Communications report to Convention 2023

Communications Co-ordinator Report 

Lion Heather Yaxley

Open to change focus on developing the successful Step Forward resources with intention to make more accessible, inclusive, and expanded into new formats to reach wider audiences. Researching implications of AI technologies to provide guidance on transparency and ethical use. Monitoring trends affecting social media and align with plan to offer simple ways to upskill and ensure consistent high-quality communications across the MD. Next phase of public website will build on modernized LION magazine and podcast with greater multimedia and story-led content. Aim to boost SEO, reduce dependency on social media and add new initiatives to engage members and public audiences.

Crisis preparedness the portfolio has an effective team capable of supporting MD in addressing pressing challenges affecting fund-raising and volunteering. Focus on clarity of message and quality of communication to support recruitment and retention of membership. In addition, producing strategy and training to ensure preparedness for issues and crisis communication management at MD, district, and club level. Identifying opportunities to work smarter, adopt new technologies and generate new revenue streams to future proof budgets available for PR/marketing with declining membership incomes.



LION Magazine report to Convention 2023

Lion Mandy Broadbent, Lion Ian Gott and Lion Rick Hough

Three printed copies of the LION magazine are produced in each Lionistic year Autumn, Spring and Summer. With only two issues subsidised by Lions Clubs International, the third is covered in part by the PR/Marketing budget of MD105, Lions Clubs of the British Isles.

The LION magazine committee follows direction of LCI (at 2019 Editorial meeting in Dublin) to ensure content engages both members and the wider public. Recent revisions adopted by the LION magazine committee include a theme for each issue that prompts interesting features and stories, adding a unique magazine feel alongside development of regular content aspects.

The LION magazine committee works well with an editorial and production team responsible for development, creation, publishing, and distribution. Suppliers were reviewed in 2022, with a revised team appointed for the Autumn/Winter 2022 and the Spring 2023 editions. Editions are available in print format, as a flip file, pdf and via an app on the LCI site.

A new host was welcomed for LION Step Forward and Volunteer podcast, with 16 episodes now available at https://lionsclubs.co/Public/lion-podcast/ and via various apps: Podbean, Spotify, Apple and Google Podcasts.

The Talking LION audio version of the magazine features four new narrators, alongside John May. This gives a new feel and further voices are being sought. The latest issue is available at: https://lionsclubs.co/Lions-Mag/Audio-Files/Audio Track-2.wav

The LION Magazine committee would like to thank all those who work on the LION magazine as well as clubs who submit stories, feature ideas and photographs for the magazine and participate in conversations about their local community activities on the podcast.



PR and Marketing report to Convention 2023

Lion Mandy Broadbent

The PR & Marketing strategy seeks to create engaging materials that are informative, engaging and work as both public and member communications. These cover a range of channels (websites, social media, print) and convey messages relating to local community volunteering.

Step Forward is the title of a set of materials highlighting the role of Lions in local communities. They include booklets, leaflets, postcards and a variety of posters plus shareable online images, that are promoted through LION Magazine, by the membership team, and through a poster to clubs.

Step Forward and Volunteer the unique Lions podcast has a new ex-BBC host, providing a warm, friendly voice in conversation with members and guests who share stories and advice about volunteering in local communities. Growing in popularity the monthly editions are available through popular podcast channels and the Lions public facing website.

Social media feature posts that promote the positive difference that volunteering makes in local communities to underline the value of Lions membership and servicing others. Channels include Facebook (Lionsgetinvolved), Twitter (@LionsclubsBI), Instagram (Lionsclubsbritishisles) and LinkedIn (Lions-clubs-british-isles). Social media text and images are suitable for sharing. Monitoring of social media provides news, stories and contacts to follow up with the LION magazine and podcast. 

Websites The public site (lionsclubs.co) is building on the style and approach of the refreshed LION magazine and podcast. It features links to the magazine, podcast, alongside inquiry forms. A new phase of development over coming months will provide interesting stories, community news and Lions tales each month supported by audio/video clips, imagery, and photography. A separate members site uses a search structure to make content, information, and downloads accessible, along with a link to the member forum where the membership directory is located. The members' site will be reviewed later in 2023/24.



Information Technology report to Convention 2023

Lion Dave Allen

AV equipment / convention support. A professional, value for money operation has been organised for the National Convention. Latest technology is being used with a team working within budget to produce a high standard AV service. This ensures consistency through branded presentations, embedding audio and video elements.

Websites, social media and software.

The Lions Directory available on Forum (via members website) is updated continuously and downloaded thousands of times over the year. Liaise with LCI to update E-Clubhouse.

Priorities digital upskilling within membership, developing digital directory, supporting initiatives and presence on paid, earned, owned and shared digital platforms.