Spreading the word

Club members help other Rotary clubs with the why and how to use websites, Facebook and Twitter to get the message out about Rotary's achievements etc.

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Getting the message out using Websites and Social Media

Saturday 19 September saw Billericay club member Peter Greene (District 1240 Social Media Development), and David Cope from Chelmsford Phoenix (District Webmaster), give a workshop to help other clubs make better use of Websites, Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about Rotary.  Eighteen Rotarians from around Essex joined Pat Gaudin, Chairman of the District PR and Communications Committee, David and Peter at the Parkside Community Hub in Chelmsford for this hands-on experience.

In a morning 3 hour session, the first part focussed on why clubs should use these tools and what they are best suited for, while the second part focussed on hands-on use of the tools to achieve this. 

Part 1 - Attendees were shown how they could use their club Website, Facebook and Twitter to record what they do, publicize their events and increase their media coverage.  Clubs need to be appreciated as active clubs with both community and social events, doing community service projects and other interesting activities, raising money for Charity, supporting other clubs' activities.  We should try to attract interest by posting:
  • Things we’ve done, or are planning to do
  • Things in which we’re going to participate/have participated
  • Social events we run which demonstrate good fellowship
The message was - if you want people to know what you are doing then use all three tools to spread the message:
  1. Put it on the Club Website
  2. Add it to Facebook and link the Facebook post to the Website Page
  3. Add it to Twitter and the the Tweet to the Facebook post
  4. Use Hashtags and Mentions to spread the word to the people you want to inform.

Part 2 - After a short break, the group split into two for hands-on experience in using the technology, with David leading the Website session in the computer room, and Peter leading the Social Media session in the conference room.  In the conference room attendees worked from a workbook at their own pace on their own tablets, phones and laptops, with Peter and Kathryn Evans providing advice as required.  The WiFi service was very slow, so this was a restriction, but the day was saved with the aid of Kathryn's personal "hotspots".

It was very difficult to aim a single workshop at the wide variety of experience and expertise (or lack of it) in the room, but most comments from the delegates were positive, including:

  • “Informal and informative”,
  • “Covered a lot more than I expected”,
  • ”Really useful”,
  • “Well structured presentations that  have provoked a lot of ideas”,
  • “Excellent content, well organised and relevant.”

Asked what would they take away from the session, the major comments were:

  • “How much this is needed”,
  • “I am now on Twitter and looking forward to tweeting to more followers.”
There was only one negative feedback with one attendee who felt he was not a suitable person for this sort of stuff and that the presentations were too fast, far too technical, and assumed knowledge & skills he just didn't have.

All the presentations and handbook information is available on the District website accessible, once logged in, in the members only section under "PR and Communications":