Last Friday, I attended the annual “Gorilla Thrilla” event. Gorilla Thrilla is a step show hosted by the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Although it is hosted by an African American fraternity, everyone is welcome. In fact, I thought this year was the most diverse turnout yet. One of the step show finalists from an Atlanta high school included an Asian boy, which impressed the crowd. Another one of the performers, an Alpha, drove from North Carolina to perform by himself. The crowd was a bit shocked to see that he was white, because he is a part of a fraternity with African American roots, but he was one of the best performers of the night. Additionally, an entire section of the crowd was Caucasian, which I have never seen before. I think these elements of the show that promote diversity and show people that you don’t have to be a certain race to enjoy the show.
I found out about the event through word of mouth and an event invitation on Facebook. Because it was the fraternity’s 22nd annual event, the event was already widely known and required less press than if it were the first annual event. I did not see posters plastered all over campus, or on the campus website. I attended because I have been going since freshman year and the event always seems to get better. I believe that certain aspects of public relations should have been used to increase to event’s success rate. For example, in terms of persuasive communication, I feel the organization could have used more channels to spread the word. Also, the message on the flyers was more vague than clear. It only featured the name of the event and the date, which I suspect was to invoke a curiosity. However, I feel that by releasing more information on the flyers, people who had never been to or heard of Gorilla Thrilla would have been more likely to come.