On Sunday 29th November we fulfilled a special request. MightyMax had an outing to Jesmond with Max the Rotary Wonder Dog and his bestie Bella as quality control to clean a very big very red wall of tags. Boy!! Red is a lovely colour but it took four coats to clear any signs of the black tags underneath.
Apologies to all the other nice folk who appeared in Tim Crakanthorp's Community newsletter but we photo-shopped out OUR picture at the launch of MightyMax for a non-selfie boast.
Our end of year and Christmas celebration at Damien's place is coming up very soon.
We have put in an application for a Foundation grant to partner with RC Downtown LA to put tanks, toilets and hand-washing basins in schools in the Migori area in western Kenya with RC of Suni Migori. This will be part of Stage 3 of a Global Grant series.
Annual meeting happening on Tuesday December 1st - competition for places on the Board is a healthy sign. Strategic Planning as a result of our Visioning will give us clear direction for the next couple of years - the coming calendar and Rotary years are looking like good places to be.
Karina was a GSE team member to Germany and has been an enthusiastic participant in Club activities since she returned in August. As a new member she will have $500 at her disposal as seed money for a project of her choice. It is a delight to have her fresh face, new ideas and energy in the mix.
Joel and Trish share a joke at the World Festival of Magic at West's City on Tuesday November 10th. This is our major event for the year and this year's was up to the usual standard. Magician and Showman Michael Boyd and his hugely talented crew made the audiences at noon and at 6pm gasp and jump and look on open-mouthed. Jeton managed to get three cups balanced on his head after flipping them up from his foot - a feat of balance and strength and coordination. Big smiles from children and adults alike as they left the theatre - many children waving light sabre souvenirs. Enterprise can't express its gratitude to the businesses of Newcastle and Maitland who bought the tickets and then donated them to disdvantaged, disabled and low-income groups and individuals.
In the audience in the morning was Islington Public School. Friday 13th was not an unlucky day because we were at their School Assembly to bring the pictures of children in Migori , Kenya, who will benefit from the fundraising the children did in 2014. They saw a need for children overseas who did not have clean water to drink and wanted to do something about it. They set about fundraising and with the help of Newcastle Enterprise their $2000 has been expanded greatly. Schools in the area of Suni Migori in western Kenya have rainwater tanks, new toilets and hand basins. Less sickness with clean hands, clean water on tap means no reliance on polluted creeks or even no water to drink during the day - a simple thought and acting on it triggered a powerful action. It was just delightful to watch the students and see them presenting their class projects - lovely school with greatv teachers - hard-working everyday heroes all.
The Public Relations Director in any Rotary club has a lot to do. What is effective PR?? It isn't just dumping nice stories and pictures about Rotary and what your own Club does in the community into the media (traditional print or Social). Doing that won't bring scads of non-Rotarians banging on your door to become a member. There are sometimes unrealistic expectations that getting media attention is direct easy means of recruiting new members. The good news story is only the beginning, it is building the relationships which can follow which count.
By telling honest, real-time stories about your Club you are building a picture, demonstrating your credibility and committment to your Community, building relationships of trust. Very likely you are introducing people who are totally unaware of Rotary in the world to what we as members see as hugely important.
It is to us, not to them, they have plenty going on in their lives.
Having spent some time recently in the company of a number of young people under 30 years of age - SHOCK!! None, repeat NONE, had heard the word Rotary. Older people have an "aura" around the word Rotary of "doing good" but no clear idea about what or why or how. From a potential membership point of view they don't know how they could fit in.
Where do you start? Locally, right in the geographic centre of your Club's activities.
RCNE has the World Festival of Magic which brings the name "Rotary Club of Newcastle Enterprise" into focus for businesses and to the members of the public who receive the show tickets businesses have paid for.
The now two year old graffiti removal project in collaboration with the Mayfield Business Association is a hands-on demonstration of our committment to a very local area - Mayfield and its immediate surrounds.
There is much more that we do but the reality is that building trust, credibility and a reputation for doing good takes a while. Our good name is not won cheaply.
Everyone we meet, everyone we greet. PR is what we are doing.