Communications and Public Relations
Chairman: Mary Lou Jones District Chairman:
Northeast: Debbie Weaver Southeast: Mary Lou Jones
Southwest: Verna Joy Heaney Junior Chairman: Jonnah Hetzel
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
You’re working every day to change your community for the better. Communication is the art of exchanging information. Public Relations is the art of using every means possible to exchange that information. Along with letting your community know about your club and your projects, Public Relations also invites others to join you. Let’s start with your identity and the GFWC brand.
• Remember that the GFWC brand is how the public gets to know us. It’s important to use the GFWC Logo properly. Check out the stylebook to learn the specific shape and colors that are to be used (
• All clubs are encouraged to use GFWC in your club name—and be sure to use your club’s proper identity (are you the “GFWC Women’s Club of Timbuktu” or the “Timbuktu Women’s Club GFWC?” You really aren’t both). Use your club’s proper name in all your correspondence—and ask your members to always refer to themselves with that proper name. • Don’t forget about Ohio! Our organization’s legal name is GFWC/Ohio Federation of Women’s Clubs (the slash is included). When you are abbreviating as GFWC Ohio, there is no slash.
NOW, GET THE WORD OUT!
FIRST, COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR MEMBERSHIP. . .
• Appoint a Communications and Public Relations Chairman for your club. You can use a committee, too, and each person can handle something different: news releases, newsletters and social media.
• Remember that a club website is a great way to keep your members informed of your club’s work, and it’s also great for prospective members. If your club is a registered non-profit, ask if your local Chamber of Commerce will include your club’s website in a “new neighbors” or “welcome wagon” type of page. Include your website in and on every piece of correspondence you send out. And make sure you have a “Contact Us” link so people can request information. Remember to include a link to gfwc.org and gfwcohio.org.
• Your club newsletter is also a great way to keep your members informed (especially new members, so they’ll feel included).
• Encourage your members to subscribe to the GFWC “News and Notes” weekly email—it’s free!
AND, COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR COMMUNITY. . .
• Use your local media! Visit your local radio and/or television station’s web site and check for a “Contact Us” or a “Community” page for an email address. Look for the Public Service Director, Promotions Director, News Director, Public Affairs Host, Morning Show Host(s) and Webmaster.
• Explore your local cable system, too, for public affairs programming; they may offer an interview opportunity for you.
• Visit your local newspaper’s web site and check the “Contact Us” or “Community” page for an email address. Send your info to that address, and also to the Local News Editor, Business Editor, and Community/Lifestyles Editor.
• Don’t forget about smaller, more localized, papers, too, like a Diocesan newspaper or a county edition.
• You can also fax your info to the station or newspaper (remember, you can’t reach too many people!).
AND DON’T FORGET. . .
• Local church bulletins.
• Bulletin boards in schools and colleges (if you’re a graduate, contact the alumni office and ask to have your event included in the alumni newsletter or email blasts).
• If your event will benefit a school, ask that your info be announced at the local football or basketball games during a break in the action, and ask to have your info included in the parents’ bulletins or newsletters.
• Reserve a table at local craft shows and display your club’s information, pictures, brochures, etc. Be sure to have membership applications on hand!
• Check with your local Wal-Mart or grocery store; sometimes the stores will allow you to station your members at the entrances, to give out info about your club or an event.
AND THAT ALL-IMPORTANT SOCIAL MEDIA. . .
Social media has become more important than ever! If your club has a Facebook page or Twitter account (and don’t forget YouTube, Flickr and Pinterest), post your information there. Be sure to include pictures to draw people’s attention to your post. Ask your club members with accounts to post and share club information. Try to stagger your club postings, so that someone is spreading the word about your club or event every day. Your members can ask their Facebook friends to share your information, too. Remember, social media also invites dialog between your club, your community and potential members.
Finally, print business cards, stationery, and brochures to use for all of your correspondence. Check gfwcohio.com for print materials that can be modified for your club’s use.
Above all, have fun! When you enjoy what you’re doing, your enthusiasm can be infectious—take lots of pictures to document your fun.
Visit the GFWC Club Manual for more detailed information and tips on taking great pictures and writing news releases. You can also find information about new communications platforms and how to use them.
AWARDS & CONTESTS
2020 - 2022 GFWC Ohio Video Contest
“Feed Our Future”
This contest is open to ALL GFWC Ohio Federation of Women’s Clubs per capita members and is limited to one (1) entry per year per member. Videos must be filmed and edited during the contest year (January 1- December 31). The winner of the previous year is not eligible to win the award, but may submit a video. Contestants may not re-submit the same video the second year of the contest and the topic of the second year video must be from a different aspect of the theme.
• THEME: “Feed Our Future”
• LENGTH: The video shall be no less than three (3) minutes and no more than five (5) minutes in length.
• FORM: The video may be made using smartphone technology by amateurs. Professional filmography will not be accepted.
• COVER LETTER: Required information to accompany the entry in the email: 1. Your Name 2. Complete Address 3. Telephone Number 4. E-mail address 5. Name of Club 6. District 7. Year video is being submitted.
• DEADLINE: All videos must be submitted via email no later than February 1, 2022. All entries must be accompanied by an attachment with the Creative Arts Waiver. Videos are to be sent as an attachment to the email.
• JUDGING: Videos will be judged at the District Level by a panel of two or more people. Winning Videos will be submitted for state level judging prior to the state convention. Videos will be judged at the state level by a panel of two or more people. The decision of the judges will be final.
• JUDGING CRITERIA:
1. Content – 60%
2. Composition (grammar, construction) – 20%
3. Following Instructions – 20%
• EMAIL VIDEOS TO: Your District Communications/Public Relations Chairman
THE BUCKEYE MAGAZINE