TI explicitly excludes paid for advertising form the responsibilities of both club Vice
President's of PR and the District's PR Manager. In the club paid for advertising can be
commissioned by the President and Executive committee and at the District Level it falls
under the Club Growth Director's portfolio.
Never underestimate our Brand Promise and reputation. Every act of PR helps our
publics more clearly understand our promise and that it is 24 carat! "The Rule of Seven is
an old marketing adage. It says that a prospect needs to see or hear your marketing
message at least seven times before they take action and buy from you." We have to
compete against noise to get our brand out, such as likes of the official guild of
Toastmasters (Red Coats) and wine tasters, etc. In the face of that It is tempting to back
pedal on our brand and try to reinterpret who we are. However, if we back pedal the
brand we end up with a cacophony of interpretations which overall make it far harder for
the public to get a clear impression let alone a 24 carat one.
In Portlaoise we heard a story of a young lady who had to go to court to testify. At first
she was terrified, but then turned to her Toastmasters and realized with preparation she
could anticipate the questions and prepare table topics with beginning, main points, and
conclusion. The result was that she was commented in court for the quality of her
Club Mission. We provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which
members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in
greater self-confidence and personal growth. Our Brand Promise is clearly True
Taking the previous example of a Toastmaster preparing to give testimony in court we
can see a bigger picture of the heavy reliance of the legal system on communication
skills. We can also see the fragile human side of the nerves involved. Our Brand Promise
dealt with both by improving the communication and the self-belief. By grounding our
PR in the Brand promise we get closer to 24 carat in the eyes of the public.
Try signing out of your Facebook and other Social media and search for them in those.
This will get you into the shoes of a member of the public. A closed or even secret
Facebook page or group maybe great internal communications for that club, but it is of
doubtful value as public relations.
1) Word of mouth: Spot opportunities to start conversations about the benefit of
Toastmasters. Wearing a pin badge can be a great conversation starter. Have a few
copies of the Toastmasters Magazine with club contact details to hand. Talk to everyone
you meet in every situation. Have an elevator pitch prepared, but tailor it. Follow up on
them. Pitfall message inconsistency
2) Social media: Have one clear point of contact and management across platforms,
leverage the same content and have linkages across platforms [One of the pitfalls of
Social Media is we like and follow those closest to our own tastes and interests which is
Homophilly https://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/10/magazine/10Section2a.t-4.html and
that turns social media into an echo chamber or mirror and the Facebook algorithms will
accentuate it as well]. If your members don’t socialize your articles by shares, likes, tags,
comments they will not reach many people so don’t become over reliant on Facebook
and instead strive to ensure a balanced PR portfolio.
3) Websites: Keep them update. Use blogging for news. Keep contact details up to date.
Allow guests to contact you via website and contact them back. Make the website
efficiently searchable. Cross link content and include blogs, pictures, videos. Have
appropriate person in charge and use team work.
4) Local Press: short 200 word articles, leverage it from the narrative write ups from club
meetings, target your readership, offer a series of educational articles
5) Printed PR materials: Posters and business cards more effective than flyers, flyers are
everywhere, distribute posters to takeaways, supermarkets, make sure the business
cards also include a strong message eg 'take the fear out of public speaking" as well as
6) Outreach: Media interviews are good but have a strong human interest story to tell
and you need to contact producers and program researchers. Community radio with
phone-ins can be very effective. Youth leadership program has provide excellent PR. Local
colleges and fresher's fairs can be very good opportunities for a presentation or PR stall.
Invite a local dignitary eg mayor to your club. Pitfall know your audience and avoid
choosing the wrong one and wasting time
These are under review, but also have no authority until, you, the District Executive
Council Meet on 8th September to approve the budget.
Poor internal communication leads to confusion, anger, alienation, and disengagement.
In a voluntary organization we need to cultivate goodwill and buy in from our
stakeholders and team members and not brass them off. It will take more than one
iteration to define your teams operating principles and communication preferences. It
take proactive reflection and feedback to optimize this. In a voluntary team there will
always be some who for whatever reason are not that in to it and not that on top of it.
The challenge is to keep them onside whilst ensuring they don't hold the team back.