Quick and Dirty Guide to Starting a Pirate Chapter
So for first steps we recommend:
In whatever you do, have fun! This item is key. If people aren't having fun, they won't keep participating.
Start a Facebook page, twitter account, setup a blog, and email list. They are all free and just take time to setup and use. Don't have much to say about local issues yet? No problem, follow Techdirt, Torrent Freak, EFF, ACLU, your local occupy group and just share or retweet their posts.
You can even use a tool like Hootsuite to schedule tweets and facebook posts so you don't have to stay on the tools all the time. Also, with Twitter follow people liberally, and use lists to group people so you know which accounts you follow are local folks or media or other groups, etc.
Reach out to People
Once one or more of those things are in place, then reach out to people. Table at an event, hold information events on state or national bills or on how to do something, hold a Pirate Picnic, or open source/public domain film fest in someone's house. Aim for one event every three months, then one every two months, then one every month, etc. Just do something and be active and known. Be sure to post about your upcoming events on your blog and other services, frequently.
If you are in a big state or even city then just focus on your surrounding area for events. If it is just you, then try to link up with other groups and help them with their activities. Talk to folks about what the Pirate Party is and that you are a member of it. Maybe some of them will see you helping and be interested in joining.
Reward People for Giving you Their Contact Information
Have sign up lists at your events and signup forms at your blog and periodically email folks about upcoming events and issues before you post them on the blog. Give the people who actually give you their email address a way to be in the know before the folks who don't. Ask them to help, and if you have phone numbers, call them (not too often) and ask them to help.
Again, be sure to have fun!