Your Club Recruitment Campaign – Three Factors to Consider
How are your club recruitment initiatives going? Do you have a plan you’re working to, or is it a bit haphazard? If we were to undertake a study of everyone who joined our ranks over the past 5 years and identify and document the events that led to their decision to join, I wonder what proportion would be random events or chance meetings, and what proportion would be as a result of a dedicated recruitment campaign?
Without hard evidence either way, my guess is that our recruitment successes are largely random – i.e., we get lucky. It’s reasonable that the majority of people join a Rotary club because they’ve been invited by a friend or colleague, we Rotarians are constantly badgered to ask our friends to join. But what about those community minded citizens who DON’T already know someone in Rotary? What are we doing to gain their attention?
I’d like you to consider three factors when it comes to recruitment initiatives: Intent, Audience & Product.INTENT
How committed are you to recruiting new members? Is your ENTIRE club driven and enthusiastic about promoting your work and speaking to potential members? Or, as is the case in many clubs, are there one or two well-connected and dedicated recruiters on a mission, and the rest of the club thinking that recruitment is someone else’s problem? Have you set aside a budget for promotion and recruitment? Do you even want new members? I know there are plenty out there who are very satisfied with the status quo.
Who are you trying to reach? Where are they? Are you looking for specific sectors or (dare I say it) “classifications”? Do you want to attract younger members? More women? More who were born outside of Australia? Do you have a specific geographic region you’re targeting? The private sector, the public sector, the local shopping centre, the local industrial park? Or are you happy with anyone you can get? Are you going to where they are, or are you expecting they will come to you? You can’t answer questions that haven’t been asked. Put some thought into your target audience.
What is it that you’re trying to sell? This is the most important part of the formula to get right, but the most ignored part of the formula in Rotary. We can no longer assume that the style of Rotary we have become accustomed to, is the style that will attract new members today. Twenty years ago you could have made a living selling 35mm film and floppy disks. If you went into business today with the same products, your customer base will be very limited. Likewise, the style of Rotary we were selling twenty years ago may not be as well received today. Are you working on innovative and sustainable projects that address a community need? Are your meetings run the same way they were twenty years ago? Are they interesting and professionally run? Is your venue welcoming with good food at a good price? These all form part of the Rotary’s product that potential members will evaluate. Would YOU join your club today if you knew nothing about Rotary?
In the words of Winston Churchill, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail”.