By Quentin Wodon, Rotary Club of Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., USA
Sometimes the best way to gain a little attention for your club is to not talk about your club, but about other worthy groups and volunteers you are working with.
Rotary members are becoming more aware of the need to tell their Rotary story. But here’s the catch. It may be better to use local blogs or magazines in your community rather than your club or district’s own channels. This is because typically, these external sources will have a much larger readership.
But how do you get local blogs or magazine to use your stories?
Once in a while, you may have a great story to tell about your club that the blog or magazine will accept. However, they are not going to want to repeatedly publish stories on so narrow a topic. This is where talking about other organizations comes into play.
As president of my club this year, I have started to write stories about our nonprofit partners, focusing on their work, but also inserting a few lines about our Rotary club in each story.
The main local blog for my club’s community in Washington, D.C., is “The Hill Is Home.” And the main magazine is Hill Rag, which is published monthly. So I started writing stories for both, again not directly about our club, but about the great work that our nonprofit partners are doing, and how we are working with them. At the bottom of each article or blog post I provide basic information on our club and when we have our regular meetings. So far I have published three articles for Hill Rag and a half dozen blog posts for the Hill Is Home.
It’s all about visibility
This approach seems to be worthwhile not only to get our club slightly better know, but more importantly to give visibility to great nonprofits serving those in need. For example, one of the stories focused on Capitol Hill Group Ministry, which organizes teams of volunteers to check on the welfare of homeless, especially during extreme weather.
Our nonprofit partners are grateful when we write about them. They deserve the spotlight as they are truly at the frontline in helping the poor and those who are vulnerable in our communities. Hopefully, this strategy of writing about our nonprofit partners helps them and promotes volunteering in the community, while also mentioning in passing the role that our club plays in contributing to positive change.
About the author: Quentin Wodon is a lead economist at the World Bank. He holds PhDs in economics and in theology and religious studies, and has taught at universities in Europe and the U.S. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C., and is involved in several innovative global grants. He is also author of the Rotarian Economist blog.