Overview (2015-16)

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Chairman: Bob Aitken AM (Ann)
Lower Blue Mountains
Tel: 4739 5164
Mob: 0417 722 190
Email: bob@bobaitkenmedia.com.au
The primary goals of the 2015-16 District Public Relations team is to support clubs in
• Enhancing the reputation of Rotary amongst all key stakeholders
• Promoting the Rotary brand within their community
• Promoting their local and international projects
• Attracting prospective members to Rotary
Support will be provided in a number of ways:
• District support for a national campaign to enhance the public image of Rotary
• Continuing education of members about all levels of Rotary – club, zone, district, regional and international
• Providing Club PR Directors with the tools required to run effective communications programs in their communities and training in the skills to manage reputation
• Provide a focus for PR and communication programs with a special focus on regular club information sessions.
This recognises that while the District will run Public Relations campaigns covering the whole District, it will be up to the clubs and their members to leverage the effects and benefits of those campaigns within their communities. Personal contact by enthusiastic and committed Rotarians remains one of the best ways to positively communicate the Rotary brand.
This year will also see a national campaign to enhance the public image of Rotary. It is the result of an initiative by Rotary International to revitalize the Rotary brand. It is certainly necessary. One of the biggest problems that we face is that while a lot of people recognise the Rotary wheel, few can say what it stands for or what Rotary does.
We need to look at everything that affects our public image. In equal first place are how we conduct our meetings and how we treat guests to our clubs. Each has a huge impact on both our guests and our members.
While traditional media will still be used for PR, it is essential that we embrace Social (digital) Media so that we can engage in conversations with our target audiences when and where they want. We must therefore ensure that all of our electronic and printed media are relevant and current. This includes our websites, social media pages, newsletters and kits that we provide for media, prospective members and new members. All resources must be regularly updated, and District officers will be available to assist.
This year, Polio Plus and some District Assisted Projects (e.g. Hearing Awareness or The Four-Way Test Public Speaking Competition, Literacy) will be promoted as District projects. Once again, it will be up to individual clubs to get behind these projects to enjoy the benefits of their promotion.
Finally, the key to really successful Public Relations in our District is to remember that we are all in this together. Whatever any club or individual Rotarian does reflects on us all.
Let’s ensure that what we do always has a positive effect on our audience and enhances the image of Rotary.
Jeff Egan (Lower Blue Mountains)
Evan Burrell (Turramurra)
Bryan O’Shannassy (Erina)