Advanced Storycraft presented by StoryMasters - 5/19/2013
International City Toastmasters Open House - 5/21/2013
Steering Committee Meeting - 5/22/2013
Club Presidents, Club VP Membership and Club VP Public Relations: The Toast of the Coast may be a useful tool to illustrate the powerful benefits of belonging to Toastmasters. Send copies to members and guests.
Promoting your club to help increase its membership is extremely important to maintain the overall health of your club and reinforce the mission of Toastmasters: helping others improve their communication skills. Publicizing your club is much like public speaking, in that good public relations skills are developed through regular practice. Good PR can be defined as anything that produces a positive response and stimulates the reader or listener to do something, such as visiting your club or checking out your website to learn more about Toastmasters.
Almost every club in Toastmasters has a certain level of attrition. Adding new members not only helps keep your club at a healthy level (20 members or more), but these new members can also bring new ideas and perspectives to your club, thereby increasing the variety and strength of its membership.
In the broadest sense, everyone can benefit from joining Toastmasters, so everyone should theoretically be a target for your club's publicity. However, a good publicity campaign is much more likely to succeed if your audience is well defined. Identifying your club's target audience is critical to developing the message you want to convey, as the message will depend very much on the needs of your audience. Having a well-defined target audience will also make it easier to determine the medium with which you will deliver that message.
Whether your club is a company club or a community club, creating an effective promotional campaign is vital to attracting guests, who will potentially become new members. Listed below are some of the activities to keep in mind as you plan promotional activities for your club.
There are many time-honored activities that you can employ to help publicize and promote your club, ranging from posting flyers in a public location (such as a library or company cafeteria), to newspaper announcements -- and sometimes even an article or two in a local publication. Because of the nature of Toastmasters, publications such as newspapers can sometimes be persuaded to carry a "good will" story about your club. Members can distribute hand-outs or brochures at a community event.
Millions of people globally use the Internet as a serious communications tool. The web offers a terrific opportunity for clubs to promote themselves more effectively to a wider-ranging audience.
Toastmasters clubs are using Craigslist, Yahoo Events and other web groups to publicize their events. Network through Facebook or LinkedIn. Use Evite for invitations. If this is all new to you, find a friendly young person in your club to help you get started.
Sponsoring a Speechcraft session is a very effective way to spread the word about your club, introduce the Toastmasters program to others, and show your club in a very positive light.
The Youth Leadership Program is another educational program that doubles very effectively as a way to promote your club. Hosting a Youth Leadership program not only gives your club's members an opportunity to develop their leadership skills, it also helps educate younger members of society about public speaking.
Framed in the proper light, almost any club event can become newsworthy. Listed here are a few suggestions for events that may be potential news stories:
Through special awards, the Toastmasters program allows your club to recognize non-Toastmasters for their achievements. Not only does this benefit the community at large by drawing attention to outstanding individuals in the community, but the presentation of these awards offers a terrific opportunity for your club to generate positive publicity.
This award represents an opportunity for the club to recognize someone outside the club for his/her contributions to communication excellence. Recipients may include such figures as public officials, company executives, or local news broadcasters. A complete package describing this award and including a plaque and a sample press release is listed in the Toastmasters International Supply Catalog (catalog number 1972).
Once a year, your club may award an honorary membership to a non-Toastmaster for outstanding contributions to the community or to the club. The presentation of an honorary membership certificate (Supply Catalog number 508-A) can generate goodwill and publicity for your club.
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