Friday, November 30, 2012

Fail to plan - plan to fail

Zone 7b
This weekend the public image leaders of each of the 6 Districts in Zone 7b (New Zealand and South Pacific) will meet in Wellington.  We meet twice a year to discuss, plan and decide on the direction the public image effort will take in the next 6-12 months.  This planning is vital and involves the incoming district leaders who will provide guidance on the use of the Public Image Grants that will be used in the 2013/14 Rotary year.
Why plan?  Why meet? Why bother?
It is always good to ask basic questions to challenge 'what we always do'.
Why plan?
A strategic direction is important.  Efforts in the public image space are often expensive and usually require a period of time to gain full strength and momentum.  A long term plan gives direction, consistency and increases the impact of our efforts.  It also receives the input and buy in from the District leaders.
Why meet?
We have regular monthly teleconferences to report on successes and also to discuss progress on various fronts in our effort to market Rotary in our community.  Each Club of course is encouraged to think of the impact their projects are having on their image in the community.  But the role of the national communications committee is more on supporting Clubs and providing a focus on national campaigns. Meeting allows this group to discuss and share ideas and to have outside people come in to make presentations.  This Sunday we have a Social Media consultant come and share her ideas as we plan for our next PI Grant application.

Finally why bother?
We meet at Wellington Airport - currently with its
own special image campaign going on!
We all are aware of the valuable role Rotary plays in our respective communities.  We also know without Rotarians we have no Clubs.  There are many in our community who would join if they were more informed about our activity.  It is interesting that, as we develop our new television commercial for next year, that the focus is on why we are passionate about serving others and less emphasis is being placed on 'what' Rotary is and 'how' it operates.  If we did not bother about conveying our messages to the community, both one to one and on a national scale, our organisation would fade into obscurity.

Simply put, if we fail to plan we plan to fail.  Or put another way, a vision matched with action can change the world.