So as many readers of the will know this blog rarely if ever refers to the Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland as ‘RIBI’ preferring to refer to the name that is aligned with the organisation’s website domain and other social media platforms and use ‘RotaryGBI’.
A number of months ago when the domain name changed to RotaryGBI the process of preparing a blog started which was to congratulate the team at Alcester for creating a name that would now become partially meaningful to non-Rotarians. But after ‘penning’ the piece it was consigned to File13 when I realised that there wasn’t much of a story to a simple domain change in terms of creating an engaging blog.
However, that doesn’t seem to have been the a view shared by some readers of the blog. As they have picked up on the terminology being used on the blog and the fact that we generally use RotaryGBI. This prompted RotaryBlogger.co.uk to get the official position – straight from the horse mouth so to speak.
So is it RIBI or RotaryGBI…well thanks to your favourite Rotary blog, you’re about to find out once and for all.
A spokesperson for Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland told RotaryBlogger, “Externally RIBI means absolutely nothing. The public at least have heard the word Rotary and if they remember it’s not in the context of a major watch manufacturer they have half an inclination that it is about trusted ‘charity’ work of some sort.
“So, our thought was to try to get our Rotarians to use the word Rotary in their language to the external world.
The spokesperson went on to explain, “For Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland we wanted to change our URL to rotary.org.uk but that was already owned by a Rotarian* so we decided to go with rotarygbi.org instead hence our social media makes use of this too although we do reference the full Association title as well as users will see with Facebook.
“With regard to information we publish, we made the decision to stop using RIBI as an acronym and to use Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland in full, thereafter Rotary on its own can be used.”
There you go then, now it’s all clear – RotaryGBI can be used, but in particular for domains, social media platforms and internal use and then we just refer to things basically as Rotary thereafter; now that makes complete sense.
If you look at the Rotary Jargon page on this site it is clear to see that Rotary has way too many acronyms – some of which are even meaningless to Regular Rots (am I allowed to use that?) So the more the organisation can simplify things the better for ‘customers’ both internally and externally.
As any brand-guru will tell you – a brand has to become extremely well known before it can be abbreviated. Look at large UK organisations who have done it such as M&S, E&Y or RBS. These organisations operated respectively as Marks & Spencer, Ernst & Young and Royal Bank of Scotland for many years before they were rebranded to their new abbreviated selves.
So, why then does it seem that some Rotarians want to do it in the reverse direction? The move to bring the word Rotary into any references to the organisation is the correct direction of travel – and it is hoped that through this blog; the message will get out there to its many readers.
Remember, from hereon it’s Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland or RotaryGBI or just plain and simple Rotary.
As was my intention in my initial draft of this blog months ago, I will congratulations the team at Alcester for taking a sensible and modernising look at how the organisation is recognised outside the confines the various Clubs around the British Isles and getting the support of the General Council (who should also be applauded) to move things ahead and making the changes for the better.
Ultimately, it therefore seem appropriate to close this weekend’s blog with a very respectful abbreviate…RIP RIBI.
As a footnote to the main blog, rotary.org.uk which was the original domain sought by the team Alcester points to the website for the Rotary Club of Walsall and is showing on a ‘whois’ search as being owned by LBParkes & Co Ltd a commercial company which describes itself as the “UK’s longest running anodising company”. Just as a polite suggestion – could some arrangement not be made with this Club whereby RotaryGBI purchase RotaryWalsall.org (which appears to be available) and do a trade on Rotary.org.uk – that to me would make far more sense…no? Surely that’s fair to all concerned.
Next week’s blog – “RotaryGBI six years on?”