It’s hard to believe it is now two years since the words coronavirus and pandemic became part of the vernacular. Who could have known in March 2020 the impact which successive lockdowns, and restrictions in movement would have on our daily lives?
From a Rotary perspective, Covid-19 has been a defining point for the organisation. We have lost many members, some of whom have gone on to greater service, and witnessed the closure of a number of Rotary clubs which became no longer sustainable.
Equally, the pandemic has coincided with the growth of a number of new-style Rotary clubs, such as passport clubs and the Rotary Global Hub, providing a more flexible approach to service.
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Rotary can no longer be set in its ways. We cannot do things simply because “that’s the way we have always done it”. Stick to that mantra and Rotary becomes as attractive as yesterday’s leftovers.
Rotary can no longer be set in its ways. We cannot do things simply because “that’s the way we have always done it”.”
In being prepared to adapt and change, let’s be mindful of the audience out there; those prospective members who are Rotarians of the future.
How do we market ourselves, what image do we portray?
I was interested to read the excellent posters presented by Rotary North-East which are illustrated on these pages. The idea was hatched by Sunderland Rotarian, Josey George, who wanted to mount an advertising campaign for his club.
This was soon taken up by the district as a way of modernising Rotary’s image. After all, anyone wishing to join Rotary will always ask “what’s in it for me?”
Josey’s campaign has been so effective that other organisations, such as Toastmasters International, have asked how the idea was crafted.
I have always maintained that Rotary magazine is one of our best marketing tools because the content is presented with its audience in mind – both Rotarians, but also an external audience too.
The magazine presents Rotary across its many layers, showcasing the work which we do in Great Britain and Ireland and abroad. It spotlights the sort of people who are proud to call themselves Rotarians.
It’s why this month, we are encouraging Rotarians to ‘Read It & Leave It’ with their magazine.
When you have finished reading the latest issue, why not pass it on to a friend or colleague?
Even better, why not drop off a copy of Rotary at your local library, coffee shop, GP’s surgery, community centre or business?
Put a sticky label on the front with your club’s contact details and promote your club to a wider audience. It beats picking up gnarled copies of Reader’s Digest in the doctor’s waiting room!
It’s why this month, we are encouraging Rotarians to ‘Read It & Leave It’ with their magazine.”
Of course, in this post-Covid climate, there are restrictions about what can be left where, and we are certainly not suggesting fly-tipping your magazines in an unwelcome spot.
Already, a number of Rotary clubs have latched onto the idea by leaving Rotary magazines at key community locations offering a shop window to our organisation
So, unless your club has got a huge waiting list of potential members, why would you not try this? And if, as a couple, you are receiving two copies of the magazine at home, then put it to good use.
We live in a moment of great change, but also one of great opportunity. Let’s use this time to spread the word about Rotary.
Let’s ‘Read It & Leave It’.