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Thursday, January 8, 2015

103 - Marketing Rotary for Non-Professionals - Internal Marketing to District Governors

In this series, Rotary refers to the enterprise of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation.
Please review Marketing Rotary for Non-Professionals 101, 102A and 102B.

    Rotary's purpose is to create Rotarians by advancing the Object of Rotary.  District Governors (DG) must buy into Rotary's purpose in order to be able to influence clubs in their districts accordingly.  That would be one of Internal Marketing's (IM) major roles because DGs are on the front lines in the battle to create Rotarians. They are club advisers, but have no authority over clubs.  Their only tools are influence, persuasion, and support from Rotary.  To use these tools effectively they must be prepared to handle the obstacles they will face, like being able to respond with confidence to questions similar to:
  • What is Rotary?
  • What is Rotary's purpose?
  • Who are Rotary's target audiences?
  • Why would the target audiences want to join and/or stay in a Rotary club? 
  • Are Rotary clubs volunteer service organizations or civic clubs?
  • If a Rotarian is moving to another location, can they automatically join the club of their choice?
  • What is the rule of 85?
    These and similar topics should be addressed at Governors-Elect Training Seminars (GETS) and the International Assembly (IA).  One of IM's most important initiatives would be to help prepare these sessions' conveners, guest speakers, and trainers. Only then will the perceptual gap that exists between Rotary and its target audiences begin to narrow.
   DGs are responsible for training leaders within their district, including presidents-elect (PE).  Rotary literature supports DGs with this responsibility.  Another major IM role would be to assure that Rotary literature centers on Rotary's purpose and is prepared from the points of view of district personnel, PEs and clubs.  For example, Rotary's Club President's Manual (222-EN (312)) defines an effective club as one that is able to:
  1. sustain or increase its membership base,
  2. implement successful projects that address the needs of its community and communities in other countries,
  3. support the Rotary Foundation through both program participation and financial contributions, and
  4. develop leaders capable of serving in Rotary beyond the club level.
Many PEs smirk when they first read this four-point definition because it is clearly written from Rotary's point of view.  Most PEs have common sense.  They know their clubs are doing something right if they sustain and/or increase membership.  The other three elements promote attributes and opportunities that might help attract and retain Rotarians, but to be listed as essential to qualify as an effective club is elementary and detracts from the Object of Rotary.  There is one, and only one, definition of an effective Rotary club:  an effective Rotary club creates Rotarians  i.e. attracts and retains members.

Next is Marketing Rotary for Non-Professionals 104 - Why Rotary?

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