Public Relations 2019-2020
“100 Years of Service not Self”
Public Relations promotes who we are, what we do, and why we matter. The actual definition is “communicating our organization’s message at the right time and in the right place to the right audience”. It is the continual management of promoting the American Legion Auxiliary’s image in the most positive manner by focusing on buliding good relations and communication with the public. Public Realtions is about relationships and about the flow of communication that goes both ways. Promoting the ALA strengthens our brand and makes us appealing to potential members who will recognize our common goal of helping veterans, service members, and their families.
What can you do? Think of the following words – Relationships, Connection, Engagement, Influence, Image, Communication
The American Legion Auxiliary will turn 100 on Nov. 10, 2019. The ALA’s 100th anniversary is a time not only to celebrate the achievements of the last century, but also to look ahead to our next century, whether you’re an individual member or a unit, district/county, or department. A new generation of veterans, servicemembers, and their families will depend on the American Legion Auxiliary.
Even though the digital age is here to stay, positive PR can be achieved in many forms. Be creative. By connecting with the public and building a relationship, you can foster a positive image for this organization. This is a great year to celebrate and promote the Centenial birthday of the American Legion Auxiliary.
Plan your celebrations
If you have not already done so, organize a centennial committee to plan how your unit will
celebrate. Members can also join the American Legion Auxiliary 100th Anniversary Celebration Facebook group at www.Facebook.com/groups/ALAcentennial. This closed-group forum, a place where members-only can gather to discuss the centennial, is a great resource for ideas on how to observe the ALA’s 100th birthday. Centennial celebration events are perfect opportunities to recruit new members to help us begin our next century of service.
Promote your celebrations
Reach out to your local newspapers, television stations, and radio stations. Designate a
spokesperson for each event to talk to the media. Utilize your unit’s social media accounts and
encourage your members to share the unit’s information and events on their personal social
Ideas for celebrations
Celebrations don’t have to be big. Decide what is appropriate for your unit. Some units may
want a small celebration with a birthday cake. Others may decide to host a festival for the
community. Consider adding a celebration to an event your unit already has planned. There are
several things you can do to commemorate the centennial:
- Community open house – Invite residents of your local town or city for a good old-fashioned party. Be sure to have membership brochures visible and available as takeaways. A community event for the public is a great way to recruit new members, volunteers, or donors.
- Ask your town mayor, city council, or chamber of commerce to proclaim an American
Legion Auxiliary centennial day
- Host a dinner or dance at your American Legion post home.
- Host a community festival. Invite vendors in the community to set up booths.
- Organize a centennial blood drive, canned-good, or toy drive.
- Host a birthday party.
- Invite members to a crafting event.
- Ask local businesses to let your unit create a window display. The display can contain historical items and pictures related to your unit and the community. Or you can paint a display on the windows.
- Host a centennial tea. Make it a recruiting event by inviting potential members.
- Volunteer to host a cleanup day at a local park. Wear ALA branded t-shirts so others know who you are.
- Host a centennial picnic. Invite families from your unit, your post, and the community. Create old-fashioned games for families to play. Wear your branded clothing and hang banners in celebration of the 100th.
- Create a centennial display booth at county fairs or other community events. Have members take shifts at the booth to answer questions and tell visitors who we are, why we matter, and what we do.
- Have a float in a parade, or have members carry a banner in a parade and toss out candy.
- Plant a centennial garden. Consider doing this at your post home in a community garden.
Materials to have available at centennial events
- American Legion Auxiliary at a Glance brochure
- The American Legion Family membership brochure
- ALA Youth Programs brochure
- ALA membership application
All of these publications are available by sending a request to your ALA Department
Headquarters. Visit www.ALAforVeterans.org/About/Department-State-Headquarters to see a
listing of contact information.
Social Media Ideas for a Unit
- Create or improve and actively maintain a unit website that adheres to brand standards (see ALA Branding Guide at https://www.alaforveterans.org/Media/
- Create and maintain an active social presence for your unit on one or more platforms in which you are comfortable (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
- You may say you do not know how to create a Facebook page, or website, or even how to write an article for the local newspaper. The information, including great templates, is located on the National website: https://www.alaforveterans.org/
- Consider joining the Legion’s Iowa Press Association
Let’s honor all our Veterans and their families by informing our communities about our 100 years of “Service, not Self” and how we can promote our organization for the next 100 years.