Today I was told that a number of members are unhappy with the present Windmill. They see no reason to report on what goes on at the meetings, since most of them attend anyway. As an example of an entirely new style, I was given the LA 5 Newsletter, entitled El Rodeo.
This is a two-page Newsletter, with some great color being used. The three columns in their issue #15, dated October 29 are as follows.
Left hand Column headlines the Program for the 29th in this case, a report by Wilbur Faulk, Vice President, Cultural Property Protection Group, entitled “Open to Wonder: The Challenges of Rebuilding the Iraq National Museum”
Middle Column is entitled What’s Happening, listing the program for next week, plus Upcoming Programs, Committee Meetings, and Upcoming Events.
Right hand Column lists a Program Sponsor, in this case Bill Rinehart, of MeritPro Pre-Employment, with phone number. MeritPro is described, and Rinehart, their President, is profiled. Their activity is presented in detail they have the whole column, after all And the concluding paragraph reads, “Bill is pleased to be a part of LA 5 Rotary team and welcomes the opportunity to work with the members on their personnel selection needs”. In other words, this is an ad for MeritPro, which I assume they pay for, thus subsidizing the El Rodeo publication.
Page two is a two-column spread. In this issue, entitled Perspectives, an excellent description of the International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians appears. There is a photo of Alan Dias with his aircraft, along with comments “LA 5’s member, Alan Dias, is interested in getting more LA 5 members active in the IFFR…and will be happy to provide you with an IFFR Application, etc.”
Column two highlights two new members, with their photos. Ken Chong is a Replacement Property Specialist, showing his business and home information, plus a very good bio of his educational background and community service interests, and naming his sponsor. Karl Pettijohn is with SVP Investments, with how to reach him, and naming his sponsor. His position within UBS Financial Services is detailed, along with brief prior notes on his experience before moving to Los Angeles. His athletic interests are featured. (17 marathons completed) and his educational background is noted.
The two pages are certainly impressive. We could begin to emulate their format, although I wonder about our ability to locate a sponsor to pay for the publication every week we have maybe one quarter of the number of members that are in LA 5.
I personally like very much their description of the program for that week we have good programs, but they are only noted by title, usually. Giving more background might increase interest, and thus boost attendance.
What’s Happening is something we already do, I believe.
And the ad in the right hand column is fine, providing you can get enough members to volunteer to pay for the publication. (Or should the ad be free?)
On page two, the column explaining the Fellowship of Flying Rotarians is excellent we can all use more information on aspects of Rotary that we may not know much about.
And the profiles and bios of new members is also a good idea. While I don’t know for sure, I imagine this takes the place of our Craft Talks, and I would hate to lose them.
Now, an editorial request, if I may. When I am told that a number of our members are dissatisfied with our present Windmill, I have no idea how many members that might be.
So, PLEASE TELL ME, either via (310) 277-3910 or Erniehisself@aol.com what YOU would like to see in our Windmill. You don’t have to identify yourself, but I really do need some kind of feedback as to how many want a change, and what kind of change, before moving away from our present format.