The humble club Bulletin, some would say much maligned, is about to come into its own as one of the most important Rotary club communication tools we have after picking up the phone and talking to members. 
Most clubs are no longer meeting as normal so the scramble is on for the clubs that value their members to find ways to stay in regular contact at a minimum, and to have ways to engage members somehow so that when this crisis ends, and it will, they still have their full membership on board.
But what do we have to put into it if nothing is happening?  Lots!  There continues to be Rotary news and as your members are your greatest club asset, they themselves have lost to contribute, you just have to ask for it.
Here are some ideas to employ in addition to your usual content:
  • Ask all members to be aware of this important webpage  and include any new content
  • The Rotary Oceania Facebook most Sunday’s for the duration will have a suggested “meeting speaker replacement” that members can take a few minutes to view or do.  These may be TED Talks but may evolve into other more interactive ideas
  • Keep an eye also on your District website or Facebook page and include content that may be interesting to members
  • “Coffee with a Rotarian” where you ask a member or two each week to provide a profile of some sort such as a personal update, a vocational perspective etc … the options are endless
  • “Highlight of your week” is where Rotarians share those special moments of their week together with a picture or video if possible
  • Another variation is to get members to share a short story or anecdote about anything special, or any interesting events that they have witnessed or participated in.
    •  i.e. A New Zealand domestic holiday, a special weekend away, someone's experience of self isolation,  how I fell off my bike, the birth of my first grand child, the success of a recent fishing excursion, a great movie I saw on Netflix, a good clean joke etc etc etc
    • It only needs to be a short story and if appropriate accompanied by a picture or two, in JPEG format
  • “Through the Rotary Lens” is where members send in a photo of something interesting to all and get creative describing what the picture is all about
  • Share some Rotary knowledge … remember that District training for incoming club roles has been cancelled but all could do with learning something new about Rotary - there is plenty of information on MyRotary and the Learning Center at
  • Include a humour section
  • Share coping strategies and ideas to help members and their families get through this crisis well
  • Encourage members to contact each other for a chat but most of all encourage members having it tough to reach out for help – as Rotarians we have for so long helped others so now is the time to specifically help each other
  • Include some for of general interactivity … something that members can respond to and everyone can (at least eventually) get to see the responses
The above are only the start of good ideas – you can also help everyone else by emailing your ideas (not the whole Bulletin!) to who will add them to the above list for everyone to benefit from.
Your bulletins need not be long but in this crisis environment they MUST be interesting to read! Take the ideas above and those of your own and mix it up a bit … make each week’s Bulletin a little bit difference, add something special Visual appearance quality is also important.
Your Bulletin Editor is about to become the most celebrated member of the club as what s/he will do in continuing the weekly bulletin will be huge in keeping the club together so support him/her to the fullest.
There is an excellent resource to help you write great bulletins at  In particular the following free Downloads (no login required):
  • Creating a club Bulletin
  • Writing an article
  • Taking a photo
Finally, remember to promote your club Bulletin on your club Facebook page and make sure your friends of the club and community contacts receive a copy … like members, they are vital to your club’s future and you have to give them the confidence you are going to be around for the future.
A suggestion is to join the Private Group (super-easy to do) of the International Fellowship of Rotarian Editors and Publishers at  This is an active group with 15 posts to its 18938 members on 22 March alone.  My request to join was accepted within 20 minutes.