VP of Public Relations

ROLE OVERVIEW

When you hear “VP of Public Relations” you may think “advertizing”, but it’s more than that! Our goal is to ATTRACT GUESTS and SUSTAIN SUCCESS for our club, so ask yourself; is what I’m doing right now making my club VISIBLE and DESIRABLE? 

You will balance leading (supporting others) with executing (doing tasks yourself) – you don’t have to do it all! Don’t be afraid to ask people to be on your committee. Many leaders are leaders because they were asked, not because they volunteered. 

  1. Your Club Constitution has this to say of your role:
    “The Vice President Public Relations is the fourth-ranking club officer and is responsible for developing and directing a publicity program that informs individual members and the general public about Toastmasters International. The Vice President Public Relations chairs the Club Public Relations Committee.”

  2. The Club Leadership Handbook has this to say of your role:
    “You promote the club to the local community and notify the media about the club’s existence and the benefits it provides. You promote the club, update web content, and safeguard the Toastmasters brand identity. It is your job to notify the media whenever your club does something newsworthy. As Vice President Public Relations, you will find yourself writing news releases, creating and distributing fliers, and maintaining the club’s presence on the web and in the community.”
To Your Club Executive:
  • Be Involved
    • Attend club executive meetings
      • At least monthly is preferred – so you can be adaptive as club needs change throughout the year, and maintain a level of accountability to the other members. 
    • Attend club officer training (COT)
      • Check your local Area/Division/District for dates and times available.
    • Submit & track your budget items
      • Consider – your club has to approve all reimbursed items throughout the year. If you already know some of the ones you will need, you will expedite the turnaround time for reimbursement, avoid a situation where other expenses taken on leave no room for yours, and make it harder to forge about your plans from the start of year as the months fly by.
      • Invest some time into thinking about what expenses you anticipate you will have this year, and put them forward when asked for your budget items.
  • Give Your Report
    • Upcoming events & actionables
      • What is happening in the next few months?
      • What is the status?
      • Do you need volunteers or resources (that we hopefully budgeted for)?
      • Status of your actionable items?
    • New idea proposals
      • Propose new ideas to see if club is receptive
      • You may receive feedback or tweaks, or need to canvas the club to see who will step up
      • You can iron out details of how to proceed and what resources may be available
    • Results of PR efforts & campaigns
      • You will need to have results to report, so as you execute PR efforts think of tracking.
      • How can you QUANTIFY your efforts? (# guests, # new members, through what channels, etc.)
  • Succession Planning
    • At year start – meet the outgoing executive & VP PR
      • Right now YOU are the succession plan – you are taking over from someone else. 
      • What did the previous exec do and why, where did they get to? What challenges and wisdom can they impart? 
      • If you have questions ask NOW – so you aren’t left 4 months in wondering who has admin access to Facebook or the login information for the club website…
    • During the year – arrange and train your successor
      • You can ask your club executive to see who might be a good fit, or ask club members if anyone is interested.
      • Don’t underestimate the power of asking people! Even if they aren’t comfortable with the full role you can add them to your committee, and by the time the term ends they will probably be more comfortable taking over after seeing you do it first and getting a sense for what it looks like. 
    • At year end – meet the incoming executive & VP PR
      • You will now see your succession plan come to fruition – someone will take over from you.
      • Ensure you set them up for success! Hand over any assets you were managing, resources and tips that were helpful for you (or would have been helpful for you). 
To Your Club At Large:
  • Recruit A Committee
    • Solicit volunteers
      • Your committee will help you meet your mandate, but this is also an important leadership & growth opportunity for members of your club.
      • Try asking people directly if they would like to be on it – it is best if you can tell them why you think they would be a good fit for the role. Having some “job titles” to pitch may help it feel approachable for them.
    • Delegate tasks
      • Ensure your committee has things to do! Otherwise the members on it will wonder ‘what happened to that?’
    • Follow up & support
      • Check in from time to time to ensure they are meeting their to-dos (text, email, call, in person, however you determined would be best with them).
      • Offer support, guidance, resources, etc. if they have roadblocks preventing them from achieving success.
      • If all is well you can just say “fantastic, I just wanted to make sure you had everything you needed to succeed!”
  • Oversee Campaigns
    • Distribute promotional materials.
      • Posters, bookmarks, etc. To non-members, but if Toastmasters or your District have promos your club should know about you may be distributing to current members as well!
    • Publicize the Toastmasters membership campaigns
    • Capitalize on opportunities.
      • Know WHAT is happening WHEN.
      • Ensure notable items are addressed – whether on social media, your website blog, or with a local news agency.
  • Handle Promotional Assets
    • Website (Free Toast Host, WordPress, Google)
    • Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube)
      • You don’t have to be on ALL platforms – each one requires work to have quality content available for others to see.
      • Pick the ones that will most likely work for your club based on its member type and roll with those.
    • Newsletter (print, digital, or a blog)
      • See a newsletter template here.
    • Listings (Toastmasters Find-A-Club, Google Listings, Meetup, and any other sites)
To Toastmasters & The Public:
  • Publicize Toastmasters
  • Make your club visible
    • Do you or do you not have posters out, social media up, a website, etc.
  • Make your club desirable
    • What is the quality of your poster design, social media accounts, website, etc.

TOOLS & RESOURCES

  • June (Before Term)
    • June 30 – Beat The Clock membership building program ends.
    • Meet with outgoing executive for smooth transfer.
    • Attend first round of club officer training.
    • Complete a Club Success Plan.
    • Purchase supplies from the Toastmasters store.
    • Create a club budget.
  • July:
    • July 1 – Toastmasters year & DCP starts.
    • Attend first round of club officer training.
    • Create a media list and publicity kit.
    • Publicize upcoming speech contests.
    • Report the results of the Beat The Clock membership-building program.
  • August:
    • Aug 1 – Smedley Award membership-building program starts.
    • Attend first round of club officer training (last chance).
    • Send publicity kits to local media and invite them to attend a meeting.
    • Publicize upcoming speech contests.
  • September:
    • Sep 30: Smedley Award membership-building program ends.
    • Publicize upcoming district conference.
    • Publicize upcoming speech contests.
  • October:
    • Report the results of the Smedley Award membership-building program.
  • November:
    • Publicize upcoming speech contests.
    • If semi-annual term, club officer elections to be held at first November meeting.
  • December:
    • Attend second round of club officer training.
    • If semi-annual term:
      • Meet with outgoing executive for smooth transfer.
      • Complete Club Success Plan.
      • Purchase supplies from toastmasters store.
      • Create a club budget.
  • January:
    • Attend second round of club officer training.
    • Plan and publicize upcoming speech contests.
  • February:
    • Feb 1: Talk Up Toastmasters! membership-building program starts.
    • Attend second round of club officer training (last chance).
    • Plan and publicize upcoming speech contests.
  • March
    • Mar 31: Talk Up Toastmasters! membership-building program ends.
    • Publicize the upcoming district conference.
    • Publicize upcoming speech contests.
  • April:
    • Report the results of the Talk Up Toastmasters! membership-building program.
    • Apr/May district conference.
    • Publicize upcoming speech contests
  • May:
    • May 1: Beat the Clock membership-building program starts.
    • Apr/May district conference.
    • Club officer elections to be held at first May meeting.
    • Publicize upcoming speech contests.
  • June (End of Term)
    • June 30 – Beat The Clock membership building program ends.
      • Hand over results to new VP PR to report.
    • Meet with incoming executive for smooth transfer.