Thad Mantaro, District Public Relations Manager
Toastmasters provides many incredible opportunities for members to develop new skills, meet great friends, and find ways to lead in their club. A Vice President Public Relations (VPPR) officer plays a unique role assisting with club communications and serving as the communications engine of club events and activities. If you’re new to the VPPR role, or even if you’re a seasoned veteran–here a few tips to get your communications off to a great start.
Tip #1: “Be the Best You”
Being the best you means knowing your role and feeling empowered to promote your club. Talk with your Club President, past VPPR(s), and other club officers to understand the history and context of your club. Develop an appreciation for where you can contribute in your club. Complete the VPPR training through Toastmaster Leadership Institute (TLI), and the online tutorial on the Toastmasters International (TI) website. Review the resources on the site, and when you can read through “Let Your Voice Speak,” the Public Relations (PR) manual.
Tip #2: “Shout, shout, let it all out!”
You are the voice of your club to the community whether that’s internally for corporate clubs, or both internally and externally for community clubs. Start your tenure off with a quick review of your club website and social media channels. Make sure that the information about meeting dates and the location are up-to-date and easy to navigate. Check to see if there are recent posts from any previous VPPR on your social media channels (start with just Facebook and Twitter if your club is just starting to engage on social media), and if there’s nothing recent, post a few pictures from a club meeting to get the ball rolling.
Tip #3: “Be a ‘scout’: always be prepared”
You’ll never know when you or another club member will bump into someone interested in learning more about Toastmasters. Design a club fact sheet that you can distribute internally a few times a year for corporate clubs, and one that you can post on public bulletin boards around the community for community clubs. There are many great resources on the TI page for letterhead and other tools. Use these to craft appropriately branded communications materials. Develop a media list and distribute press releases about club contests and open house events with the larger community. You can find sample press releases on the TI site under “public relations.”
These are just a few suggestions to start the year off right in your role as VPPR. An onboarding checklist can be found on the D25 website under the “Club Promotion Resources” page. And, don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions.
Thad Mantaro, District 25 Public Relations Manager