About the Author

Who is Robyn
Robyn Braley is committed to helping Rotarians grow their clubs to become better equipped to help people who need help. He has led two club teams that were awarded RI PR Awards and served as the District 5360 PR Chair. He has been a Rotarian since 1999.

Rotary Speaker
Robyn draws from his experience as a Rotarian and as a Communications Professional to share ways to more effectively tell the Rotary story to your community. He starts by asking the questions, "Is your club ready to grow, and why does it matter?" The ultimate focus is on attracting new members.

He is available to speak at District Conferences and Rotary leadership training institutes. Content also applies to other not-for-profit organizations.

Free Content for #Rotary and NFP Use
Please use any posts for Rotary District or club Newsletters. Include the profile at the bottom of each article, Robyn's headshot and a link to this blogsite. Let him know and he'll promote it to his social media followers.

Contact him at robyn@unimarkcreative.com

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

How an Attitude of Service can Impact Your Rotary Media Event

How you treat the media will impact your story
Written by Robyn T. Braley

Part 1 An Attitude of Gratitude 

You have organized a great media event to announce an exciting new program that will benefit the entire community. 

You crafted a killer news release and carefully assembled a media kit packed full of relevant information. 

You’ve contacted the media by email, social media and telephone. You dropped off or mailed media kits that answered all the questions. Spokes-people are on stand-by. 

Now you wait on pins and needles hoping - even praying - journalists will come through the door to cover your event.

Most reporters love covering not-for-profit stories. They recognize that they can have a role in making a difference in your community by helping to get the word out about projects and events that will change lives.

However, news happens quickly. Assignments can change on a dime as I can attest from personal experience. 

Media can be on their way to cover your story only to be diverted to the scene of a small plane crash, a car crash or to where a  body has been discovered under suspicious circumstances. I remember the time a professional sports team in our city traded a popular player. 

Another time a TV crew arrived ready to cover our event. A second cruiser from a competing station rolled up, stopped, and then left when they saw that 'the other guys' had beaten them to the punch.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Tips for Building a Quality Media List for Your Service Club

Just a few of the stories we've placed
Written by Robyn T. Braley

There are different names for it. Pitching the story. Selling the story. Placing the story or getting media coverage!

Whatever you call it, your goal is to generate media coverage for your cause, event, notable speaker or any other story related to the work of serving your community.

It’s About the Angle
It doesn't matter how comprehensive and accurate your media contact list is if you don't have the basics of your story pitch down pat.  

Every day the Media is inundated by story possibilities. Unique, unusual and creative ideas are the key to cutting through the clutter. 

An editor, producer, reporter or show host will take 4-5 seconds to decide whether to consider your pitch or to trash it. If you don’t have a strong angle, or hook, the decision will be easy for them. With a quick click your story will be deleted as they move on to the next story idea. 

Ya gotta' have a strong hook! A Grabber!

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Six Types of Media Exposure you Need to Know About

Story coverage takes thought and planning.

Media is inundated by requests from worthwhile not-for-profit organizations which all need - and deserve - publicity. 

Each one comes requesting news coverage, sponsorship, and "free" advertising.

But, successful media campaigns don't just happen. They are well planned and executed. Excellent Public Relations resources are downloadable from the Rotary International website. 

In this post, I provide further background to information published there. I have outlined 6 ways to receive media exposure
Media convergence' old and new!

Let Me Be Clear

But, first, a clarification. When I use the term “media,” I include both social and traditional. In the age of media convergence, one is totally integrated with the other.

How does it work? If radio, TV or newspapers run a story about your project or event, it is usually posted online. It is then promoted through the their social media channels.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Why Media Kits Play a Key Role in Engaging Media. Tips

Media Kits help generate news
 Written by Robyn T. Braley

This post is part of a series about how to develop a media program for service clubs and other not-for-profit organizations. The series answers the question, “How can we generate media stories about our cause?”

Why a Media Kit
Why do you need a media kit? To answer this question, let me ask another. “How do you tell the story of Rotary on single page?” The short answer is, you can’t.

The story is complex and has many layers. If you try to tell it in a single multipage document crammed with information, readers will become frustrated and confused. In the end, few will read any of it.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Pitching a News Story Requires a Well Crafted Media Release. Why? Tips!

Dr. Bob Scott (Polio Plus) Interview with CTV
If you have ever pitched a story to the media, the first thing you will be asked is to send your story in writing. 

You must send a document that will get their attention and then draw them into the story potential.

Media specialists do not differentiate between mainstream, online or social media. When we do story placement campaigns, all media forms are automatically included in our strategies.

Let’s clarify meaning. A release should be called a “news” or “media” release, not a “press” release. The term “press” dates you and is not relevant today.

Crafting for Success

The purpose of a release is to generate TV, Radio and newspaper stories. But, there is more! It must also accommodate online distribution. A media release must be formatted for posting on websites, blogsites and online newsites.  

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

How the Calgary West Rotary Club Attracted 25 New Members in 18 Months

Unified clubs can do great things!

There is a simple definition of the word brand. Your brand is what others think it is. But, the heart of a brand goes much deeper to what you think of yourself and your company or organization.

The foundation of a strong Rotary Club brand is the feeling of pride members have for their club and the work of Rotary. If they feel good about their club, they will be fully engaged in service while influencing others to collaborate and even become members.

The Can-do Club

The Calgary West Rotary first met in May, 1967. The club soon became known as a "can-do" club that was highly integrated into the community. High-impact service projects reached far beyond the scope of what could reasonably be expected from a club of 80 to 100 members. Thousands of lives throughout the world were forever changed due to a collective passion for service and making a difference.  
Decades passed. Then, things began to change. Over a 5 year period members began to drift away. Many of those who remained were not motivated or engaged. Meeting attendance dipped to numbers in the 20s and 30s.
There was no single reason for the decline. Rather, a number of influences came together in a perfect storm. The future seemed bleak.

8 Posts Packed Full of Tips for Improving Your Rotary Club Speakers Program

Robyn Braley speaking at a District 5360 event

A strong speaker program is key to a healthy, engaging, vibrant Rotary club. Meetings are a time for coming together, refreshing, renewing and reloading. Every time I tweet the following from our BTRB twitter account I receive retweets. 

“If you want to develop a positive outlook, hang out with positive people. Rotarians know that positivity is positively contagious. That's a positive!" 
-Robyn T. Braley 

If you are a Rotarian, it is safe to assume you have experienced more than one occasion when you were going through a rough patch in your career or personal life. Unexpectedly, a speaker at your club said something that lifted you up and caused you so see things differently. 

I know I've had times when I was going through difficulties that stimulating conversation around our luncheon table raised my spirits. More than that, the discussion caused me to think differently about my problems. 

The conversation had nothing to do with the specifics of my issue. It simply caused me to see my situation in a different light. It is a 'sometimes unexplainable' benefit of being a Rotarian.