In Summit Toastmasters, we have been working with several public relations methods to get the word out about our club and Toastmasters as a whole.
Our initial goal was to get the message out that Summit County has a Toastmasters club. As you may notice by the range of topics we are collecting on this blog, this goal is expanding to collecting useful information for our members and helping other clubs.
How does this help you? Well, in business speak, you need to determine who your target audience is as you start your Public Relations campaigns. This is going to be different for each club and it is going to morph over time as your needs change or as your club culture changes.
For Summit Toastmasters, we are a casual club that strives for a balance between having fun while learning and implementing the formal processes of a non-profit (like voting in new members and filing our taxes). Our club is made up of members with 30+ years of speaking experience to new members getting ready to give their first Ice Breaker.
- Are you a corporate club that meets before work or maybe on your lunch break?
- Does your club focus on advanced speakers?
- Maybe you are club with a niche focus such as comedy, debate, or business…
These questions are important because they impact how you go about promoting your club. As an example, a club in a large metropolitan area targeting business professionals as members may use a social network such as LinkedIn when promoting their club activities. Several clubs in the Denver metropolitan area have had success using meetup.com groups.
Summit Toastmasters is in a small mountain community. We work with our local newspaper to advertise meetings in the free community events section of the newspaper. We also use our Facebook Page and Freetoasthost site to help us stay in touch with our members and guests. This past year, we have had several new members who are starting to find us through the Toastmasters website and our Facebook Page.
We also do it the old fashioned way: Word of Mouth. In my opinion, this method is hard to beat.
So I ask again, who is your target audience for your club culture? This will play a role in how you go about advertising your club activities.