Josh Arnold’s List of Top 25 Public Relations Tips, Ideas and PR Activities
1. Appoint a Public Relations Chair for your club.
a. have a backup person for the chair and have a committee if possible.
b. Recognize that the work load for PR for a club may be more then one person can do and divide the work up according to areas of interest, expertise or specialty.
2. Designate a person or persons in the club to take photographs for the club events, fundraising, fellowship and other activities during the course of the year for the club.
3. Have the President-elect or the newly sworn in President of the club meet with the editors or local print media and reach out to meet with other media outlets to understand what it takes to get rotary stories in print and broadcasted.
4. Work to develop and build a rapport with people in print and other forms of media in your community.
5. Invite the Editor of the local newspaper or anchorperson from TV or radio station to be a speaker at a club meeting. Invite them to become a member of the club.
6. Consider having your club installation taped and played on local cable TV. Keep the tape as an archive for the club and the club president.
7. Make an album of photos “Your year in photos” for each President’s Year and present to them on their last meeting of the year as a gift from the club.
8. Submit an article about your new member to the local print media for inclusion in the business section or local community happenings.
9. If you use clubrunner software, use the friends of feature to develop a list of past Rotarians and folks who may be interested in the activities of your club and send the a copy of your weekly newsletter.
10. Prepare a bio of the incoming President of your club and have the bio and the photo of the President being sworn in sent to the local print media.
11. Prepare a calendar of your club’s planned events spanning fundraising, community, vocational, international service and fellowship activities and distribute to the people on your club runner friends list as well as the different media outlets.
12. Start a Facebook Page if you do not have on already for your club.
a. Keep your facebook page updated
b. Showcase the good works of your club, its activities and events.
c. Do not label students depicted in photos on social media without a proper release in advance.
d. Always error on the side of caution when posting photos that include students or children.
e. Make photo selections representative of the broadest and most culturally diverse groupings of people in attendance at Rotary Events. You don’t want folks thinking only certain people or a certain clicque of people get their photos posted.
f. Rotate photos so that your data is always current, yet keep photo files of prior years and events and keep all photo files labeled.
g. Post to your facebook page, articles covering events carried by media so that the world can see article.
h. List your local media as links on you club web page
i. Seek reciprocating links with media outlets.
13. Avail yourself or the Public Relations Tool Kit developed and compiled by Josh Arnold when he chaired District 7930’s Public Relations Committee.
14. If you club or interact club gives dictionaries consider putting a book mark in each book given with the four way code.
15. Promote Rotary by using banners at local sporting complexes and field houses where advertising is permitted.
16. Consider using a vast array of signage and merchandise to convey Rotary to the community.
a. Consider buying books to give to the local library or to school libraries and have a dedication plate label on the inside of the book signifying that the book was given by the xyz rotary club in honor of. Use the books to help with your literacy commitment and perhaps use them to have your guest speaker sign the inside cover plate.
b. Give Mugs to guests or speakers with your club rotary logo on it.
c. Consider purchasing a Rotary Clock to be displayed somewhere prominently in your community
d. Make sure your Rotary Signs entering the city or town are updated, and not hidden by foliage or overgrown trees and shrubs.
e. Include signage on community work sites like traffic islands, local parks and playgrounds.
f. Use Banners at local athletic fields and gymnasiums as a way of providing support for the community activities and publicizing Rotary.
g. Purchase Drive Slowly Rotary Signs and work with local public Works Departments to display them prominently in neighborhoods.
h. Have canisters available in stores asking for donations to your club’s polio fundraising activities.
i. Include educating the public about Polio as part of your polio eradication efforts.
j. Purchase Vest for Rotarians to wear when which read, Rotary in Action, at your club community work projects.
k. If you have a Rotary or Interact contest among vendors such as the Best Pizza in town, make sure that you have plaques that the vendor can display indicating they were recognized by your club for their efforts.
l. Look at organizations that have booklets as part of their activities for fundraising and display an ad in such publications as your club can afford to promote Rotary or a particular function or cause your club is championing in a given year.
17. Use your club web site to provide an historical display of the work your club has done.
a. Use your club web site to let organizations know the process your club uses to provide assistance financial or other to organizations.
b. If your club gives scholarships make sure the application can be obtained via your web site and put a time line on your web site for when scholarships have to be sent in and when awarded.
c. Use your club web site for sharing information including, the four way code, a directory of people in your club, guidelines for speakers, directions to your meeting location, how to become a member of the club guidelines.
d. Where does your club meet include address and phone of the host site and what time do the meetings start and end.
e. Let your club web site be functionally useful both to club members and the public at large, without being or looking too busy or too complicated. Display the information such that it is easy to follow and find what people would seek on such a page.
f. Other items for your club web page may include links to your district, Rotary International, listings of the avenues of service, upcoming important dates of fellowship and other club activities.
g. Let your club web page display links to your facebook page and your twitter address and other forms of social media that your club may use.
h. On the assumption that your club gives funding to local and international groups, you may wish to provide a link to a document from your web site which describes the process your club uses in making decisions about support. If a form exists, you might include that on your web page and you may wish to list some of the organizations or contributions your club has made or invested in the community.
i. Maintain a calendar of upcoming events to broadcast to folks who access your page.
18. Try displaying some of the work your club does on Rotary’s Showcase Web Site.
19. Submit stories about what activities your club participates in for your district newsletter.
20. Visit Brand Central for Rotary and become familiar with the information that can be downloaded and incorporated into your club marketing publications.
21. Develop a relationship with local Cable TV consider having a cable access show about Rotary. Make use of any on TV bulletin boards or crawls for publicizing Rotary events, and activities.
22. Work with Rotary clubs near you that have the same cable provider and create ads or public awareness video clips to air on non profit side of cable TV to attract new members and to publicize rotary activities.
23. Use Videos developed through Cable TV for trailers for local movie theatres
24. Purchase additional copies of the Rotary Magazine to be in the lobby of local hospital, in local and school libraries, down hall other places in the community.
25. Start a local cable or radio show about Rotary where Rotarians can tell their Rotary Stories.
How to cultivate a powerful social media presence
Social media is a powerful tool in telling Rotary’s very positive message.
Social media has become increasingly important for Rotarians and the organization because it allows us to interact and learn from one another. Social media also has been a great way for Rotarians to be made aware of the work of other Rotarians around the world.
What are three important things to maintaining engagement with followers?
The most important thing for engagement is to listen and respond. I understand that sometimes people don’t like every policy about Rotary, and they say so. That’s OK. We listen to what they say and respect how they feel and think. And it’s important to always, always be honest with people. On social media, it’s better to be authentic and not quite perfect than smoothly polished around the edges but not really saying anything of value. Your integrity and the care and concern you have for your members/customers is critical.
Social media helps us to tell great Rotary Story’s and share them around the world!
Rotary International: www.facebook.com/rotary
Super District 6400: www.facebook.com/groups/4920043910/
Rotary Road Trip: www.facebook.com/rotary6400roadtrips/
Random Acts of Kindness: www.facebook.com/rotary6400kindness