Posted on Jun 06, 2019
Our plan is very simple: we’re getting out the word about our club, our members, our stories and our service — and keeping it up for years to come. If you ever wanted to see a combination of Madison Avenue savvy, big-time marketing smarts and a plan for bringing every bit of it into our club, Rob’s presentation did the trick. While he is new to our club, he’s not new to Rotary at all: For 14 ½ years, he was at RB Sunrise Rotary, nine of it as their PR chair. Partially through his marketing and PR efforts, the club went from zero media coverage to plenty of it within six months — and raised $156,000 at their big fundraiser in 2018. He also works with future club presidents at PETS every February.
Putting our mortality aside, the point is that by wearing our pins wherever we go, people come up and ask, “What’s that pin about?” Then we share about Rotary, invite them to have dinner with us at a meeting… and watch the interest grow. Even if they don’t become members, just by gaining awareness of Rotary, members of the community are far more likely to donate and participate in our fundraisers, and support our events. Our goal is to overcome the lack of public awareness of Rotary — by increasing awareness of our club and what we do. “An educated community provides easier fundraising, strategic partnerships, more potential members and higher quality members,” Rob said.
One of Rob’s biggest points: we all have a story. It’s time to share them — and people love stories rather than dry statistics. He shared the story that changed his Rotary pitch forever: Of RB Sunrise member Mike Miller, who lost his home in the Witch Creek Fire just after angrily resigning as the club treasurer. RB Sunrise organized a volunteer crew of 40 to help Mike and family get back on their feet, which left Mike in tears. A week later, Mike was back in the room, overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from his fellow Rotarians. When he reminded everyone he resigned, another member said, “We never accepted your resignation.”
“I’m in Rotary for life. You’ll never get rid of me,” Mike said.
With his trademark mix of great information, insight, experience and edgy NYC humor, Rob then broke down the various ways of reaching out, informing the public, getting our member and club stories out, and continually heightening awareness to benefit all of our programs, events and fundraisers. Our goal: to create a public perception that we’re everywhere at once. A quick bullet-point breakdown of the tools we’ll be revving up further to make that happen:
• Networking
• Social Media
• Website
• Rumbles newsletter
• Print media
• Radio/TV
• Blogs
• Billboards
• Collateral materials — brochures, club business cards, etc.
• Community outreach — “let’s go fishing where the fish are,” Rob said, specifically referring his role in our club as the liaison to the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce.
• Signage
• Sponsoring clubs and kids, through programs such as Rotoact and Interact
He also discussed strategy points for branding, finding hidden opportunities to generate a buzz (the Mike Miller story is a perfect example), and building alliances, fundraising and membership through these activities.
For those who saw his presentation, Rob asked for feedback. Please give him your thoughts:
With that, Rob signed off — and launched our new era of community outreach, fundraising, and public and media awareness.