From advertisements on taxicabs in Japan to billboards around Antigua to TV spots in New Zealand, Rotary clubs and districts are using creative public relations initiatives to enhance Rotary's public image.
Rather than waiting for public relations opportunities, Rotarians at all levels are proactively seeking ways to tell the world about Rotary's accomplishments and programs. Public information campaigns are crucial to the success of the organization, which is why this PR effort is one of seven priorities in RI's 2007-10 Strategic Plan.
"Rotary is such a force for good, and yet many people have little understanding or knowledge of what we do," says Loryn Clark, a member of the Rotary Club of Albert Park, Victoria, Australia. "Effective PR is vital in spreading Rotary's message."
Clark is an area coordinator (South Pacific) for Rotary International's Public Image Resource Group. She assists clubs and districts in campaigns that tell Rotary's success stories to the media, local government officials, and civic leaders.
"We have fantastic new PR materials from RI that should inspire clubs to generate an impressive campaign in their area," says Clark.
In January, RI released Humanity in Motion IV , a DVD and CD-ROM set that contains public service announcements for television , radio , print , Internet , and billboards . The membership-focused PSAs can easily be localized, allowing Rotary club members to create appropriate messages for their region of the world. Rotarians can use these PSAs to obtain free or low-cost ad placements with their local media.
Here are some of the successful public image campaigns clubs have implemented using the Humanity in Motion materials:
- Daron Curtiss, of the Rotary Club of Half Moon Bay, Auckland, New Zealand, localized the 30-second PSA "Peace" from Humanity in Motion II by dubbing in rangimarie, the Maori word for peace, and adding a local phone number as a call to action. View the video (MPEG file)
- Using nontraditional media placement, the Rotary Club of Kyoto-Fushimi, Japan, worked with Rotarians who own taxicabs and placed mini-Rotary billboards on the back of 1,000 taxis. The advertisement promotes Rotary's peace center programs and encourages young students to apply in Japan
- The Rotary Club of Kawaguchi/Hatogaya Bunan, Saitama, Japan, placed a PSA on an electronic billboard in a busy commercial area in Tokyo. The billboard depicts a child receiving polio drops and flashes Rotary's logo and message on polio eradication.
- The Rotary Club of Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda, placed two PSAs on billboards in celebration of Rotary's anniversary. Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer attended the unveiling ceremony, which was covered by local media.