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

Marketing to New Members; the Power of Rotary

 Written by Robyn T. Braley 

New members are the lifeblood of Rotary. They add passion, energy, and a renewed sense of vision. They remind long-time members of the reasons why we do what we do. 

After you become a Rotarian, the story of Rotary becomes part of your personal brand. Changing lives and building communities is as exciting as it is motivational. You discover new passions as you find how easy it can be to make a remarkable difference in people's lives.

Shifting the Focus

Finding new members requires time, dedication and a sense of purpose. Champion sales professional shift the focus from the product to the customer. They take time to identify the needs of their customers. If there is a need, the discussion naturally leads back to the product and how it solve a problem. 

People become Rotarians for different reasons. While club membership is driven by the collective passion to do great things across the street and around the world, it is still a very personal experience. 

So, what do prospects look for? Which needs does your club fulfill?
Respect, acceptance, affirmation
Personal and professional growth 
Mentoring, networking 

Service is Alive and Well

The good news is that the ideal of service is very much alive in District 5360. In 2013 Alberta’s flood recovery efforts demonstrated that millenials – those 24-40 - care deeply about their communities. 

Rotary was on the frontline in Canmore, High River, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and other centres. Many of us worked side by side with volunteers who, by their actions, are prequalified Rotarians. 

Three days after that black Friday in June, I stood at McMahon Stadium with 2,500 volunteers who responded within hours to the first call for help. Most were millenials with few grey heads like mine. 

All were ready to serve, but noone knew what to expect. Were there health or safety risks? Would we distribute food and water? Would we rescue survivors? Or, recover victims? 

The organizers became overwhelmed by the numbers. That was when Calgary’s Mayor Nenshi challenged us to just go help neighbors. With thousands of others, that is what we did. 

Selling the Power of Rotary

Finally, there are Rotary benefits we forget to talk about. I had received bad news that required tough decisions. I didn’t want to go out of my office much less to Rotary. But, I went. 

Noone at my table knew my feelings of frustration. The conversation was typical Rotary; collegial and engaging. For me it was comforting. Then, someone made an unrelated comment that caused me to view my circumstance with fresh eyes. They had no idea how much they had helped me. I had experienced the power of Rotary. 

Creating a Persona

A good place to start recruiting is to brainstorm a list of potential Rotarians. The next step is to build a persona by answering some basic question. In former days, we called this a customer profile.  
  • Who are they?
  • What do they do?
  • Where do they live and play? Is there a geographic connection?
  • What are their biggest concerns, needs or interests?
  • How can you connect – through personal, business, or community networks? 
  • Can they be reached by new or traditional media?
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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