4WD’ing in Bendigo and Central Victoria is huge. The number of 4WDs you see on the road out here – from tradie utes to family wagons, stock and modified, is far greater than you see in the capital cities. There’s no doubt that we like our off roaders, and 4WD clubs have always been a great way to meet some new people, and find a way to get out on a camping trip and do it safely. I look after media for the club, and being a very new club this is a point of focus. To achieve the club’s goals, we needed to get our name out there, show people what we do and build a community of keen 4WDers and campers. The idea With online media working well since we established the website and Facebook, we wanted to direct some attention to local media so that we could talk to some people in the community about our club. The idea was “let’s see if the local paper will run an article about the club, and we’ll run an open day”. We had 3 objectives: • Talk to the public about 4WDing and what the club does to increase awareness • See if we can get the Bendigo Advertiser to publish an article about the club • Provide our sponsors with an opportu- nity to also promote their businesses The concept: • Bring some 4WD’s into Hargreaves Mall, and set up a vehicle display • Have business cards and handouts for people who might be interested in joining • Run a sausage sizzle to cover the club’s costs • Get in touch with the Bendigo Advertiser a month in advance and see what we can do. The article After sending through some info on the club, the newspaper article ended up happening. They got in touch 2 weeks prior to the open day, did a photo shoot with some members and a few of our vehicles and published a half page article with a great photo in the week- end edition. After the article was published, our web- site saw a big increase in traffic and our Facebook group ‘likes’ doubled in only a few days. The comments, likes, shares and views on Facebook in the lead- up was very encourag- ing, but we still didn’t have much of an idea of how many people would come down, so we were just going to have to get there and see. On the day 9am and I met Russ, Jim, Andrew and Steve in the Mall, with the BBQ trailer and vehicles in place I got to work set- ting up the posters and putting together hand-outs with some information on the club and upcoming trips. The decision was made to only charge $1 for snags and drinks; the point of the day wasn’t to make a profit, it was just to talk to people, and if we covered some of our costs from the BBQ, we’d be grateful. Russ had put together a BBQ trailer for the club in the lead-up, and this made things quite easy and straight forward, and was also something we could take away with us on future trips. We had everything set up by 10, and were catering for hungry Mall-goers, Russ, Jim, Andrew and Steve were talk- ing to 4WD’ers who had come down to find out more about the club. We had a constant stream of people wanting to talk to us about the club, families, 4WDs and the trips they’d been on or wanted to go on, and we had a fairly constant stream of people coming through from 10am to around 1.30pm when it started to die down.  Info sheets and trip calendars were handed out and we also had information and give-aways from our sponsors, Harrisons and TJM. Because we’ve run some really interest- ing and varied trips over the past few months, we were able to put up posters of trip reports and photos from the Butcher Country, Central Gippsland and Wyperfeld trips. The idea here is, rather than talk about what we do, we’ll just show it! We finished up the day around 2pm as planned, packed up and rolled out of the Mall. As a bit of a de-brief and social gathering, a few of us caught up to do camp ovens around the fire for dinner and rolled out the swags. Tim Kohlman TRACKWATCH SEPTEMBER 2018 5 > Club Spotlight Sandhurst 4WD Club take the 4WD message to the public