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

Friday, 20 March 2015

Is it Time for Your Rotary Club to Launch a Social Media Program?

Social media unlocks new opportunities for Rotary
Written by Robyn T. Braley


Are you ready? It's not "if" but "when.." This post answers "why!" 

I am often asked the question, “What should our club do about social media? How can we get started? Is it worth the effort?” 

The answer is a resounding YES! 

Social Media has brought about the greatest revolution in gathering and distributing human knowledge since the Gutenberg Press. In the coming months I will post how-to articles explaining the basics you need to know before launching your program. This post answers the question, “Why?”

Let's ask a basic question. If you launch a successful program is your club ready for success? Are your members ready to host random visitors who may drop by to experience Rotary first hand?

Social media can help achieve a number of goals.I
  • Raising awareness of the club, it's mission, and the ideal of Rotary
  • Informing the community about specific projects
  • Connecting with individuals who may become members
  • Joining a community of Rotarians, Clubs, Districts and collaborative partners located around the world 

Social media connects Rotary with the world. 

Start with a Healthy Brand

If your members are marketing focused – meaning outward looking - then it is time to implement a program. Building a successful social media program requires;

Dedication
Consistency
Goals 
A plan to achieve them
  


Why should your club bother? There are four key reasons.

1. The future of Rotary depends on attracting millennials. Their lives are driven by social media.
2. Rotary functions through building networks and relationships. That is how social media works.
3. Rotary operates world-wide. Social media provides instant access to like minded people located around the world   
4. Social media can quickly mobilize people who care and want to make a difference at home or around the world.

What Platform is Best

Here is the bad news. There are hundreds of social media sites. What may work for one club may not for another. Social media takes hard work and dedication. It is best to have one person writing or editing content in order to develop a voice. 


Having said that, I suggest starting with FaceBook. It provides the most options for content development. 

YouTube is an option if you have someone in the club that likes to shoot and edit video. It ranks highly with search engines. Quality is key here.

Blogs are labor intensive. However, if you have a member who is a dedicated writer, blogging is an option. Blogs offer an ideal way to tell Rotary stories. 

Flickr or Pintrest are great options for sharing photos. However, for them to
attract a following, photographers must know how to visually tell stories. 100 photos of smiling Rotarians standing in front of a clean water or micro-credit project get old. Real people doing real things are best. 

LinkedIn profiles can be set up for companies or organizations, not just
individuals. This connects your club with a growing network of professionals. Check out;


Twitter is perhaps the least labor intensive. It is a must if you operate other sites. You can promote work on other sites through twitter. They can drive people to those accounts which increases traffic. Users must learn twitter skills and protocols.  


Key principles for a positive social media experience. 

Set goals
Chose a platform that will achieve those goals. 
Create a social media policy
Determine your voice, your persona 
Create quality content that’s relevant and adds value
Text
Photos
Graphics
Links
Much more

Media Convergence - International

When I launched ‘Building the Rotary Brand’ blogsite in 2014, some expected the focus to be on social media. However, as a marketing professional, I have found that media convergence – the intersection of traditional and new media - adds strength and energy to the process of building a strong club brand which drives growth. 

 (LR) Greg Weadick, Betty Screpnek Pat Killoran, Dr. Bob Scott
In 2014 I led two initiatives that demonstrated the power of media convergence for Rotary. The first was the global campaign profiling the news story ‘Alberta Rotarians Trigger $2.1 million for Polio Eradication.’

The campaign attracted TV, radio, newspaper, and magazine coverage. It was tweeted, facebooked and pinned by individual Rotarians, clubs, districts, parallel organizations and the general public all around the world.

Rotary International got behind the story in significant way and promoted it through Rotary social media platforms I didn’t know existed. We distributed the story using a news service. YAHOO News picked it up adding even more circulation 


Media Convergence – Club Specific


The second event was a political forum staged by my club, Calgary West Rotary Club. 

We promoted the event using a variety of methods including social media. We managed ticket sales by using EventBrite. 

We sold out the event. 45 tickets were sold in the last two days through twitter promotion.  A total of 200 attended including a huge media gallery. We could have attracted many others by moving to a bigger room. 

We dominated mainstream and social media for two days. A TV station, two news radio stations and a newspaper live streamed the event. 

Two blogs paint a picture of what media convergence can look like for Rotary. There are links to various social media sites the showcase examples.   

Creating a Rotary Media Event: It’s All in the Details

Media is All About Stories and Rotary Has them


Personal stories

Let me end with two personal stories. 

A young women from Los Angeles retweeted one of my Rotary tweets and then followed the Building the Rotary Brand account. On visiting her profile, I discovered she is an actress and media professional. 

In thanking her for following, I asked if she was a Rotarian. 

Thnx 4 retweeting my tweet. RU a #Rotarian? 



I was humbled and reminded never to assume who belongs to my community. Her tweet was retweeted about 30 times by Rotarians and others   .

Hi! @rtbraley_rotary my dad & gpa are long time Rotary members &
 I have volunteered w/them in the past. #Rotarian by proxy if you will. :)



Last week the Rotary Club of Parys, South Africa, tweeted a link to one of the BTRB posts; 

Amazing article about how to produce a #Rotary meeting that attracts younger members buildingtherotarybrand.blogspot.ca/2014/10/11-pro
… @rtbraley_rotary @RotaryD9370


Rotary and social media are truly global affairs that are made for each other. 

Robyn Braley is a marketing specialist, keynote speaker and writer. He is also a Rotarian who is passionate about Building the Rotary Brand. Robyn has led two teams that received the Rotary International PR Award. He has also served as the PR Chair for District 5360. 


Contact Robyn

Email: robyn@robyntbraley.com   LinkedIn Twitter: @rtbraley_rotary  Sound Cloud  Flickr

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