Public Image

Welcome to service through Public Image!

While all avenues of service are worthy, without strong public image work, who Rotary is and what we do, gets lost. In fact, Rotary International (RI) conducted a survey in 2018 and only 50% of those surveyed in the United States had even HEARD of Rotary.

Beyond that, there were many answers that were off base, about WHAT Rotary is.

Why is this important?

Effective public image strategies help communities understand what Rotary does and how we’re making a difference. By promoting Rotary to the public we increase understanding, appreciation, and support for our programs. Together, we:

  • Contact the media with stories of projects and events in the district, and share these stories through social media.
  • Promote the End Polio Now campaign, our areas of focus, grant successes, and alumni activities.
  • Make public relations outreach a priority.
  • Conduct Vibrant Club Workshops.
How do I promote Rotary?

Promoting Rotary to the general public can be as simple as wearing your Rotary pin or as elaborate as organizing an integrated marketing campaign. By increasing the public’s understanding of Rotary, we’re strengthening our ability to make an impact in communities around the world.

Whether you’re new to PR or a professional, we can help. I encourage you to visit the Rotary Brand Center, where you will find a variety of media-ready materials that can be adapted to your needs.

How do I promote my club’s project?

Including a public relations component in your project plan will help ensure your club’s projects and events get the attention and support they deserve. The following ideas can help you create a successful campaign.

Know your local media

Before sending stories to a journalist, get to know your audience. Read your local newspaper, listen to the evening news, and follow Facebook and Twitter to identify where a Rotary story might fit. Consider inviting a local journalist to speak to your club about how to work with the media or invite them to join a service project so they can see firsthand how your club is improving your community. You could also:


  • Develop a media list and keep it current.
  • Get to know local journalists by inviting them to learn more about Rotary, your club, or a specific project.
  • Contact the media with newsworthy story ideas, being sure to:
    • Know your story and anticipate questions.
    • Send background materials immediately following contact.
    • Be persuasive, persistent, and friendly, but not aggressive.
Write a press release that journalists want to read

Once you’ve developed a relationship with your local reporter, help them remember you through regular contact. Share news about your club projects, fundraising events, or the arrival of Youth Exchange students with a press release. You should:


  • Develop your “news hook,” a persuasive reason for the news media to pursue a story
  • Include the five Ws in the opening paragraph of your press release: who, what, where, when, and why
  • Keep it concise; limit the press release to one page and paste into the body of your email rather than sending it as an attachment
  • Decide who will respond to media inquiries and include their contact information
  • Include visuals when you send to TV stations
More ideas for promoting Rotary

It is exciting to see your club mentioned in the newspaper or see Rotary featured on a billboard. Keep track of your public relations efforts by watching for Rotary-related news clippings in the papers you have contacted. Remember to send a thank you note to those who helped you along the way.

Resources & reference

Rotary support

What do you think of when you hear the term Rotary or Rotary Club?


Lynda L. Patrick
Carmel Sunset
District Public Image Chair (DPIC)
Merritt D. Wiseman
Visalia County Center
District Newsletter Chair
Nicholas Grim
North Fresno
District Webmaster & Mental Health Chair
Michael D. Brown
Robert Mendoza
Salinas Steinbeck
Nancy Morfin
Tower District
District Conference Chair
Michelle Frontani
East Fresno
District Conference Chair