The Flywheel

Program for friDAY May 2nd

100 years: A World of Difference
Rotary Centennial

Curtis Burr brings news of the Centennial celebration of the Second Oldest Rotary Club in the World: San Francisco. As the first offshoot of the founding Club in Chicago, San Francisco Rotary was established just two years after the devestating 1906 earthquake. Now it is preparing to lead the Bay Area in a gala celebration of the past, present and future as one of over 32,000 chapters worldwide.


Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Last week’s meeting was on Thursday, a joint session with the El Cerrito Rotary Club. When their President, Thom McGowan, rang the bell at what seemed like an earlier time than usual, Richmond Club members dutifully stood up and placed hands over hearts. The other guys and gals heard the bell signal and did what they normally do (make a bee-line for the food line). But there was plenty for everyone and a good time was had by all. As a profound, just-came-to-me thought for the day, the world is strikingly full of differences!


  • El Cerrito Rotary works with Golden Gate Fields as part of their fundraising (six Sundays beginning May 18). Golden Gate Fields will have Rotary Day on October 18.
  • Nobuko Mukai of El Cerrito Rotary (she visited us recently with samples) encouraged everyone to buy some boxed chocolates and participate in the Mothers Day candy drive.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Josh Genser had happy dollars in anticipation of a fundraising event being held at his house for Beyond Emancipation, the organization that provides services for needy young adults who have aged out of foster care
  • Tony Thurmond, Executive Director of Beyond Emancipation, provided some happy, non-political dollars announcing the 6:00pm, April 29 gathering at his 31st-and-Macdonald, 14th-Assembly-District campaign office.
  • Salty Mark Howe sported his nifty Captain’s hat while happily encouraging others to meet at his boat on Wednesday afternoon for the nautically good times in the famed Beer Can sailboat races (not that there’s anything particularly serious about these races).
  • Jim Young was very happy about his aeronautically educated son securing employment with NASA.
  • In a sign of the times, Leslie Levy had happy and sad dollars, happy that her son, Gabriel, is getting married in October but sad that the Russian River wedding location has gone into foreclosure.
  • Markku Pelanne was happy that he was accompanied by his son, who’s on his way to Nigeria for missionary work.

Raffle Results

The El Cerrito Club raffle was also different. I didn’t quite figure it out but it seemed to work fine.


Guerrilla Publicity: Connect With the Media
Jill Lublin

Jill Lublin is co-author of two nationally best-selling books, Guerrilla Publicity and Networking Magic, and currently host of a nationally syndicated radio show. She’s got a new book in the works, Get Noticed, Get Referrals.

Jill provided an overview of the importance of media publicity as a way to beneficially increase exposure and visibility for ourselves and our businesses/organizations. For maximum success, the message should not be “all about me” but should be of interest to others, something they can relate to in a positive way and, whenever possible, of direct value and benefit to them.

Jill suggests not being too narrow-cast when seeking advantageous publicity. Instead, use everything you’ve got, all aspects of who you are in life, not just your professional identity. Jill said media users of the web-based network at are often looking for stories about acts of kindness.

News that gets attention is all about people and stories, especially ones with something noteworthy that can create name recognition and activate the “I’ve-heard-of-you-somewhere” syndrome. Depending on the nature of a story, the added exposure and visibility can be very useful and increase credibility. You can also publicize your publicity directly within your own circles.

Jill related her own positive story of being made an “Electric Car Advocate” in the media after she raised a fuss about a car company trying to end her electric car trial period too early. Another example of using everything you’ve got was an attorney who wrote a book entitled, “Sex, Love, and Popcorn”, which was all about building better relationships. (Scribe note: exercising restraint.)

Everyone was encouraged to think about areas of expertise (both professional and personal) within which there are opportunities to teach people through the media. The opportunities could include cautionary stories about things to look out for, guidelines to avoid this or that, or information that’s genuinely helpful and/or not widely known (the gee-I-didn’t-know-that stuff).

How do you write a press release that gets noticed? Jill provided a handout of “Top Ten Tips”. For example, keep the press release to one page (if possible), use an attention-grabbing headline (snappy without giving away the whole picture), answer the 4W’s in the first paragraph (who, what, where, and why), and leave lots of white space which Editors like for editing.

Jill concluded by saying, “If you don’t like what you see and hear on the news everyday, go make your own!”

-Rotating Scribe, Tom Waller