Sunday, September 23, 2007

Organizing Students: Schwag

So, you've got an organization together, and it's held a few events. There is a little bit of buzz about the group, but you want it to go a little further. One way to keep your group on the minds of your audience is with free handouts. Any college student these days knows about schwag. You missed out? Check this page for a comprehensive history of "Stuff We All Get." They say,
the term schwag refers to all manner of logoed stuff given away by companies to get people to remember them, feel good about them, have their phone number and website at hand and generally make them think about them before any of their competitors.
My group didn't have any competitors and we don't sell a product, but we definitely want folks to think well of us. Anytime we ask folks to fill out a survey, we give them a free pen with our website on it. And I'd rather carry around a FOSEP pen than some pen hawking the latest statin or ED drug.

The pens have come in handy for other reasons. Just the other day, I was asked about FOSEP by a prospective member. After we talked, I gave him one of my FOSEP pens and referred him to our new members sign up site. Sure, pens are cheap, but that we have and give them out says that the group has its act together. I incorporate the pen pass into my pitch about FOSEP.

I can't think of a better tool to jot down my ideas about the Office of Technology Assessment or responses to young earth creationism than my FOSEP pen!

Here are the obligatory links to FOSEP and my other tips for student organizations.


The Sister said...

Those pens are awesome. I stole one from you two years ago and it is still one of my favorite pens. They're great for crosswords. And, you know, remembering to participate in community dialog.

A note to potential schwag creators: always go with the retractable pens. Clicky=better.

Drugmonkey said...

the under appreciated value of the cheap ballpoint is that so many people are unable to throw them away, even when they are demonstrably inoperable!

go through your average pen holder at home or on your colleagues desk and see how many ballpoints actually function...