You may be hosting a Muster you’ve organized for years, or starting one from scratch. No matter what, there are ways you can help the Aggies in your community decide, “This year, I’m definitely attending.”
Here, we’ll share some ideas you can pull from or adapt.
These links will take you to the sections below:
Get on the Muster map
You’ve likely already listed your Muster so that it's displayed on the map at tx.ag/FindAMuster. But if not, it’s easy to do – visit tx.ag/HostAMuster to start.
Thousands of Aggies use this Association web page to find Musters. It can get more than 4,000 visits per day in April. Also, when Aggies call to ask where their closest Muster is, that’s where Association staffers look.
Even Aggies who are just visiting your area can find you this way.
Send email/postcards via The Association
In January and February of each year, Association staffers help hundreds of Muster chairs schedule mailings. This is a powerful way The Association helps you reach local Aggies – specifically, every Aggie whose updated contact information places them in your geographic area.
If those deadlines have passed, we may still be able to help; contact our Former Student Programs office at 979-845-7514.
Involve more Aggies by recruiting them
Increasing the number of people involved lightens your load, of course, but it also helps spread word of mouth.
Ask (in person, on social media, at a meeting) for volunteers to help with social media, maintain the list of names, hand out nametags, take photos, read a poem, set up chairs or hand out candles.
Create a Facebook event
The Association staff’s current recommendation is that if your local A&M group has a Facebook “page,” you can ask its administrator to create a “public event” and invite The Association’s “page” to “co-host.” (The Association supplies some images you can use, including a Facebook event cover.)
This leverages Facebook’s algorithm, which can then show the event to people nearby who have Aggie-related activity in their Facebook history.
Your local Aggies may have a Facebook “group” instead; they can create a “page” and link it to that existing “group.” “Groups,” especially “closed groups,” are limited in terms of events: They may not be able to create a “public event,” and it may appear to be hosted by a private individual instead of by an official A&M-related organization, which could confuse people who are deciding whether to attend. (Some Musters are hosted by individuals, of course, and that is perfectly appropriate when it’s the case.)
Facebook changes constantly. Join our Facebook group Social Ags to ask Association communications staff for help and to share notes with fellow Association volunteers running social media efforts for A&M Clubs, Classes, Musters and more.
Create a short link
The example we’ll use here is tx.ag/BCAMCMuster, which is convenient compared to the full link for the web page it goes to, https://www.bcamc.org/event/muster-2019/?instance_id=127.
Anyone with an AggieNetwork.com login can create short custom links using The Association’s tx.ag shortener. This is a free service thanks to Association donors.
- Find the link you want to shorten and copy it. Every Muster that is registered with The Association gets its own web page where all the details and contact information are posted. Go to tx.ag/FindAMuster to locate yours. A&M Clubs that have their own websites may also have a Muster page there.
- Log in to AggieNetwork.com.
- Go to https://tx.ag.
- Paste the link (called a url, for uniform resource locator) into the “Create a link” box.
- This will create a new, short url that begins with tx.ag and contains some random characters. You can customize this.
- “Edit” your new link and type what you’d like the custom text to be into the “Customize short url” box, such as “BCAMCMuster.”
- Choose wisely, though! Once you create it, you’ll be the only person who can edit that link. Our example of tx.ag/BCAMCMuster was created by an Association staffer in 2011, and if the Club moved their Muster information to a different link, she would need to edit her shortlink. If you think your volunteer roster might change year to year, you may want to take a safe route and create a name that’s specific to your year: “WichitaMuster2019,” for example.
- If someone created a short url last year that you’d like to reclaim, The Association may be able to help you recover it. However, if you want to redirect one you created yourself, that’s very easy: Just go to https://tx.ag and find it using “Filter your links.” Then “Edit” it and paste the new destination into “Set destination url.”
You probably don’t want to email your audience every month, but you may want to post that frequently on social media. Below are some topics you can pick and choose from, or that might spark other ideas.
Specifics such as “kids are welcome” or details about the meal, or descriptions like “We’ll have a short yell practice,” help people decide whether to attend. If you know the number who attended last year, include that; it helps people picture how many Aggies they might get to meet.
In each post, include a link to the full details (such as the shortlink you created above). That way you don’t have to repeat date/time/place/cost in every post (though it’s good to repeat those occasionally, too).
