Posted by Jeffry Cadorette on Sep 05, 2018
Consumers and Consuming Rotary
By Jeffrey Cadorette, RI Director
 
The answer to the question of how early Rotarians consumed Rotary is pretty easy. It was through our traditional clubs centered around a meal and back then it was typically lunch or dinner. The advent of breakfast clubs was a bold experiment to widen our appeal to those who could not fit into what then was our typical model of delivery, how we were consumed.
 
My own early exposure to Rotary was through my Dad’s Rotary Club. It was a large lunch club. Consumer patterns were different then. I remember listening to baseball games on the radio with my Dad. Now, while many still attend games or watch on TV, a large segment of sports enthusiasts of all types consume sports via social media, on highlights shows, or streaming over the internet. Back then TV was three major networks and some UHF channels, now it’s hundreds of channels and numerous ways to view offerings from TV’s to computers to handheld devices.
 
Take a look at retail. Oh my, how times have changed our consumer patterns. Brick and mortar stores will probably always have a place, but look what online buying has done to the way we consume retail products. You can look at almost any area of your life and see, feel, and measure how dramatically the change has been in how you consume information, products, and services.
 
 
So why would it be any different for Rotary? It isn’t. Because of that we have seen the advent of new consumer products such as E-Clubs, Passport Clubs, Satellite Clubs, etc. New ways to engage with us. New ways to be a Rotarian. All of this because we are adapting and reacting to how folks of today want and need to consume Rotary.
 
But it’s not fast enough! In spite of all of the evidence and examples around us of how dramatically the consumer landscape has changed, many of our membership have a blind spot when it comes to seeing the need for that to happen with us. Many are stuck in how Rotary used to be consumed, totally not hearing or seeing how folks are telling us and showing us how they want to or need to consume Rotary. We say we aren’t our grandfather’s Rotary, but in far too many instances, we still are.
 
This isn’t a conversation about what is right or wrong. It is a conversation about what is. We need a dramatic increase in the number of our new consumer products. (See above and get ready because some of our new consumer offerings haven’t even been invented yet) We need it now. We need it in your districts and all across Zones 24 and 32. It is how we will grow. It is how we will thrive. It is how we will stay relevant. It is how we will be able to serve more people and more communities here and around the globe.
 
If you’re reading this, you’re part of the solution. Take the lead in your club or your district or at the very least don’t get in the way of those who will. Reach out to the Rotary Coordinators and the numerous resources available to you in the left columns of this newsletter. Back in the day one size fit all. Not anymore. Not today. Not now. Our consumer product line needs to scale up. We can’t afford to have a blind spot to how folks of today want or need to consume Rotary. We need to meet them where they show up, not expect them to find us where we are. We need you to maximize the offering of new Rotary consumer product models in your districts.
 
Click on this link https://vimeo.com/channels/rotarymembership/284246603 to listen to a webinar that was broadcast last week called “Building New Clubs Together”. Share the link with your clubs and with your district membership folks. We can do this. We MUST do this. How can you help us to grow membership by adding new Rotary consumer products near where YOU consume Rotary?
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