Rotary International District 1020
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Too many mixed metaphors
It's approaching three years since I took on the challenging role of Chairman of MPRC.
In that period the image of Rotary in this District and its ability — nae, willingness — to embrace change and new technology has enthused me.
My final comments (for the moment) are therefore, an attempt to foster a communications world of Rotary that will portray it as it is and not what it is perceived by non-Rotarians.
Over the last three years we have engaged with the public as never before in media of all varieties. Clubs are more media minded but still new members are not beating at our door. "Why?" you ask.
"Simples." says Sergio — we don't ask people often enough.
There are too many mixed metaphors and mixed messages.
District Governors come and go and we have had three from the top drawer during my Chairmanship — all with different styles and USPs — and that makes a difference.
New RI Presidents, DGs and Club Presidents can and do have a huge impact on the image of Rotary. New themes, change for the sake of it, and an inability to grasp the mood of Rotarians will only stifle enthusiasm.
Rotary is the original Big Society and, if we continue to practice that, our future is assured — yes it will continue to be a bumpy ride, but we will prevail.
Our focus on youth and all its elements is an investment that will foster peace, development of minds and produce leaders of commerce and industry. Within that activity series there are opportunities to serve and increase Rotary's awareness and encourage a younger set of members.
This District's train of awareness is firmly on the move with fresh ideas, a vibrant magazine, social networking skills, an improving website and marketing investments that are gilt-edged.
I'm indebted to my team for their commitment and hard work over the years.
Now it's largely all change, although the team leaves behind a legacy of achievement, vision that can be photographed and many platforms on which to build.
We've done the hard miles, made enlightened decisions and formed molecule-like relationships.
The new RIBI marketing theme of "Rotary — We're for Communities" is exactly what we are, but I suggest we take it further —"in your town, up your street" — for Rotary, and its activities, touches many homes and many lives at home and abroad.
The skills and talents of Rotarians have never been more in demand as the economies of the world creek and groan.
This, on the one hand, is a sorry situation, but gives Rotary an opportunity to shine out as a beacon for upholding family values and making the difference when all appears lost to many.
Rotary's image is changing and, let's face it, it needs to – too many grey suited men — but the women are on the way up.
Take a look at the Presidential photos in the District Directory and let's multiply them in Clubs — ALL Clubs.
My days of Rotary in Portugal taught me many things and it demonstrated that mixed gender clubs are better equipped to give balanced responses to situations.
I'm taking a breather on District, but will be fighting your corner with RIBI on the MPRC team.
Watch this space!
MPRC Chairman District 1020
Rotary — We're for Communities
Onwards and Upwards
The final District Council meeting of the year has taken place and plans are in hand for the District Assembly.
David Hull and his team are looking forward to presenting their agenda to you in a new style Assembly package — but work goes on.
The District's first Social Networking seminars have taken place thanks to the energies of Graham Clarkson — interest exceeded expectations.
For those who missed the events a copy of the full-colour leaflet "Getting Started' can be purchased at a cost of £5, to include p&p. Contact either Graham or myself.
It's good to report that the team's three-year business plan has been achieved with a steady push towards making the District Magazine self financing. The last issue and the current issue have both been in profit.
As promised last year, Awareness Campaigns involving the South West Area and the Borders hit the airwaves in March/April together with localised advertorials.
The results, in terms of notes of interest, have still to be quantified, but word on the street is that the message is getting home.
I congratulate those Clubs and clusters of Clubs who rose to the occasion and published the advertorials.
Over the last two years, all Areas have had focused Awareness Campagins and District has had a 140% return on its levy investment by the utilisation of grant funds.
The District Website continues to develop and the database extension championed by the Secretariat is entering an interesting stage — watch this sace.
District's involvement at Regional and RIBI level continues to influence decision-making and our Rotary in Scotland Facebook is followed throughout RIBI and in other countries.
Ignore Social Networking at your peril, more clubs now have a Facebook page and many more have a website. The trick is to keep them fresh. An important appointment next year at Club and District level must be Facebook Managers — it's an essential part of the Awareness thrust.
Herbert ChattersMPRC Chair District 1020
Big Society — Big Picture
The Big Society is getting the bigger picture across to the public.
With more RI funds available, Clubs and this District have more opportunities to engage with potential members, sponsors and "friends of Rotary".
Your Club will have recently received copies of the colour supplements which cost District only £340 for 16,500 copies.
Whilst these supplements don't completely fit the bill, it's a start, by which to communicate with companies, businesses and the public — use them at Awareness Nights.
And that's only a part of our activities. Two Areas — South West and Borders —launch a series of 91 commercials on their local Radio Station at the end of the month, supported by Club-originated advertorials with funds from RIBI through a grant.
Whilst on the subject of publicity I must commend the Clubs in the South West Area for their excellent six page feature in the glossy magazine Dumfries and Galloway Life. This is as fine an example of joined - up Rotary publicity that I've seen. Well done to all the Clubs. If any Club is interested in seeing this six page feature please contact me.
The much awaited 'Getting Started' Social Media leaflet is now available — consult the RIBI website for details on how to order copies. We are also planning 'Family Social Network' seminars, designed to encourage Rotarians to bring their partners or siblings to participate.
As I trawl the networks, attempting to gauge how other organisations/charities are reaching out to attract members, Social Networking is prevalent.
I've said it before — but I must stress, you can't duck Social Networking. Ignore it at your peril. Clubs don't stand still they either go forward or backwards. Where do you stand?
How are you getting on with the web site after the changes? I have to admit that it's solved some problems and created others. Let me have your comments.
The District Directory is in the process of being compiled. It will be available at the District Assembly in May. Deadlines are looming, please ensure that your club's profile is complete in good time. Any queries contact District Secretary Olive or Assistant Secretary Sandra.
We have a multiplicity of media opportunities this year to promote Rotary, including Edinburgh's Centenary and a host of major fund-raising projects. Make the best of them — if you require any help or advice just contact any member of the team
MPRC Chairman District 1020
Communication Chair: Rtn. Herbert Chatters
The Rotary Club of Selkirk
Communications - District Magazine Editor: Rtn. Rod Russell
The Rotary Club of Longniddry & District
Webmaster: Rtn. Tom Ingoldsby
The Rotary Club of Galashiels & District
Assistant Webmaster and Social Networking Officer: Rtn. Elaine Henderson
The Rotary Club of Esk Valley
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