This was part of the “Mysteries of Club Public Relations” presentation made on the Feb 25th Membership Monday conference call. You may listen to the call in its entirety here.
Where can you get a free website for your club?
You can start using the FreeToastHost website, which is tailor-made for Toastmaster clubs. Other free options are offered through Google, Yahoo and other host services.
What is the basic purpose of having a website?
It lets people know that you are performing Toastmasters activities at your location following a well-described schedule.
To achieve this: You need to identify your club and state the affiliation to Toastmasters International, the location of your meetings and when you have those meetings. Do not forget to announce when you DO NOT have meetings in your regular timeslot.
Regarding the location: If you put a map on your website, verify that it shows the correct location.
When setting up the website you can set keywords that help the search engines to pick up your website. Some examples: Toastmasters, Public speaking, Presentations, Communication skills, Leadership skills, Your town or city name.
One important fact to keep in mind, though, once you mention Toastmasters International, you need to follow their branding rules regarding logos, colors, and other branded materials. You can find more details at the TI Brand Portal.
What can you put on your welcome page?
Give information about the club, about Toastmasters, membership dues, expectations. You can provide a link to the soft copy of your welcome package. Provide an email address and/or a phone number that a future guest can contact. See this document on the D25 site for more website tips.
What can make your website unique?
Share your club’s story and successes. A website is the perfect place to chronicle them all. Report the DCP achievements and any other awards and acknowledgments your club earns. If you sponsor a Youth Leadership or other program, note those experiences, too.
You can boast of your club’s history, the culture of your club. Has your club managed to develop accomplished speakers, or do you have plenty of speaking opportunities?
Share members’ stories and successes. Share testimonials, mostly about your club, not in general about Toastmasters. This will make your club’s website unique.
With this information in hand you can start setting up your website, or make it more productive. I wish all of you a joyful exploration.
Area 53 Governor
This article is based mostly on three issues of Toastmaster magazine: January 2007, September 2008, and October 2011.