While each club has a Vice-President of Public Relations, it’s every member’s responsibility to promote their club. Once you’ve been a member for awhile, the easiest way to get new members is to invite friends and colleagues. It’s easy to recruit others when you’ve already received benefit from being a member yourself.
In addition, there are seven essential strategies for promoting and publicizing your club:
1. Club Website
Create a professional looking website with up-to-date information, upcoming events, photos of club members, directions to your club meeting, and other useful information. You can either use the free Toasthost website (Confidence Builders Club) or you can build your own (Chamber Club 540)
2. Social Media
While it’s important to have a website, social media will help you spread the word about your club. These are the social media platforms we recommend:
To create a Facebook page check out this video from a club in New Zealand. Once you’ve created your page, give it some sparkle by adding photos of members to your banner. Invite current members to “Like” the page and then ask them to request their friends and associates “Like” it. Post at least once a week. Be creative. Post photos of members, videos of their speeches, information about interesting speeches or table topic sessions, testimonials, book recommendations, inspirational quotes, and events. If you have an open house, use the event feature to announce it.
Every club should consider starting a YouTube channel. This is the ideal channel to showcase the amazing speeches your club members are doing. But don’t stop there. Post your YouTube speeches on your website and on your other social media platforms. Here’s an article about how to set up a YouTube channel. Skip to section 6.
LinkedIn is the premiere social media platform for professional networking, connecting, and job searching. That makes it the perfect site to reach professionals who need to improve their public speaking and leadership skills. Once your site is set up, start posting events, testimonials, and similar information you post to Facebook being sure to keep the career focus of this site in mind.
While Meetup.com is not a social media site, it is a place where many people go to look for events and groups with interests similar to their own. Many Toastmasters clubs have successfully used Meetup to recruit new members. The most important thing is to keep your time, location, and contact information accurate on this platform.
3. Club Brochure
Create a simple club brochure that you can hand out to potential club members at regular meetings and at an open house. You can also use the brochure provided by Toastmasters International.
Holding an event at your club? Looking for new members. Toastmasters has a variety of flier templates you can use for promotional purposes.
5. Club email
Send periodic email updates to current members, former members, and potential members highlighting club successes and upcoming events.
6. Press releases
Having an open house or other major event? Have a story of great interest to the general public? Alert the media by sending them a press release. Toastmasters International guidelines for writing a press release.
7. Club newsletter
Create a club newsletter to share with internal and external audiences. eg. Hopkins Toastmasters