Notes to Kathy

Preparing a DPRM

in any business, the business owner's first task is to figure out what they are selling as a product/ service, what the business model actually is like, and do the numbers make financial sense (i.e. will the business be profitable after incurring costs such as rent, equipment, furniture, employees etc). in Toastmasters, of course things are a little more complicated.

The "product/ service" of a Toastmasters club is naturally to provide a nurturing and conducive environment for members to develop communication skills. but of course, this conversation that we're having involves a much wider scope; managing an entire district's worth of clubs.

To summarize the entire discussion, a healthy club is a self sustaining club, and a self sustaining club is a club that is able to
recruit members as often as it “sheds” members
; whether through natural attrition or through “graduation”. This requires not just the club exco to put up a sufficiently engaging and fruitful educational agenda throughout the term, but for the Club VPPR to reach as many guests as possible.

The success of a club’s recruitment, however, does not solely rely on the Club VPPR, but on the
Toastmasters brand
itself. Suffice to say, the Toastmasters brand, in Singapore’s context, can be summarized as:
heard of, but not sufficiently enough for members of the public to actively seek out what Toastmasters supposedly provides.

Therefore, a DPRM’s role can be said to be a balance of:
managing the Toastmasters brand (under its geographical jurisdiction of Singapore)
being able to educate, groom, and mentor Club VPPRs (since the single unit of a District is a Club)

If that is a DPRM’s role, then naturally we must consider what the KPIs are, so that we can measure their success:
number of members joined (should be the primary performance indicator)
number of people that have heard of TM,
and subsequently number of people that have joined TM because it is precisely what they’re looking for.

What is NOT under the DPRM/ CLub VPPR’s control, and therefore purview:
how well the educational programs are run
how satisfied members are/ how much benefit they have gained from TM
why members leave
That is not to say the DPRM or Club VPPR need not concern themselves with these, in fact they should be even more concerned; HOWEVER unfortunately the above rests with the more relevant appointment holders.

Of course, the DPRM/ Club VPPR are given a small slice of the budget, and therefore they must figure out how to utilize funds well. Everything else, unfortunately, is “sweat capital”. So in taking up the role of DPRM/ Club VPPR, the person involves should first be mentally prepared that:
the heavy lifting efforts of DPRM/ Club VPPR is often invisible; the visible portions are in fact quite often the least impactful of all their efforts
the role of DPRM/ VPPR is not very well understood, so you must be prepared for an uphill climb when it comes to co-opting members to be part of your PR Team. Even your own executive committee (whether in district or down to the club level) will often have no idea what you’re doing, or if it’s the right direction or not. Only the DPRM/ Club VPPR can evalaute themselves at the conclusion of their term.
most importantly, you have to have a keen sense of what would likely work and what won’t. this unfortunately is based solely on experience; members who are salespeople and business owners are therefore good candidates to consider.

Administrative Chores before commencement

Overall Strategy and measuring KPIs

to be continued

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