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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Road sign publicity that works

PNW Optimist Clubs
I was recently traveling in Mexico and I couldn't help but notice that Rotary International was on display.

Unlike the service clubs to which this website is devoted, the Rotary Clubs were proudly announcing their existence with the Rotary logo, location, and date and time of their meetings, in public parks with sculptures similar to the one shown on the right.

I wish that I had thought to snap some pictures earlier than the day I was leaving for some of the displays were quite ornate. All were artistic and contributed to the surroundings of the community all while serving the purpose of gaining publicity for the Rotary Club.

optimist international pnw optimist clubs
Over the weeks since I've returned, I've wondered why the typical road sign available for Optimist International doesn't have the necessary information to get someone to a meeting; i.e., where is the meeting held and what time does it happen? It seems that would be pretty easy to include. I've also wondered why it hasn't been better promoted. Over the past five years or so, the road sign has been offered as an incentive for adding new members and while that is not a bad idea, it does not proactively publicize Optimist International.

I was surprised to learn that in the early 1930s, Optimist Clubs were encouraged to cooperate in a publicity program by placing signs along roads that led to their cities. As is shown on the cover of The Optimist from October 1934, the familiar octagon welcomed visitors with a stop sign - the octagon - that advertised the location and time of its local Optimist Club meeting.

In this time of digital media, it is easy to forget that traditional modes of communication still work and what's more, they work well. Signs, printed materials, and word of mouth marketing are all tools that we must use in promoting our Optimist Clubs. Get the road sign - or better yet, earn the road sign - and then place it in a prominent place in your community. Be sure to add the location, date, and time of your meeting and invite people to join your Optimist Club.