Shameless Self-Promotion

Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by BPearson, Jan 10, 2023.

  1. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    In a way, it is a bit of a misnomer, because in reality it has nothing to do with promoting one's self, it is all about promoting either the organization you represent, or in the bigger picture, the community you live in. For some odd reason, most can't get their head around the concept.

    Oddly, i was taught/trained for it to be ingrained in me. My best guess is that most people living in Sun City love it, they don't see it as a necessity, they simply assume it's a given. It's not and it never has been. Any organization or company worth their salt has it embedded in their DNA.

    One only has to look back at DEVCO and what Sun City did before, during and after their opening. Everything was shameless self-promotion. They were told by the experts they would be abysmal failures; they became an unrivaled success story.

    Every step of the way, they promoted who they were and what they offered. They were the "first on the block" and they made sure everyone knew it. It would have been a physical impossibility to put 100,000 visitors through Sun City opening weekend; there were only a million people living in Arizona in 1960. That never stopped them from telling that story.

    Embellishing the facts isn't a new tactic. The truth be told, one boatload of folks both visited and bought. Who was going to argue it? Why would they? To the DEVO faithful, it made Sun City larger than life and over the years, as the story was retold; our successes looked even more impressive.

    That said, the real measure of how good it was was found in the hearts and minds of those moving here. They embraced the "new active way of life," as if they invented it. They adopted Sun City as if they were born and raised here. As Meeker said, they became Sun City best marketing tool. He literally told his sales force to stay out of the way and let the residents promote it, the sales people's job was to do the paperwork.

    Our history, as i have written so many times, need be our blueprint, our guiding light to the pathway forward. The problem is we have run from it, not to it. This thread, as you will read in the coming days will highlight what we need to do both within the RCSC and the community as a whole.

    Stay tuned.
     
    eyesopen likes this.
  2. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Just left this mornings Sun City Home Owners Association (SCHOA) annual membership meeting. Not a bad crowd, not a good crowd, which is too bad because their mission is critical to their/our success as a community. This for me is/was a teachable moment. Which begs the question, why were you not in the room? Take the survey:
    1). Didn't know.
    2). Didn't care.
    3). What's SCHOA? and, Why should i be there or join them?

    Shameless self-promotion should be a constant never-ending drumbeat. Last year the Del Webb Sun Museum had their best year in their 30 plus years of existence. They have one part time employee and yet they kicked butt in attendance (and charging $5 admittance fee for the first time), membership growth, number of new displays, numbers of volunteers and overall interest. And let me be very clear, i wasn't on the board and not claiming any credit other than some promotional work.

    Their actions should be the model of efficiency and effectiveness. I suspect part of it is centered on the premise John Meeker lived and promoted; you can't build a sense of community without the members being involved. It's that freaking simple.

    Stay tuned as we will do a deeper dive tomorrow and explore the unlimited opportunities out there.
     
    FYI and eyesopen like this.
  3. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Yesterday while attending the SCHOA annual membership meeting i stopped by a club at Fairway. I had a really great chat with a member who has lived here a couple of years and oddly enough got pretty active in the community. I was delighted to hear it, unfortunately his summation of his efforts was terrifying. Mind you, i have never met the person before, though he said he had watched me on video at meetings.

    His comments regarding the RCSC's apparent lack of interest in supporting clubs was shocking. We all know the toll the pandemic took on clubs was staggering. Some came out of it better than others, but many are still just getting by. I've long lamented the evolution of the Committee on Clubs (COC) apparent role of enforcing the rules and not giving two shits if clubs survive or not.

    I've been writing this for years now. It's not Monday morning quarterbacking when you are standing in front of the train trying to stop it moving in the wrong direction. Clearly. promotion of clubs has fallen off and the mentality appears to be little more than survival of the fittest. We know from our history, Meeker used clubs to enhance the "new active way of life" they were promoting. We know he did everything he could to ensure their success.

    The anomaly to this discussion off course is golf. It was the only thing open in town and the RCSC found a hoard of outsiders flocking to our great golf giveaway. They still are. All of which led to the comment the member made to me about that: "Why would anyone buy here if they can live outside the community and still get the benefit of cheap golf they are offering?" Damn, spot on. DEVCO reasonably priced golf to sell homes, the RCSC is using ridiculously priced full play passes for non-residents to slow down sales.

    Here's the point to this diatribe: The board has the potential solution to almost every challenge. The clubs and the membership are the key. The mechanism is there and many clubs are begging for the help to survive and succeed. Rather than being the policeman to make sure their reports are perfect, how about we ask them what they need? Oh yeah, and then both listen and act.
     
  4. FYI

    FYI Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't it be nice if the Club requests were posted on the RCSC website where everybody could see them? It would be interesting to see and follow the requests on how they are addressed and prioritized and to see which ones get to jump to the front of the line.

    We all know how long the Players have been requesting a performing arts theater but it seems the Vintage Vehicle Club got their building first, and the softball Club will soon be receiving their own upgrades, along with others.

    Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against those Clubs having their requests fulfilled, it just seems like some Clubs have been requesting things for a much longer length of time and are still waiting!

