Posted by Steve Lettau on May 10, 2018

By Chris Offer, Rotary Club of Ladner, Delta, British Columbia, Canada (District 5040)

I was recently at a Rotary conference in Karachi, Pakistan. One session was a series of short presentations on club service projects. Most of the presentations were in Urdu, which I don’t speak. Fortunately, several speakers had very good slide presentations. I could understand the presentations. Photos of children at computer terminals with smiles or women at a clinic told me about the projects. I missed details but not the main ideas.

When photographs are used, they tell better Rotary stories. More photographs are being taken today than at any other time. Photos can show the impact of your club’s work, reach a wide audience outside of Rotary, and describe the lives we change.

Do

When telling a Rotary story, you can express more with a photo that shows action. Show the children and people who benefit from Rotary service. Make photos of them involved in the project. Avoid photos that present a stereotype of Rotary or of people. Your photos should show the diversity of your club and your community.

Don’t

A common Rotary photo is the “big check” presentation. I am sure every week in my local newspaper there is a charity big check photo. It is good to tell the community about the funds Rotary donates to other groups. But I think we can do it in a more exciting way.

Pictures on social media and the newspaper need to tell a story and be appealing to make you stop and read more. Posed people shaking hands over a big check presentation, smiling in front of a Rotary banner isn’t enough. The big check is focused on dollars, not on what those dollars do.

Step away from the oversize check photo and make your fundraising story more interesting. As the donor of money, Rotary can say thank you and recognise the effort made in more creative ways. If children are involved, present the check to them. Have people hold up the numbers to show the donation and involve the recipients of the funds not just the managers of the organization. Children holding a sign saying thank you or hanging upside down from a playground swing is more appealing than the cliché big check shot.

Be creative in the photos you use to show Rotary as People of Action.