Posted by Rob MacArthur, District Public Image Committee

What is Your Club's Online Presence?  Does it represent your club members? Does it tell the Rotary story of who you are and what you do?

For more than 100 years, Rotary has united leaders who are committed to using their expertise to take action and improve their communities.

Awareness of Rotary is high. But public understanding of who we are, what we do, and the value we bring to communities is concerningly low.

It’s important that we tell our story in ways that help people everywhere understand what Rotary does, how we’re different, and why our work matters. Without this understanding, we can’t reach our full potential and bring more people together and improve even more communities worldwide. No other organization is quite like Rotary. By using our unique voice consistently in all our messaging, we can ensure that our communications reflect our distinct character.

If we speak, write, and design in one voice, our communications will sound, read, and look unmistakably like Rotary. This will give our audiences a better understanding of who we are. Together, we can show the world that we’re people of action.

Your District 7070 Public Image Committee asked one of our committee members, Rob MacArthur of the Rotary Club of Port Hope to be our "Public Image Public Investigator" to take a look at your club website and social media accounts. We asked Rob to sum up what he found and offer some suggestions to help your club. Here is Rob's look at our Rotary clubs in District 7070 and some outstanding tips how you can increase your club's public image.....

Yes... it is true... I am a Licensed PI in the Province of Ontario. One of many licenses I have. However, technology and analysis is what I have been doing for over 35 years.  When Dave Andrews asked me to do the analysis I actually get excited.... yes... my wife thinks I am weird too... but here goes... here’s the tale of the tape...

There are 55 clubs in our district.  I looked at the websites and social media accounts for all 55 and here are the stats:

Domain Names – Of the 55 clubs, approximately 13% are not using domain names the proper way.  Some do not have a domain name. Some have multiple domain names. Some are referred to by the clubrunner portal name such as portal.clubrunner.ca/????. This effects your search engine rankings and the ease to find your club on the internet.  If you use clubrunner, their support team can help you connect your clubrunner to a domain name such as www.ajaxrotary.org. Other website providers should be able to do the same.

Clubrunner – 82% of the district clubs use clubrunner.  Clubrunner has 3 different levels, Admin, Standard, and Lite. 

Secure Site – 84% of  clubs have a secure site.  This means that something called an SSL certificate has  been attached to your site.  You can tell a secure site as it will have “https://” at the beginning of the domain name. These days, this is very important for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, if you collect any data from website visitors, you should have one.  Secondly, not having one can hurt your search engine rankings.  Any Clubrunner site has this included.  If you have a clubrunner site and your site is not secure, there is something wrong with your site.  The Clubrunner support team can help you with this.  Non clubrunner sites should talk to the their website provider about getting this done if it is not done already.

Facebook – 85% of clubs have a Facebook Fan Page.  A few of have a facebook group, but a fan page is more useful in communicating with the general public and building a brand.  Of the 85%, 70% post on at least a monthly basis.

Twitter – 65% of clubs have a twitter account.  Of the 65%, 31% post at last on a monthly basis.

Instagram – 40% of clubs have an instagram account.  Of the 40%, 50% post on at least a monthly basis.

Social Links on website – 35%of the clubs have links to their social media accounts on the website. Some clubs have links that don’t work or are missing links to some of the social media accounts. Do your links work?

Proper Logos and Graphics – 62% of the clubs have all the proper logos and graphics.  This includes proper Rotary Logos as per RI guidelines, as well as the proper theme for the current Rotary year. Check to make sure you are using the correct Rotary Logo by going into MyRotary on the Rotary International Website and get into the RotaryBrand Center. Tell the story of Rotary and how we are people of action in your community and around the world.

Public Image Director – 27% of the clubs have the Public Image Director position and the member or members responsible for that position listed on their website. Please ensure that your club has a Public Image Director and that you have your executive positions clearly identified in Clubrunner. Our committee would like to send lots of useful information and tips directly to the Director and save the Club President from having another email .

 

Check List and Tips

Below is a checklist and some tips that clubs may find useful.

  • Try to get your website and all social media resource to have the same name.  For instance, for Ajax Rotary, our website is www.ajaxrotary.org and our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts are called AjaxRotary.  This is great for branding.

  • If you do not have a domain name or have it properly configured for your website, contact your website provider for help to do so.

  • If your website is not a secure site, get help from your website provider to do so.

  • Have your social media links somewhere at the top of your website for ease of finding so that visitors can easily follow you on social media.

  • Make sure you are using authorized Rotary logos and image guidelines (in the Rotary Brand Center) , as well as the proper Rotary Presidential theme of the year graphic, on your website and all social media resources.

  • If you only have a Facebook Group, create a Facebook Fan Page. Connect with the public.

  • Configure your Facebook Fan Page tabs to start with Home/About/Posts. This is what you want people to see first.

  • Post to your Social Media resources on a daily or weekly basis.  More people will follow you if you provide regular content.

  • When you have an event, as well as listing it on your website ( and be sure to check off the box that says to share it with the District so that it can go on to the District calendar), create a Facebook Event for it.

  • Make sure the information on your website is current.  Anything older then a year should be archived or removed.

  • Make sure the Social Media links on your website work and go to your Social Media accounts.

  • All clubs should be using minimum of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as Social Media resources.  Others to consider are YouTube, Pinterest, and Tik Tok. If you are trying to reach a younger audience, Tik Tok and Instagram are very useful.

  • Whenever you post to your Social Media accounts, make sure any members that have their own personal accounts on the Social Media resources Like and Share your clubs posts.  This is very handing in helping with your clubs branding and exposure.

  • While building the Rotary Club of Port Hope Twitter account I noticed that some clubs in the district have multiple Twitter accounts. This can happen very easily as years go by. As people come and go from clubs, sometimes the information is not passed on or is forgotten. The problem is it can confuse and hinder your social media efforts. To find out if your club has multiple Twitter accounts, or any multiple social media accounts, do a search on the social media site of your clubs name and the word Rotary. This should produce a list where you can see if you have two accounts. You should delete the account that is not being used anymore. This may be difficult as it may be registered to a member that is not around anymore, but it should be doable. 
  • The District 7070 Facebook Fan Page is now regularly posting tips and help and social media.  Be sure to check them out.
  • One thing I have noticed is clubs are not posting enough content in my opinion. You should be posting events, news, milestones, and club anniversaries.
  • One other area I find that is overlooked is sending out press releases to local radio, tv, and print outlets. This is a great resource to help get the word out and raise awareness in your area. The same news, announcements, events, and milestones, that you would send out on social media, should also be sent to these outlets. In doing this, you could get calls for interviews, the release will be reprinted, and media may show up to your meetings from time to time.

Be safe and well...

 

 

 

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to email me at info@robmac.org.

Rob MacArthur

Rotary Club of Port Hope

District 7070 PI PI