Social posts generally do better if they include a photo or image. Pictures of Aggies enjoying last year’s Muster can help – they also show how formal or informal the event is.
If you don’t have photos from last year, you can stage some now. Snap a photo of the location your Muster will be held, or a happy group photo of your Muster committee; of your group’s Aggie sign or banner if you have one; or set a few candles on a piece of maroon cloth.
For specific-shaped social images such as a Facebook cover or Instagram post, The Association has created some options you can use.
You can also check The Association’s news feed or social media for Muster-related items to share or adapt for your own posts.
It’s nice if the posts contain new or different information, so look at each as a chance to highlight a different aspect of your event, or share a new development. Some ideas:
- January: Give the date and location, and ask for volunteers.
- February: Announce your Muster speaker, or describe an activity taking place at your Muster; perhaps you will elect Club officers or hold a scholarship raffle.
- March: Let people know how they can add names to your Roll Call (every year, there are some Aggies navigating this for the first time). You could even post the list of names - this can prompt people to make sure their loved one is included, or serve to help notify people who knew those Aggies that they can answer for them at your Muster.
- April: Now that you have details finalized, share a post with all the basics and a description of what they can expect (“Potluck dinner at 6 followed by Roll Call with candles”).
- Mid-April: Post a reminder - maybe with good news that has cropped up such as “More than 50 people have RSVPed.” Or you might prompt people to be sure their friends know about the event, or ask everyone to send the link to three friends. (Note: Facebook may penalize a post if you literally use the word “share” or other techniques known as engagement bait.)
Facebook in particular changes constantly, but Twitter and Instagram have their quirks, too. Join our group Social Ags to ask Association communications staff for help and to share notes with fellow volunteers running social media efforts for A&M Clubs, Classes, Musters and more.
Images, program covers, sign-in sheets
The Association has created a range of images you can download and use to promote your Muster. The page also contains a program cover you can use, printable sign-in sheets and other handouts.
Print, radio, TV
You can email or fax a press release to your local news outlets. A good practice is to send it two or more weeks in advance. Then send a brief followup or update the week before.
Their websites may provide a fax number or an email address to send news submissions. You can also call them and find out specifically to whom it should be directed.
A sample press release is below.
TexAgs.com, an independent website for Texas A&M fans, has “Aggie Network” forums for geographical regions; access to these forums is free, and any registered TexAgs user can post there. They offer a good way to get the date, time and link to your Muster in front of local Aggies.
Forums include: Around the Nation; Across the Globe; Aggieland (Bryan-College Station); Austin; San Antonio; Metroplex; Houston; Central Texas; Panhandle/South Plains; West Texas; South Texas; East Texas; Gulf Coast.
If you or your Muster committee members use Nextdoor.com, a social network for individual neighborhoods, this may also be a useful way to get the word out.
Please rewrite as appropriate. Putting your town/area name in the headline instead of “Local” is a good idea.
If available, include a small photo of last year’s event, or one of The Association’s supplied images.
Subject line of email: Local Aggies to gather (date) for Muster
LOCAL TEXAS AGGIES TO GATHER FOR MUSTER TRADITION
Media contact: Muster Chair (name) at (email, phone number or both)
On (date), all former and current students of Texas A&M University, family and friends are invited to uphold a century-old tradition by gathering at the (area/name) Muster in (town), hosted by (Club or group name).
Muster activities will include (activity), (activity) and (a speaker, if any). During the traditional Roll Call, we will read the names of Aggies we have lost in the past year, answering “Here” for each and lighting a candle.
Muster will begin (date/time) at (location with full address). Contact organizers to add a name to the Roll. Admission is free (or) Tickets cost (amount for adults/children) and are required for the meal only, not to attend the Roll Call.
To get tickets or reach the organizers, visit (web link) or contact (name) at (phone number/email).
Some (number) Aggies and family attended last year’s (area/name) Muster.
It is one of more than 300 such gatherings worldwide that are held annually on and around April 21. The Muster tradition at Texas A&M forever unites Aggies past with Aggies present, and provides the men and women of Texas A&M the chance to meet and renew their ties to each other. Read more at http://tx.ag/MusterHistory.