slider-02I apologise if the above title is perhaps a little misleading, as the RBN operates very much along the lines of the late, great Ella Fitzgerald’s words: “give a little; get a little love”.

This is an important point to make as, in case any of you remain unaware, the RBN is a not-for-profit organisation whose primary aim is to help rugby by mobilising the goodwill of business people who are passionate about our sport.

Our events are the lifeblood of the organisation and, if you live anywhere near one of our 60+ host cities around the world, they will offer your best opportunities to benefit through contributing.  They are attended by strategic-level business people, many of whom would prove to be resourceful friends.  Go along, have a drink, listen to rugby and business speakers of the very highest calibre and see what happens.  It’s that simple.

The events are almost all free to attend, with the hosts charging nothing for their services, the speakers doing likewise and attendees encouraged to ask each other “how can I help you?”  It is very much a community of like-minded people and should not be mistaken for anything resembling a marketing database.

Should you go to an event, you will notice that no one stands on a chair to deliver a sales pitch, so why do people effectively do this on our other main hub, the LinkedIn group?

Our group, served by one website, has over 32,000 members and most communication goes through the ‘discussions’ page.  Note the word ‘discussions’.  Why then do members keep spamming that page with sales and marketing copy and links to third-party sites with the aim of promoting their own company, product or profile?

Our members are marketing-savvy and that means marketing-cynical, so spam is the very last way to communicate successfully with them.  In fact it reflects very badly on the member who has seen a group brought together by the hard work of countless volunteers around the world, ignored the obvious privilege of being able to communicate with them and simply thought ‘sales opportunity’.

Any spammers will now require moderation for future posts and any further spam will see them removed from the group.  So, before you hurry to profit undeservedly from your membership, read the below on suitable content:

You can pose any genuine rugby or business questions, but that is not an invitation for obvious thread seeds.  A digital marketing consultant asking, ‘how important is digital marketing?’ or ‘have you seen this development in social media?’ will have asked their first and last question to the RBN.

This week we approved everything from a large corporation looking to communicate RBN-specific rugby messages and a French rugby team’s quest for a young tighthead prop to an 18-year old physio’s plea for advice on work experience.  Big or small matters not one bit: good intentions is the common theme.

Is your content specific to the RBN or just deemed by you to be relevant?  If it’s already on another site or simply promoting your services, you’ll be on thin ice and probably required to work harder.

If you do want to make the effort and write a feature exclusively for us, please do.  With a community of 32,000 AB1’s, I have no idea how PR professionals who recognise the value of high quality communication over lazy click-bait are not bombarding us with offers.

Content needs to include real advice and at least a little intellectual property, not a series of half-questions that aim solely to demonstrate your potential value to the reader.  ‘Five Great Tax Tips for the RBN’ will not render you redundant by turning our members into accountants, but it might demonstrate your expertise.  Ultimately, that can only be to your benefit.  Play the long game.

If you have a genuinely compelling rugby or business story, we might just write it for you, so get in touch with me through LinkedIn.

We have a wonderful, unique community, so please don’t abuse your place within it.  Contribute to the RBN in a positive way and karma will look after the rest.

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