Use a combination of the following PR tools and resources to share your message with the media and community members.
A club fact sheet will provide background information about your club to reporters. Include a fact sheet with all news releases. You can also use fact sheets as handouts during community events. See the example at the end of our PR Guide PDF.
You can use this brochure as a handout at community events – or whenever anyone expresses an interest in becoming a Lion. Visit our Publications page to download a customizable PDF or Microsoft Word version of this brochure.
News releases answer six key questions in the first two paragraphs: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? Subsequent paragraphs should provide additional information in descending order of importance. Simply written and fact-filled releases are more likely to be published. To increase the chances that your release will be used:
Call your local media outlets to suggest a feature story to a reporter or editor in a situation when a news release might not tell the story well. Interest the reporter in covering a story, such as the importance of volunteers in your community rather than covering a specific event or activity.
An appropriate club spokesperson should be prepared to provide accurate information with enthusiasm and confidence. Following are tips for successful interviews:
Report the results of your programs and fundraisers to the community through the following:
PSAs are brief (10, 15 or 30 second) messages aired at no charge on radio and television stations as a community service. They must benefit the community, not just your club.
Lions Clubs International has a collection of PSAs covering a variety of topics that are available at no cost to clubs, including broadcast quality PSAs in MPEG format for television stations to download.
When writing a PSA, brevity and clarity are of utmost importance since at most you have 10 to 30 seconds to communicate your message. Messages about preventing blindness, serving youth, fundraising events that benefit the community and public events sponsored by your club are appropriate subjects. PSAs need to:
As a general guideline, a 10-second spot will have approximately 20 words and a 30-second spot will have approximately 65.
Contact the news or public service director at your local television or radio station to learn the station's scheduling and format requirements and if they can assist you with production. Often stations have a reduced production rate for not-for-profit organizations.
Public access stations air PSAs, run videos of club activities, post club events on community bulletin boards and have club members participate in community talk shows. Contact the public service director at your local cable station regarding program opportunities.
Show a video such as LQ-Lions Quarterly Video Magazine or PSAs at community events and when you meet with other community groups. View and order videos from the Lions News Network (LNN). You can also view videos on YouTube and download LQ on iTunes.
Web sites and social networking sites are excellent ways to let people know about your club. Use e-Clubhouse to create a club Web site with easy-to-use templates and free hosting from LionNET. Once created it is important to keep your Web site updated and to include the site in your publicity materials.
Social networking sites such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Flickr are excellent for promoting Lions clubs. Ask a club member comfortable with social networking to create and regularly manage the club's pages on these sites. Include contact information, photos from recent projects, a statement of purpose and a list of upcoming events.
Printed materials for promoting your event should:
You may be able to negotiate with printers or photocopy services to produce your flyers and posters at a reduced not-for-profit rate.
Have club members post flyers and posters throughout your area-at public bulletin boards, libraries, store windows, bus stops, train stations, etc. Ask local businesses and government offices to have them available for customers.
Photos can enhance your club bulletins and promotional materials and should be sent to newspapers along with a news release. Display photos of your club's activities and people you've helped at a community event. When taking photos, remember:
Receive national recognition for your club's service activity by submitting articles and photos to LION Magazine. While not all submissions can be published, here are some guidelines when submitting your story:
Submit stories and photographs that meet these guidelines to LION Magazine, 300 W 22nd Street, Oak Brook, IL 60523 USA or e-mail. It often takes up to a year for chosen articles to appear in print.