DG Bill’s Master Class on How to Use Video to Promote Rotary


If you get the chance to hang out with District 7620 District Governor, Bill Fine, you will quickly find that he is 1) passionate about Rotary, 2) one of the funniest humans on the planet, and 3) one of the best salesman around.  This week DG Bill treated us to a Master Class on how to sell Rotary, both by using video as a creative media for spreading our message, and by using “the media,” which in this case is Comcast Cable’s Newsmaker show.  Hopefully we can all learn a little something from DG Bill about how to get better at spreading the Rotary gospel.  And along the way we might learn a little something about Rotary Youth Exchange and the District 7620 District Conference.

Recently District 7620 held a workshop to teach us how to use video to promote Rotary.  To see North Bethesda Rotary Club President, Gonzalo Accame’s, notes from his highly acclaimed workshop go to the following link for the Video Workshop.

Exhibit A in today’s lesson is an interview DG Bill did last week for Comcast Cable’s Newsmaker show regarding Rotary Youth Exchange.  The airtime is free as part of Comcast’s corporate community service.  According to District 7620 PR Chair, Dawn Wittfelt, most TV stations have time set aside to air community service spots.  In this case Dawn is on Comcast’s mailing list and they have contacted her to fill several different spots.  As you watch this interview with Bill you might be thinking about how you or someone in your club can make contact with a local station near you.  Check this out and then we can discuss what makes this such a great performance.



First off, Bill is obviously an expert on the subject.  If you are going to be interviewed by professional media about Rotary, make sure you know what you are talking about.  In this case DG Bill has been involved with Rotary Youth Exchange for years and it shows.  7620 PR Chair Dawn informs me that in many cases, like this one, the station allows you to give them the questions you want to be asked in advance, so as always…practice, practice, practice!  It’s natural to be nervous the first few times (and maybe more than that) you are in front of a microphone, so be prepared.

Second, did you notice how short and to the point Bill’s answers are to every question?  If you are looking for soundbites that get the message across in a short period of time, then here you go.  Think about how you are going to answer questions, like “what is Rotary Youth Exchange” without allowing your listeners to get lost in the translation.  How about these quotes?  “Student’s are like non-paid US ambassadors.” Or, “World peace, 1 to 1, one person at a time.”  Terrific.

Third, did you notice that Bill threw in a brief personal story about his own experience with Youth Exchange?  Remember that personal testimonies make for some of the most gripping, and memorable stories, which is of course what makes the difference between a good interview and a great interview.

Fourth, notice how Bill keeps eye contact with the interviewer and doesn’t get distracted by the camera.  Also notice that he allows his personality to come through as the interview goes along.  A few smiles and a little humor goes a long way.

If you didn’t know about Rotary Youth Exchange don’t you think you would be interested in learning more about the program after this very short, four minute interview? Do you think you might be interested in learning more about Rotary?  I think so.  Here’s something else to consider.   Regardless of who does or does not see this on Comcast (most of us are surprised at how many people comment that they saw you on TV or heard you on the radio, even for public interest spots), can you think of other creative ways to use this video?  Let’s move on to Exhibit B.

The next Bill Fine video performance is a promotion for District 7620’s District Conference. Bill assures me you are all invited to come and I’m pleased to extend this invitation on Ready, Fire, Aim.  But there are some teachable moments here worth mentioning as well. First, this YouTube video cost less than $200 to make.  Bill did this performance in ONE TAKE.  YouTube is a great resource for those who want to use video to promote Rotary. You can make your own videos by using your smart phone or home digital camera, or you can hire someone to help and find out that it isn’t as expensive as you thought.  This District Conference promo is a great example of a high quality product for a lot less money than you thought it would cost.


If you create a video like this, then how would you use it?  The obvious answer is social media: LinkedIn, Facebook, your club’s website and Facebook page, Twitter, etc., are all looking to feed on good, relevant Rotary content.  Why not show your video (or this video if you are in District 7620) during your club announcements?  Or, share the link by Pmail or Email to various networks you’ve created?  I’ve been guilty of using video shot on my smart phone to educate and entertain RFA readers.  You can do the same.

Thank you DG Bill for reminding us how to use these tools to their best effect to better promote Rotary in and outside of our District.  I hope all of my readers are taking good notes on this.  Awesome stuff!  CHECK OUT THE LINK TO THE VIDEO WORKSHOP!