The Newsboy

My speech on Jan 15, 2024

Bond Wang
3 min readJan 20, 2024
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Newsboys first appeared on the American streets in the mid-19th century with the rise of newspaper publications. Whether they were selling newspapers on the street or delivering them to homes, the newsboys didn’t have to be journalists to get the job done.

What made a good newsboy? It was hard work, and consistency.

Over the past three years, I have taken the club VPPR roles for several times in several clubs. Today as I reflect on the journey, I find myself looking at a lot of resemblance to the newsboys back in the day. We now come with the rise of the internet and social media. Whether it’s selling on the street or selling online, the secret to success has never changed. It’s still consistency.

I had some basic knowledge of graphic and webpage design before I joined Toastmasters. But public relations still felt entirely new to me when I got to the VPPR role for the first time. Thanks to the internet, learning opportunities are everywhere, the TLI, the YouTube channels, the online social groups, you name it. They helped me start the job very quickly. One of my major tasks was to be the administrator for the club website and manage the social media accounts, I worked on the Free Toast Host website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and TikTok, just to name a few. Here are some of my practices on how I use these digital tools to get my job done.

1, Building static visual materials is easy. But you must publish them. There are plenty of free tools and tutorials. So you will make your first picture or video in just a few hours. Then the key is to publish it. We are not selling our designs; we are selling our clubs through these designs. Whether they are fantastic or amateur, you just publish it. Remember, every artist was first an amateur. And practice makes perfect. The beauty of social media is that when you publish an amateur design, you don’t have to deal with the freaking editors in the office All you need to do is just click the “Send” button. The internet will give a fair treat to your work. Keep publishing it, the influence will come in time.

2, You don’t have to be a social media master. You just find the right social media platform for your club. Some clubs largely rely on FTH. Some focus on Facebook and Instagram. Some have got excellent newsletters. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, we just continue what the club has been doing in public relations. Remember, consistency beats intensity.

3, One design, all platforms. Most social media provide sharing functions to help us transfer our work from one platform to another. This saves tons of time and helps us build the club’s consistent brand.

4, You are not alone. We can find many online social groups, especially on Facebook. Some groups are moderated by Toastmasters HQs, some by members with similar interests. Bring your questions to the platform or just browse around to learn the practices shared by other VPPRs. Inside the club, We work closely with other positions. For example, we help the VPE to build the online agenda, work with VPM to build the membership management system, the Secretary to build the Resource Center, and the Treasure to build the due/renewal notifications. We are not only engaged with the latest digital tools, but also have the opportunity to improve leadership and communications skills.

Finally, I have seen many VPPR colleagues who are daunted by the work and skills in the VPPR role. “Oh, I have to learn so many tools, and manage so many social media accounts.” I think it’s just overthinking. The official responsibility of a VPPR defined by Toastmasters International is a simple one, “Generate positive awareness of the Toastmasters brand.” You see, we don’t create the brand. Our clubs are doing it. We just generate awareness, like what the newsboys did back in the day. They didn’t make the newspaper. They just delivered it. You know what makes the difference between a good newsboy and a not-so-good one? Yes, it is consistency.



Bond Wang

Forget injuries, never forget kindness. Hey, I write about life, culture, and daydreams. Hope I open a window for you, as well as for myself.