this: “PIKE is the place where students become scholars, members become leaders, jocks become athletes, and young men become gentlemen.”
Your video should show how your chapter lives up to the transformation to scholars, leaders, athletes, and gentlemen.
- Keep it brief. 2-3 minutes max.
- Be classy. Use music that is uplifting. No profanity in lyrics. One f-bomb (or middle finger) in a video detracts from your image as gentlemen.
- Use the current PIKE brand standards. (There’s no yellow in the coat of arms. Use garnet and old gold as your base colors.)
- The Fraternity Standards apply to video as well. Don’t glorify alcohol, show drinking games, or anything alluding to drugs. If you want to do that, please tender your resignation
- It’s better to show how you exemplify our ideals than it is to just say it. Limit talking introductions to 15 seconds max.
A well-produced recruitment video shows potential new members, alumni, parents, and the community the benefits of Greek life, and more importantly, the benefits of joining PIKE. A well-produced video has three phases; brainstorming, executing, and editing. Brainstorming is the ideation and planning phase. This should encompass the longest amount of time of the three phases. Execution is the filming process. The final phase is simply the editing phase. Editing is when the video comes to life. Now let’s discuss what steps should be taken during each of these phases.
Brainstorming: Identifying what makes a great recruitment video
Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet that automatically makes a recruitment video a hit. Rather, there are a series of questions you can ask to set yourself up for success in producing a recruitment video.
- What is the chapter trying to accomplish by creating a recruitment video?
- Naturally, the primary focus of a video is to impart emotions that would make a man want to join PIKE.
- When done correctly, those same emotions can contribute to showing the positive value of Pi Kappa Alpha to other stakeholders in the community, such as parents and campus administrators, who will undoubtedly see the final product.
- How can we accomplish our object of imparting the previously mentioned emotions?
- The emotions we portray are largely dependent upon the underlining narrative. Whether you realize it or not, a recruitment video tells a story. Controlling that story can be accomplished through thoughtful preparation.
- What story does the chapter wish to tell?
- This question is probably the most important of them all. To answer it, I suggest thinking about the image you are trying to portray. Image over time equals reality. A recruitment video can be one of the most effective ways to communicate the PIKE brand on your campus and, therefore, will attract men of similar values to what the video displays.
Now that we have come up with the answers to those questions, we are ready to begin planning. In order to stay organized, I recommend creating the following documents:
- A storyboard
- A storyboard will help ensure the video stays on topic and communicates your desired narrative. In addition to organizing the storyline, it is essential to identify the locations you will need access to within the storyboard. The level of detail needed in this document is heavily dependent upon the complexity of the narrative. For example, if the story you choose is complicated, a more detailed storyboard may be needed. But if the story is simple, a list of several central themes will suffice.
- This part of the planning process is key. We must communicate dates, times, and locations far in advance if we expect high attendance and preparation. Additionally, a calendar can include deadlines for things like the reservation of space like an intramural field.
- If you want to take your planning to the next level, a shot list will do just that.
- Shot lists are incredibly detailed, which is why it is listed last here. You do not need a shot list to be successful in producing a recruitment video, but it may be beneficial for those looking to overachieve. For more information on shot lists, a google search will render great results.
Execute the plan
If you have properly prepared, executing should be a piece of cake. Use the documents and organization that you created during your brainstorming phase to stay grounded during this phase. Additionally, fancy gear can help tell your story, but it is not essential! At the end of the day, the audience is going to remember the big picture and not whether or not you shot the video in 4K or had slo-mo. Stressing over the gear is not necessary. Use the best equipment possible you have at your disposal. If you do not own any equipment, explore other options such as asking another brother to use his, hiring a student on campus with filmmaking experience, or even budgeting to rent a camera from a company like Lensrentals.com. If all of these options do not apply, today’s smartphones have strong capabilities and could certainly be used for a rush video.
Editing: Bringing it all together
In today’s day and age, we consistently see fancy editing. However, prior knowledge of video editing is not necessary to produce a great recruitment video. YouTube is a limitless library of editing tutorials! All you need access to is an editing software like iMovie Adobe Premiere Pro. iMovie is a free software that’s available on many, if not all, MacBook computers. Adobe Premiere Pro requires a subscription; however, you may be able to gain access to the software at a campus computer lab. Unless you have prior experience in editing, I suggest keeping the edit very simple. Do not underestimate the power of a simple video. There is a reason most Fortune 500 Companies still utilize simplistic commercials. They let the story speak for itself. However, if you do bring prior knowledge of editing to the table, do not be afraid to be creative!
Now that we have covered the three phases of producing a recruitment video, the only thing left to discuss is distribution. The methods in which you decide to release your hard work can drastically impact the amount of reach it has. I would recommend releasing the video on the following platforms: Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Facebook allows easy sharing and access to parents and alumni. YouTube is a great way to display the entire video and is still the number one medium in which people use to consume video on the internet. Lastly, Instagram is arguably the best platform to reach teenagers and college-aged students, and ultimately our target market. No matter the platform you release the video on, it should be a team effort to share the video with as many people as possible. Push your brothers to share it on their pages to reach a larger audience!
Delta Kappa, San Diego State
Delta Kappa is well known for their rush videos for a reason. The chapter puts a lot of effort and planning into producing great videos each year. Below are two of their past rush videos.
The first of which (RUSH PIKE | SDSU 2018) is what I believe is their best work. Immediately, the piece grabs your attention when their chapter president poses the question “What does it mean to be a Pike?” followed by a fast-paced cinematic sequence that is all tied together by the voiceover. There is a clear story that is told throughout the whole video. If there was one thing that the 2018 video could have gone without it would be the scene that could potentially be promoting drinking games.
The second video listed from Delta Kappa (RUSH PIKE | SDSU 2017), is from 2017. This video was wildly successful and even amassed more than 43,000 views on YouTube. While there is less of a story present, the video still has a variety of messages displayed from volunteering to cliff jumping. An added plus for the 2017 video is that it does not glorify alcohol in any way.
Mu Epsilon, California State-Fullerton
Here we have a very simple concept from Mu Epsilon that speaks volumes. It would appear that Mu Epsilon gathered footage that was shot over the course of the year and tied it all together with a few scenes to add context. The only drawback here is the scene that could potentially be promoting drinking games.