Rotary's public image is what people outside of Rotary think of when they hear our name. But name recognition is just the start. Our public image is shaped by the actions of our members, the activities we engage in, the impact we have, and more.
A strong public image promotes trust and encourages people to engage with us. We can help build our public image by sharing stories that show us as people of action and inspire others to get involved.
Promoting Rotary to the general public can be as simple as wearing your Rotary pin or as elaborate as organizing an integrated marketing campaign. By increasing the public's understanding of Rotary, we're strengthening our ability to make an impact in communities around the world.
Why should my club care about Rotary's public image?
Your club can benefit in many ways from a stronger public image of Rotary. Raising awareness and understanding of Rotary helps attract prospective members, instills a sense of pride among members, encourages community members to donate their time and money, and helps your club stand out from other volunteer opportunities.
What can I do to promote my club's public image?
As a Rotary or Rotaract member, you're an ambassador for our brand. You're also in the best position to describe how club projects and activities benefit your community. You'll find many resources in the Brand Center to help promote your club's good works, generate positive media coverage, and present your members as people of action. Opportunities include:
- Websites: Your club website may be the first place that potential members, participants, and donors encounter your club and Rotary. Update your website frequently with images, club activities, and volunteer opportunities that provide ways for community members to engage with you.
- Pro tip: Link to stories and blog entries on rotary.org that show Rotary's impact around the world.
- Social media: Social media is an easy way to connect with large audiences within and beyond your Rotary network. Share news about club projects and invite followers to learn more by linking to your club website.
- Pro tip: Rotary International's social media content is ready-made for sharing! Follow Rotary's social media channels and share posts on your club's channels.
- Events: Programs, events, and service projects help promote your club and inspire others to get involved. Plan events that appeal to your community, address local needs, and encourage the public to participate.
- Pro tip: Be prepared to collect participants' names and contact information, then follow up with them.
- Speaking engagements: Use opportunities in your community to speak about your club and what Rotary does. Make sure to use Rotary-branded PowerPoint templates and high-quality photos or videos.
- Pro tip: Include a call to action for your audience, such as inviting them to a club meeting or event, asking for a donation, or encouraging them to visit your website.
You'll find more information on promoting Rotary and your club in the Brand Center. Advertising, merchandise, and partnerships with local organizations are also effective ways to strengthen Rotary's brand and build awareness of your club.
How can I promote my club's projects?
Including a public relations component in your project plan can help attract the media attention and support your club's projects and events deserve. Follow these steps for success:
- Know your local media: Before sending stories to a journalist, read your local newspaper, listen to the evening news, and follow journalists and news organizations on Facebook and Twitter to identify where a Rotary story might fit. Then:
- Create a media list and keep it current.
- Develop a relationship with a reporter and stay in contact so they'll remember you.
- Consider inviting a local journalist to come to a club meeting or join a service project.
- Write a press release that journalists want to read: Share news about your club projects, fundraising events, or the arrival of Youth Exchange students with a press release. Your press release should:
- Include a persuasive reason – a "news hook" – for the media to pursue the story.
- Answer the "Five W's": Who, What, Where, When, and Why.
- List a club member who will respond to media inquiries.
- Include visuals when you send the release to TV stations.
- Be concise: Limit the press release to one page and paste it into the body of your email rather than sending it as an attachment.
- Don't forget to share and follow up:
- Post news coverage of your events and projects on your club website and social media outlets.
- Keep track of your public relations efforts by watching for Rotary-related stories in the news outlets you've contacted.