I recently led a successful public relations campaign for my home club, Club Awesome in Coral Springs, Florida, that included website, email, social media, and traditional media components revolving around a special event meant to bring in new members.
I’m sharing the details below and am also available to answer questions.
My strategy leaned heavily on features built into the Toastmost club website hosting service based on WordPress. Technically, Club Awesome runs a separate instance of the same software — my RSVPMaker events and email marketing plugin, in combination with the Toastmasters extensions originally created for use at Club Awesome.
I can imagine running the same campaign using a some combination of Meetup, Mailchimp, social media, and a standard Free Toast Host club website, but it would have been a lot more work — and I believe it would have been less effective.
Toastmost features that made a difference:
- Blogging software, which allowed us to create a promotional article about the event, something that would be difficult to do on Free Toast Host. Our social media and email campaigns then focused on driving traffic to that blog post.
- Search and social media optimization tools, particularly for optimizing the appearance of shares of the blog post on LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Email marketing software, built into the website and specifically designed for promotions built around events and blog content.
- Guest registration, built into the website. Attendees were asked to fill out a short web form expressing interest and giving us the ability to follow up with them. Visitors to the club’s home page also saw an RSVP button asking them to register.
- After the event, we published another blog post including the video recording, plus the speaker’s slides and handouts (WordPress makes it very easy to embed video and PDFs). We promoted that via email and social media, getting another increment of value out of the event.
- In the coming weeks, we’ll start the process again with promotions for an August 25 workshop with the Geeks on Tour, husband and wife business owners who created a business out of teaching technology for travelers with an emphasis on smartphone photography.
The workshop at the heart of the campaign
Full house in the room and online
Our July featured workshop speaker, Marilyn Brown was a past president of Club Awesome who used skills honed through Toastmasters to establish herself as an executive leadership coach and consultant. We asked her to speak about “The Essential Professional Value of Public Speaking,” using examples from her consulting work helping leaders improve their executive presence.