Time flies, it is time to make a review of the tasks completed by the District Secretary Team in year 13-14. With the support of the 20 DS team members including 3 District Secretaries: DS (Committee) Gary Yeung, DS (DG Support) Charlie Yip and DS (Club Affairs) Patrick Mak and 13 Deputy District Secretaries coupled with RIC Rainy Ma and her 3 staff, it was a fruitful year of accomplishments for the district secretariat.

DS Team 1314

The duty of District Secretary is more than setting meeting agenda and taking minutes.  The core team consisted of myself, Gary, Charlie and Patrick led by our DG Eugene had started the preparation works and met every Tuesday morning since September 2012.  We also invited RIC Rainy and Incoming CDS Alice Tsang to join us in mid-term to ensure smooth transition and continuity for the two DS teams.

Just to name a few events  which were completed by DS Team : Meeting the PEs- Happy Hour, District Team Training Seminar, PETS 1, PETS 2, Make up PETS – Ulaanbaatar, Macau, HK, District Assembly,  District Installation, District Committee on Year Plan Presentation and District Resolution Meeting.

The DS team was also responsible for editing and publishing the Pocket Planner copies of which were distributed during the District Assembly in April 2013 and the 300 pages District Directory was published on schedule on Sept 23, 2013.

As CDS, my primary role is to support DG at all times. During this year, I accompanied and provided support to DG and had visited more that 60 Clubs in Hong Kong, Macau and Mongolia.  I also formulated strategy to make DG Eugene’s vision happen.

DG Eugene has a vision to “Use more IT for District for better communication”.  Thus, our strategy is to communicate and build brand for D3450 effectively by means of the following three channels:  Facebook, Web Site, and Mobile – WhatsApp.

The District Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Rotary3450) is in a Page format which is the most powerful social media tool to promote the D3450 brand and reach out to the Youth. The Facebook administration was taken over by the DS Team on May 1, 2013 with a 100 Fans base to start with.  Our tactic was to build up the Fans group aggressively by creating Photo Albums and Event Calendar.

We did not spend a single dollar to advertise but rely on the word of mouth via Presidents, Secretary team, AG team, DS team and District Rotaract Committee.  Up to June 20, we successfully built up to 1125 Fans, i.e. a 1025% growth.  The fans profile consist of 670 from Hong Kong, 50 from Macau, 200 from Mongolia and the rest from other countries such as USA, India, Malaysia and the Philippines.  There are many rotaractors in our profile group too. With the 1000+ Fans base, the power of reaching out to friends of friends has increased tremendously.  I can conclude that our District now has a powerful social media promotional tool for brand building and reaching out to the youth.

There are 140 Photo Albums with 15,000 attractive and action photos of district and club events.  It is a complete record of year 13-14 since DG first met his Presidents in January 2013. Each event will be reported in a photo album for easy retrieval. A photo is worth a thousand words.  These are the most effective tools district and clubs can use to help promoting our public image and public relation.

To communicate fast amongst members, we also set up event calendars once district committees and clubs announced their events with details.  Members can read the details at anytime and anywhere.

Between the week of June 9 and June 15, 2014, our Facebook analytics recorded the highest reach record to 6.5 K readership and the highest hit rate of 3K. It reflected the increasing popularity of our District Facebook.  The most well received photo event was a report by President Irene Lau of Hong Kong City North with 10 photos of her clubs great events.  It has drawn 4.6 K readership and 30 LIKES.

We also set up 4 Private Facebook Groups: (1) 13-14 Presidents with 91 members of Presidents, DG, AG, (2) DS Secretary Group with 41 members of Secretary, (3) DS Group with DG, DS and DDS and (4) AG and DS Group. The private groups are to enhance the information flow, transparency and speed via the mobile phones. In addition to photo and events promotion, a resource file down center was also created in these groups so that members can download relevant district files for use at any time.

Our Second Strategy is to enhance the functionality of our District Web Site www.rotary3450.org.  We worked closely with our Web design team headed by PP Bill Benter, Andrew Stinson and PP David Shelton. We introduced the online membership and attendance report system to clubs so as to make the reporting more efficient.  We also created a knowledge resources centers, with password control, club President and Secretary can easily download all PR materials and relevant district files for use. In the membership corner, newly inducted members were recognized with photo.  All photo published in Facebook were synchronized and uploaded to Photo albums in the web site for those non-Facebook users. All photos are in full size and can be downloaded for club PR purposes.  The event calendar also recorded all future events for references.

DG weekly E-Newsletter was introduced by DG Eugene with purpose to reduce the volume of emails to Club Presidents and members. Up to now, there are over 45 K visitors and more that 170 K page views. We have not yet received any opting out from members for receiving the E-Newsletter.

To cope with the new image of Rotary, The District Web Site was updated with 6 new action photo of local Rotarians as arranged by PR Committee Chair PDG David Harilela.

The 3rd Strategy was to introduce Mobile marketing via WhatsApp Groups.  DG Core Team Group, AG and DS Group, DS Group and Area Presidents Group were introduced.

The DS Team consisted of myself, DDS Martin Roeth and DDS Bee Chan  also launched the 3rd Webinar in Social Media Impact to D3450 using the platform anymeeting.com on June 9, 2014. 30 members from Hong Kong and Macau and Mongolia joined the event. Feedbacks were very positive.

It was a busy year that we held 12 Meetings for District Management Committee, supporting 12th JPM and 5 Joint Secretary Meeting and one IT Training for Secretary in June 2013 but an enjoyable working experience with my DS Teams and RIC staff. I would like to take this opportunity to thank DG Eugene Fong for trusting and giving us such a great learning experience as DS Team. Credits must be awarded to all my DS teammates, PP David Shelton-Smith and RIC staff.  Without harmonious team works and co-operation, we cannot achieve our goals successfully.