By Nisha Kotecha, president of the Rotaract Club of Hampstead, Hendon and Golders Green, England
I know a Rotary Club that has changed the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of young people over the years. I know this because I have attended some of their meetings. And because I am one of the lives they have changed.
The Rotary club I am referring to is one of the largest in London, so they don’t need to generate publicity around their activities. Or do they?
This Rotary club is doing incredible, life-changing work. But there is one thing they are not doing. They are not sharing their story with the community. They are well known and respected within Rotary circles, but they are not very well known at all outside the family of Rotary. And they are not alone. Many of our clubs are doing incredible work, and impacting many lives, but the public does not know about it.
Here are two reasons why I think we must start telling others our Rotary “good news.”
It will attract new members
I understand and love that for many Rotarians, it is more about serving than recognition. But it is not being a glory seeker to tell people in the community the impact we are having. It should actually be the duty of club members to do this. Why? Because more people will hear about Rotary, they will learn what Rotary is about, and they will see the impact that can be made by being a member. Seeing Rotary in action, and seeing the positive results we have, is attractive to prospective members. And that is good for Rotary, that is good for our projects, and that is good for the new members, who gain the added ability to help others through Rotary.
It will motivate others to support our projects
If you, your campaign, and your project are the world’s best kept secret, you are not likely to break any fundraising records or have the massive impact you were hoping for. The Global Swimarathon and World’s Greatest Meal were incredibly successful because they were incredibly visible, and launched amazing campaigns that shared every milestone they reached.
Hopefully by now I have convinced you why it is important to share. There are many ways to do so, through social media, through videos, through partnering with others, through your local media. Here in the United Kingdom, we have three Rotary members who have excelled at doing this, Paul Wilson, Eve Conway, and Mukesh Malhotra. I’m sure there are examples near you, and they would probably be happy to give you advice if you ask them.
In April of last year, I started a website to share inspiring stories from charitable organizations around the world. If you want to read some good news, visit my website, Good News Shared, and get in touch with me if you have news to share. But by all means, let others know the good you are doing, so the world will understand how awesome Rotary is.
Visit Rotary’s Brand Center for guidelines on telling Rotary’s story
A well-intentioned article / advice that can only have the interest of Rotary at heart.
However, the issue of #Rotary’s ‘visibility’ and ‘brand awareness’ have been a sore point that has dogged the organisation for some time; just as dwindling membership has been a cause for alarm.
In both cases, I am very sure, and know that the MPRC (Marketing Public Relations & Communications) Committees of both RIBI and District 1130 have been working very hard: via filtered down information by newsletters, district notices, organised Social Media sessions, RIBI/District Communications Award Initiatives, Seminar Workshops, and more to Clubs. Most Clubs maintain Social Media Outlets, though not enough interaction of older Club members. Even not so old Rotarians seem to be ‘averse’ to Social Media, and actually think nothing good can be achieved through it. I wonder how many Rotarians have read the main Post, here on Facebook, never mind elsewhere!
As recent as 26/01/2016, before the above article was first written, an RIBI newsletter entitled; “Growing & promoting your Club” was e-mailed to MPRC D1130. It was re-circulated to the District’s 64 Clubs PR / Communications Committee Chairs. Clubs are encouraged to be pro-active, armed with pre-compiled local media lists, with the aim of publicising their events. No Club is too small, or too large to need ‘publicity”- the oxygen of any campaign!
Great strides have been taken, and still being taken re: membership recruitment/retention/ brand/ publicity drive. Sue Jessel did a great job in ‘Branding’, Mac Purcell with Membership, and PDG David Palmer (current District Membership boss) will even do better!!!
In a way, Rotary has become a “victim” of it’s own success- locally, nationally and globally! The “Rotary Brand” reputation is really more out there than is appreciated, or given credit for!!
The run-away success of Mukesh Malhotra’s, and Susanne Rea’s http://www.wgmeal.com initiative, which has been franchised to many RI Advocates in different countries is unquestionable. Like Rotary itself, a typical Project that outgrew it’s founders, and it’s management taken over at the highest Rotary Organisational level.
My own contribution to sharing Rotary messages can be found here on Facebook Page ” “Rotary Events Chronicles”.
I will personally like to see the day when a lot of Rotaracts quietly become “Rotarians”; which will go some way to solving Rotary’s ‘membership headache’.
Reblogged this on Public Image Coordinator Günes Ertas.
I forwarded this to m sister Rotarian who is going to London soon. Hope she can check out the club there.
Thanks Linda, your sister would be more than welcome to attend our Rotaract meeting if she would like to, and of course would be very welcome to visit any Rotary clubs while she is here.
Reblogged this on Nisha Kotecha and commented:
A guest post I wrote for the Rotary blog 🙂
Reblogged this on From My Mind….
Nisha you have have hit the nail. There are many such clubs. Your article is inspiring. If you don’t mind I will put some extracts from the article for my club’s weekly bulletin which circulates to many Rotarians here in D9211 and beyond.John
Thanks John, please do include extracts from the article in your weekly bulletin, and please do get in touch with any good news from your district whenever you have any.
Thank you for recognising our Global Swimarathon and Worlds Greatest Meal campaign which have both brought the Rotary Family’s fight against polio to the forefront and raised much needed funds and awareness.
Both campaigns are awesome and very inspiring Susanne
I have checked your page and have seen nothing that is Rotary related. Sharing Rotary with the world is what I do,
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Thanks for having a look at the Good News Shared website. We’ve featured a small number of articles about Rotary and Rotaract. The site is for all charitable activity, not just Rotary related, but I would love to feature more about Rotary in the future.
Here are some of the Rotary / Rotaract related articles we’ve featured so far:
Please do send over any uplifting news as and when you have any if you would like us to feature it on the Good News Shared website.
Bula! I am viewing your goodwill from Bemana District School and am so desperate in looking for some sponsors or assistance in our school, like a new classroom, a teachers quarters, a footpath from driveway to school and fencing of our school to avoid stray animals like horses and cows in the compound.Does anyone or any advise given would be very humbly needed.