Public Relations Best Practices

District 7910 invested in the creation of a PR Tool Kit. We have an online version available for purchase, along with training. Contact Bob Cassidy for more information.

To help you create more effective public relations and awareness for your club, here are some tips and reminders.

Press Releases
  • Develop a media list for press releases and keep it current.
  • When creating deadlines for press releases and media advisories, work backwards from your event date.
  • Send out event-related press releases at least one month in advance.
  • Make sure the first sentences of a press release have the most important information: who, what, when, where, and why, and most importantly, why a reader should care.
  • Most newspapers accept online or email submissions of press releases. Do a Google search for the newspaper, and look for tabs or links for submitting your news.
  • Email each press contact individually.
  • End each press release with the ### symbol, which means the end of your document.
  • Include a description or “boilerplate” at the end of your press releases to describe your club and Rotary International.
  • Add quotes to your press releases for color and additional information about your project or news.
  • Add your full contact information if you submit a press release by email.
 
Other Press Activities
  • Calendar listings are easy, free ways to publicize an event. Be mindful of submittal deadlines for publication.
  • Submit calendar listings for publication about two weeks in advance.
  • Send post-event photos to editors or reporters who could not attend an event. Add a detailed caption.
  • Keep track of your published releases, photos, and feature stories. Save clippings in a notebook, and create a log of the coverage you received with the date, publication, headline, and link (if online).
  • Consider inviting a local journalist to speak to your club about how to work with the media or invite them to join a service project so they can see firsthand how your club is improving your community.
  • Once you've developed a relationship with your local reporters, help them remember you through regular contact. Share news about your club projects, fundraising events, or the arrival of Youth Exchange students with a press release.
  • Distribute club brochures, media kits, and fact sheets to local press.
  • Be honest and forthcoming if a reporter calls. Do not speculate or guess on information. Keep the conversation neutral or positive.
 
Social Media (Facebook)
  • Create a Facebook group page if you want to share information among members of your club.
  • Create a “Cause or Community” page if you want to promote your club’s activities to the general public.
  • Assign someone in your club to manage your social media sites. Update your Facebook page at least once a week!
  • Ask everyone in your club to “Like” your club Facebook page.
  • Tag your members in Facebook pages. All of their Friends will see it, and many “Like” the photos and your site.
  • You need at least 30 Likes to get administrative insights on how people are interacting with your club’s Facebook page.
  • Facebook impressions measure the number of times a post from your page is displayed, whether the post is clicked on or not. People may see multiple impressions of the same post. For example, a fan might see a Page update in News Feed once and then a second time if a Friend shares it.
  • Respond quickly to all club Facebook posts.
  • Pages Manager is a great app for managing your club’s Facebook pages from your smart phone.
 
Photography
  • Assign someone in your club to be your club photographer. Take photos of new member installations, fun community projects, interesting speakers, local community service activities, fundraisers, and more!
  • Post photos on your club website and your club Facebook page.
  • Submit photos to your local newspapers.
     
Rotary International Branding Guidelines
  • The Rotary Brand Center contains a variety of media-ready materials that you can adapt for your club’s needs.
  • Rotary International published a new Visual Identity Guide in 2013 and updated it in January 2015. Download a copy from the Rotary Brand Center, or order a copy from shop.rotary.org ($5 each).
  • Use the blues in our leadership colors as the predominant palette. Reserve Rotary Gold for “pops” of color. Highlight headings, subheads, icons, and buttons with colors from our palette.
  • You can find promotional ads in the Rotary Brand Center on the Rotary International website.
     
Other Public Relations Tips
  • Promoting Rotary to the general public can be as simple as wearing your Rotary pin or as elaborate as organizing an integrated marketing campaign. By increasing the public's understanding of Rotary, we're strengthening our ability to make an impact in communities around the world.
  • Consider inviting a local journalist to speak to your club about how to work with the media or invite them to join a service project so they can see firsthand how your club is improving your community.
  • Advertise your club, projects, and events on local cable and public access TV.
  • Create a public service announcement that highlights your club or Rotary International.
  • Use the video This Is Rotary and Doing Good in the World in your meetings and events.
 
 
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