    I think if those request list were made public for all to see, it would be harder for management to skip over those older requests?
     
  5. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Anyone the least bit interested in those first 18 years during the building of Sun City knows and better yet understands everything (and i mean everything) was an opportunity for promotion. Our history is littered with teachable moments and yet we have elected to ignore so much of it. Why is the obvious question? I can't give you a good answer other than why should we? Sun City sells itself; or does it?

    If you are paying attention to the numbers reported on PIF collections, monthly revenue is dropping. Higher interest rates and a slowing economy are all reasons, but it should also be the impetus to crank up the marketing and promotion. Sun City is still a great bargain (at least for couples), but the challenges facing the new board are plentiful. The promises made by last years board were off the charts crazy.

    With plummeting PIF numbers, we need to crank up the marketing and promotion. There's so much going on here and so little promotion, it's almost embarrassing. I know everyone is busy, but if you reach back into the archives, you will find Sun City residents were the force behind the communities marketing. Almost every club needs a gentle push; what better way to do it than by helping them succeed rather than stressing them out with making sure they get their reports filed timely? If you think i am being a dick, take a look at the last COC meeting, you will be stunned.

    What if we asked clubs to submit photos and stories and events for publication in the Sun Views, on the RCSC Facebook page and incorporating them across social media platforms? What if we actually identified clubs that were struggling and assigned mentors to work with them? What if we got really daring and created the ability for clubs to remit reports to the RCSC using technology that was integrated? By the way, that's not a new idea, we proposed it back in 2012/2013. They had no interest, or perhaps were incapable; who knows?

    Clubs are the easiest and most readily available access point. Unfortunately, it almost appears as if the goal is to reduce the number rather than grow it. That's what happens when you look at clubs through the lens of a business rather than as a community asset. Clearly the new board is faced with challenges and choices.
     
    eyesopen and FYI like this.
  6. eyesopen

    eyesopen Active Member

    Excerpts about a club’s survival:

    Last September, it was unclear whether the Rhythm Ramblers, Sun
    City’s original big band and first chartered club, would continue into its 59th year.

    Then a new board took over.

    Four months later, the club boasts 71 members and has fielded what may be its best performing group to date. Dancers and listeners can judge for themselves Feb. 6 at Sundial Auditorium as the band presents its fourth First Tuesday Dance and Concert of the season, titled “Lovin’ and Swingin’.” Doors open at 2 p.m. Music is 2:30-4:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for RCSC cardholders and $7 for escorted guests.
    Members of the Rhythm Ramblers Club get in free. RCSC cardholders may join the club at the door; annual dues are $10.

    The Rhythm Ramblers is an 18-piece jazz big band with male and female singers in the tradition of the great American dance bands of the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s. Started by Del Webb in 1963 to help welcome newcomers to Sun City, the Rhythm Ramblers became RCSC’s first chartered club in 1968.

    Rhythm Ramblers website: lhttps://suncityaz.org/recreation/clubs/rhythm-ramblers/
     
    Janet Curry and Cheri Marchio like this.
  7. GCotten

    GCotten Member

    Does truth really matter regarding Rhythm Ramblers and other chartered clubs or should truth stay "hidden" for the sake of keeping a positive image of RCSC's management system of the clubs. Why is club membership and Sun City residency requirements different for different clubs?
     
    BPearson likes this.
  8. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Great question Gary and the answer is pretty straight forward, Sun City's tax status was determined based on the commitment (in the IRS letter of application) and more importantly community documents defining the RCSC's purpose as serving the membership. By opening golf and 10 pin bowling to non-residents we start down the slippery slope of losing that status.

    Giving away golf and 10 pin bowling to outsiders on the cheap may produce some revenue, the bigger picture is at what cost? Even more problematic is they have focused so much time and money on those two activities, other clubs that aren't revenue streams, have been left hanging to make it or break it on their own.
     
    eyesopen likes this.
  9. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    I was going to start a new thread, but let’s just do it here. I am often confronted by people who like to tell me i am trapped in the past and that we can never go back. The mere fact i lean on and into our history is the reason for the accusations. That was then, this is now. The cry is “people” have changed.

    Indeed they have. So what? Does that mean they don’t care about their neighbors? Does that mean they no longer love the community they now make their home? Does that mean that embracing a sense of community is out dated and silly? I think not, but obviously that’s just one man’s opinion.

    I bring this up because i stopped by the MCSO crime and fraud meeting this morning and guess what the solution to our problems are? Working together as a community to prevent these crimes of opportunity. Imagine that! Especially when the naysayers tell us none of that matters.

    It does, it always has. The dynamic of technology obviously impacts us, the reality of technology is we should be using it to bring us together. It’s really just a tool, a technique when used properly can enhance that sense of community, rather than detract from it; or worse yet, use it as an excuse from working towards a more cohesive community.

    We know the downside of social media, i like to look at the upside. Part of the problem is we are so far behind the technology curve, we are literally unable to use it like we should. Meeker et al had to scratch and claw to engage the residents, we have it all at our fingertips if we can get us up to speed and then use it properly.
     

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