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

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

10 Guerrilla Strategies for Rotary Club Growth

Guerrilla marketing is more than just monkeying around! 

Written by Robyn T. Braley

When you think about it, guerrilla strategies that support sales and marketing efforts of service clubs make a lot of sense. They are free or very inexpensive.

To be clear, sales and marketing are not words often used to describe the process of prospecting new members, negotiating project or event sponsors, forming collaborative relationships or soliciting matching grants. However, each activity involves some aspect of sales and marketing.

Marketing involves sifting through a world of creative ideas and message delivery methods in order to put your brand in front of potential customers. It is the process of engaging and motivating them to want to know more about your product or service.
Sales is the process of … well … closing the loop and making the sale. Elements like price, meeting identified needs, product quality, customer experience, financing options and delivery options come into play.

Guerrillas are Your Friends

Guerrilla strategies can support all of these activities. They are rooted in the idea that absolutely anything – orthodox and unorthodox - that exposes your brand to potential customers is fair game.

The term, ‘Guerilla Marketing,’ was coined by marketing guru Jay Levinson. Jay created a franchise based on the idea of using 'unconventional' marketing tools when financial or other resources are limited or non-existent. Read Jay’s story on Wikipedia 
I have to admit, I have a nasty memory of a Guerrilla tactic that is commonly used by the trades. Not being particularly gifted in the area of fixing things, I called a tradesman to fix my dryer. 
The tradesman came, bent over to look at the dryer, reached up and turned a switch that that I had overlooked. The dryer started and has worked ever since.
Implementing Guerrilla Strategy 101, he placed several stickers that profiled his contact information on various prominent pipes in our laundry area. Then, he smiled as he charged me $65.00 for the call. 

Rotary Marketing Basics

How can guerrilla marketing strategies apply to Rotary? Let me count the ways.

First, a qualification. If you have read the 44+ posts on Building the Rotary Brand Blogsite you know my branding philosophy. First, there is no one way to build your brand. Second, every activity used in brand building - large or small - is integrated into the whole.

Your brand is what others think it is.
But, there is more. There is also no single portal through through which people enter the world of Rotary. Many are the ways.  
What does all of this mean? It doesn't matter how grand or brilliant a marketing strategy may be, if potential members come to a meeting that is poorly run or lacks relevance and value. The marketing effort - guerrilla or mainstream - will have been in vane.  

Four Basic Starting Points

1.    Members seek opportunities for growth by looking outward and not inward
2.    Members have developed a smooth, easy-to-deliver club elevator speech with followup talking points and can recite your story in a fluid, natural manner.
3.    Meetings are professionally run and offer quality content that is relevant and adds value to all in the room.
4.    Guests are made to feel welcome and valued.

Top Guerrilla Tips

You have undoubtedly come across many of these ideas before. The purpose is to stimulate thinking about what simple tool might work for your club. If you have other ideas, please share them in the comment section. 

Signature Meeting

Plan special meeting designed to engage and impress visitors. They create excitement and broad interest. They provide a pressure point around which to launch a host of guerrilla and mainstream strategies. They provide a reason to invite guests. 


Let's face it. Most new members of service clubs are found through personal networks. If networking takes you out of your comfort zone, click to this post for tips and ideas. 

All photos profile Calgary West
Rotarians  in action around the world.

Simple Brochure

You've peaked someone's interest in Rotary and now they've asked for more information. Produce a single panel, two sided brochure with information configured into a sales format. 

Including action photos of members doing local or international projects an asset. Use a card stock for durability. Fits easily into a jacket pocket or a purse.


It's free! Collect emails from visitors, guests, speakers, suppliers and others your club is in contact with throughout the year. Send them email blasts for special meetings or events. Include a couple of points about a service project or two. Must be light and positive in tone.

Harness the Power of Emails to Market Rotary!

Thank You Card

Design a simple yet professional two panel card with a large 'Thank You' and your club’s branding on the front. .Leave the inside blank for writing a personal note. Include your website address on the back.. Send it to each guest, speaker or others. Why does this make an impact? Few others do it.  

Telephone Thank You

I recently volunteered for my club's Salvation Army Kettle Campaign at Christmas. I was surprised and honored when the project leader called and thanked me for my participation. I felt valued and that I had done something significant.  

Impact Poster

Produce a poster using a child or family that has benefited from your club’s support Include a logo and simple message like, “We made a difference in this child’s live. You can to.
Think Rotary!” Include website address and contact information. Place in libraries, hotels, restaurants, Chamber of Commerce buildings and other places where professionals gather.   

Organize a LinkedIn Blitz

Challenge members to identify 10-15 professionals in your community. Ask them to send personal connect requests. When the identified people respond, along with a sentence about who you are professionally, mention in your thank you that you are a Rotarian and would like to invite them to a meeting.

Sponsor a Kid's Event

Sponsor a kid's event where the emphasis is on entertainment. Have members attend wearing Rotary branded shirts for easy identification. Ask them to pass out your simple brochure or impact poster to parents after the event and invite them to call for more information. When you are kind to people children, people remember.

Club Blogsite

Launch a club blogsite. Challenge project leaders to write a 5-600 word story about their projects. Challenge them to include photos. Promote each post through your other social media channels, enews, news releases and to potential members as examples of your club's service projects..

Writing and Formatting Tips to Increase Blogpost Engagement

Guerrilla Photos

Challenge club members to take many photos that tell stories about international and local projects they are involved in. Use them everywhere, and use them often. You can send links to online collections, use them in you club's meeting powerpoint, send them to local media along with a news release about the project and use them repeatedly on your social media channels. 

Photos That Tell Stories Are the Currency of Social Media and Online Marketing

Public Relations - Media

Let the media know about special speakers or projects. Rotary has the human interest stories that media are looking for. Always remember! It is the people centred difference making stories that command attention.  

How to Attract Media Attention! Nine Info Packed Posts!

What do you think? Have you used guerrilla strategies? Do you have tips? I want to hear from you. Please comment below.  

Robyn T. Braley is a brand specialist, writer, and speaker. He is also a media commentator and Rotarian. Robyn is the President of UniMark Creative which does website design, video production, media services (editorial and advertising), and graphic design. He speaks at business conferences and also blogs about branding. 

Contact Robyn

Email: robyn@robyntbraley.com   Connect on LinkedIn Follow on Twitter: @RobynTBraley 

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