About the Author

Who is Robyn
Robyn Braley is committed to helping Rotarians grow their clubs to become better equipped to help people who need help. He has led two club teams that were awarded RI PR Awards and served as the District 5360 PR Chair. He has been a Rotarian since 1999.

Rotary Speaker
Robyn draws from his experience as a Rotarian and as a Communications Professional to share ways to more effectively tell the Rotary story to your community. He starts by asking the questions, "Is your club ready to grow, and why does it matter?" The ultimate focus is on attracting new members.

He is available to speak at District Conferences and Rotary leadership training institutes. Content also applies to other not-for-profit organizations.

Free Content for #Rotary and NFP Use
Please use any posts for Rotary District or club Newsletters. Include the profile at the bottom of each article, Robyn's headshot and a link to this blogsite. Let him know and he'll promote it to his social media followers.

Contact him at robyn@unimarkcreative.com

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Media is All About Stories and Rotary Has Them

DG Mike French talks to CTV about Rotary 
Written by Robyn T. Braley 

A few days before the Super Bowl some of the scheduled TV commercials showed up on YouTube. 

During the television broadcast, advertisers paid $3.5 million to access the record setting audience of more than 111 million viewers. Two hours after the game I received a link through LinkedIn taking me to the entire collection.

We are officially into the age of media convergence. Actually, we've been there for a number of years. Traditional media, online media and social media have intersected in ways we couldn't have imagined even five years ago.

It's All Good

Here is the good news. New media has been made for Rotary. Why? We have thousands of life changing stories. Today’s media – both new and traditional – is driven by content. Content is loosely defined as anything you see, read or hear. Rotary offers it all.

“But, how can media convergence work for my club,” you ask? A few weeks ago I heard Calgary's NEWSTALK 770’S Angela Kokott and Dave Taylor talking about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation goal to eradicate poverty. It seemed distant and unachievable.

I emailed them letting the producers know about a local connection with the BMG foundation – District 5360. I explained the foundation’s matching grants program for micro-credit and clean water projects in developing nations.

The Interview

I told them about numerous projects that have been organized by District Rotarians. I gave Steve Rickard’s contact information suggesting they interview him about his experiences visiting Microcredit projects in developing nations.

The outcome was a five minute feature. The host was most intrigued by Steve’s remarkable story of how Microcredit radically changed the life of a single mom in the Dominican Republic. I recorded the interview on my laptop.

3 year old Chart. 2 platforms I use didn't exist then
If you click through the links below you will experience media convergence even though you may or may not have heard the original interview on the radio.

Could Have Been a Selfie

We could have added another social media element by asking Past District Governor Steve to shoot a “selfie” of himself at home talking to the radio host and uploading it to Facebook or tweeting it while they talked. However, Marie Rickard confided that may not have made a very pretty picture! 

If you are thinking the social media activity outlined above represents a lot of work, relax. There are management sites like Buffer, HubSpot, HooteSuite and others that allow you to manage all of your accounts from one place.

To get started, the Rotary International website has an excellent guide called ‘Effective Rotary Public Relations’ which offers tips for writing news releases and how to interact with the media. I just received my 2014 edition and see that a helpful section about social media has now been added.

Karl Herzog and fellow trekker in CTV feature 

Rotary Everest Trek 2012

How well can all of this work? In 2012 Karl Herzog asked for media help for the Rotary Everest Trek project. We generated stories in the Globe & Mail, Red Deer Advocate, Lethbridge Herald and Calgary Herald. The Calgary story was picked up and published in dailies across Canada. We also placed TV and radio interviews.

The news features funneled readers back to the project website and blog. A major portion of the funds were donated online.

The outcome? More than $150,000 was raised for a school for Sherpa kids.

I just checked, and the Herald and Globe stories are still online. I just uploaded a NEWSTALK 770 interview with Karl to the District SoundCloud site

Now, that’s quality content. There are hundreds of stories in District 5360 that provide excellent content, are engaging and provide value for the new media age.
Relevant Posts on this Blog

Robyn T. Braley is a member of the Calgary West Rotary Club. He served as the District PR Chair and was the marketing team leader for two projects awarded the RI Public Relations Award. Robyn is the President of Unimark Creative which focuses on web design, video production, media relations and graphic design. He is a business writer and speaker and blogs about various marketing topics. 

Contact Robyn

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