Public image in the age of COVID-19

By Laura Spear, assistant Rotary Public Image Coordinator for Zone 32

How can your club promote your activities and service projects if almost all of it is virtual today? Your club’s website and social media channels are now more important than ever.

Many clubs are meeting virtually, using tools like Zoom, WebEx, and GoToMeeting. Capture a screen image of your members and post it on your digital channels to show that your club remains active. Post club bulletins and newsletters to update your members and community on your club’s activities, even if you aren’t meeting in person. Consistent communication with both members and the public is essential for keeping your club visible in your community.

Perhaps most important, keep promoting your service projects! Many clubs are providing behind-the-scenes support, such as making masks for front-line responders, writing cards and letters for nursing homes, funding gift cards for local grocery stores and restaurants, donating “thinking of you” presents and treats for house-bound local residents, and providing school supplies and materials for students who have to attend school remotely. Some clubs have even become a centralized community resource, documenting where residents can go if they have questions or issues related to social services during this challenging time.

Here are some other things clubs have been doing:

  • Have members who are at lower risk provide in-person support. They can package donations for food pantries, shop for elders, and run errands for those who cannot leave their homes.
  • Sponsor or support international projects, including virtual meetings for best practices on staying safe during the pandemic. Train people globally on resources for remote learning.
  • Make sure your club website is up-to-date, using the Rotary branding guides described in the Voice and Visual Identity Guidelines (available in the Brand Center by signing in to My Rotary).
  • Select one primary social media platform—such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn—and update it regularly, at least once a week.
  • Let the public know through virtual technology all of the good work that your club is doing. Pictures are worth a thousand words, especially on digital channels. Try to get photos of your members actively performing service, either in their homes without masks or out in the community with masks. You can even live stream your service activities using tools like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, or Periscope. Record your live-streamed events and post them on your club’s social media channels and website. Videos can go viral, increasing our public image impact.
  • Consider how you can help members of community use technology to connect with loved ones or seek needed support services. Promote these opportunities on your club’s website and social media and share them with your community’s digital channels. Most local towns and cities have a Facebook page or Twitter account. Join and post, and share posts from others in your club to promote the club’s activities.

Need a starting point? The Brand Center has a quick start guide for Rotary websites. Set up a social media channel for you club and share postings from Rotary International. Additionally, you can share your ideas and learn more on the Rotarians Respond to COVID-19 Facebook group. 

4 thoughts on “Public image in the age of COVID-19

  1. Pingback: Public image in the age of COVID-19 | Rotary Club - AIRC

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