A modern approach to promoting Rotary

By Anne Matthews
D9560 Passport Rotary Club

Advertising executives will often tell you that a good marketing campaign displays creativity, resonates with the target audience, attracts interest, and achieves its intended objectives. And that is exactly what Kevin Mackin, of the Rotary Club of Yarram, Vic, did recently when he advertised in the local newspaper and on social media.

Kevin, who has a background in senior marketing and business management roles, sought a modern and professional approach to the club’s communications. He developed an integrated print/social media campaign designed to generate interest in membership of Rotary in general, and specifically to test the interest in a new satellite club. He wanted the satellite club to meet the needs of busy, young people in Yarram and the surrounding areas in Victoria’s south east Gippsland.

The campaign was pitched to offer an opportunity to join Rotary in a way that would fit prospective members’ time-poor lives. His plan offered the opportunity to come in at the ground level, thus establishing an entirely new Rotary ‘club’. A ‘club’ whose members want to find a way to give something back to the community, meet new friends, make great contacts, and have fun at the same time.

Kevin’s graphics were state of the art. They explained that the new group would set its own rules and meeting format, and do things that fit in with busy schedules and other commitments. It was also very inclusive, stating it was open to everyone in the area – without judgement or precondition. However, it ensured that the group would still follow the core guiding principles of Rotary.This remains an ongoing campaign.

Halo-Halo Yarram

The Rotary Club of Yarram was chartered in 1947 and since then members have worked hard to help their community. Halo-Halo Yarram is one of their latest projects.

Halo-Halo Yarram is a State Government project funded by the Department of Families Fairness and Housing to help welcome new arrivals to Australia and integrate them into local communities. In Gippsland, the project is administered through LaTrobe Community Health Service. The Rotary Club of Yarram bid to take part in the project through a very competitive tender process and secured the program for their Local Government Area.

Club members welcome new arrivals to the region and help them settle in, make friends, learn our language and customs, get jobs, connect and become part of the community. They encourage them to stay in Yarram for the long term.

Through this project, Rotarians are building a more inclusive and understanding community and helping local people along the way.

Interestingly, some of the satellite club attendees cited the Halo-Halo project as one of the main reasons they were considering joining Rotary – they saw it as positive proof that Rotary was doing great things in their local community. Also, three of the Halo-Halo project participants who arrived from overseas are keen to join Yarram Rotary.

Kevin said the Halo-Halo Yarram project is the project he is most proud of. And so he should be! The graphics and videos he has produced for the project are modern and sensational. As an aside, the word ‘halo’ is from the Greek meaning of ‘light’ – illuminating some person or being, who in turn illuminates others. Kevin is certainly helping in this regard.

One might well describe the project as creating a rainbow over Yarram and surrounds. However, Kevin said that Halo Halo is from a Filipino word meaning mix mix, which is equally as suitable for this multicultural inclusive project.

Tips for young players

Don’t be scared of failure (if you don’t fail sometimes, you’re not taking enough risks).

Leverage the tools in the Brand Centre.

Don’t re-invent the wheel. Google is your friend – cut and paste liberally (but don’t infringe copyright).

Use templates every chance you get – the internet is full of free templates for most things you need to produce.

Video for social media and websites is powerful and easy to create – there are lots of simple tools to let you make awesome short videos in no time.

You don’t need to be creative to create.

Awesome content – you just need to know how to cut and paste.

Keep your messaging super simple and to the point.

MAIN PICTURE: The Halo-Halo Yarram project welcomes new arrivals to the region and helps them become part of the community.