Imagine you are in heavy traffic. A vehicle with company signage cuts you off and makes rude gestures toward you. What if instead that vehicle with company signage allows you to ease into traffic and gives you a friendly wave. How do each of those scenarios affect your opinion of that company?
What if that vehicle has a Rotary logo on it? What if that interaction happens on social media?
I had the good fortune to be interviewed by Past District Governor Ken Balsley for his “Coffee with Ken” radio show on KGY in Olympia. (You can listen to our interview at http://kenbalsley.com/coffee-with-ken/). It caused me to reflect on how we present ourselves and how we are perceived as Rotarians.
One of the lines in a standard induction ceremony for new members is that “from this day forward, Rotary will be judged by your actions.”
As Rotary District 5020 slowly rolls out our social media advertising campaign to alert potential Rotarians to the possibility of becoming a Rotarians, it is worthwhile to remember that we are living, walking advertisements for Rotary and for our clubs.
Public image is a double-edged sword. On one hand, we need to present a positive image of what Rotary stands for and who we are. On the other hand, one negative can easily overcome that positive image.
I encourage all Rotarians to enthusiastically advertise their membership in Rotary and to use that advertising to help others to become Rotarians.
Rotary logo clothing, Rotary pins, Rotary signage at their place of employment, Rotary themed social media postings and even a Rotary logo (discrete or otherwise) on the vehicle all are easy and effective methods to advertise your Rotary membership.
Whatever you do, please remember the 4-Way Test. All that we think, say or do, includes social media.
I encourage all Rotary clubs to do everything they can to help the public understand what their club is all about and how to participate.
Club websites that clearly outline what you do, where and when you meet and how to join are all a minimum to help others learn about your club. What else can you do? Rotary signage at your meeting place with a QR code that leads to your website? Posting on social media with pictures showing your activities in the community or in the world? Contacting Steven Boe, our District Public Image chair to get more ideas and guidance?
Are we having fun? Let’s remember to tell our face and then put our best face out to the world.