Bob Shappell, Department Chairman
The purpose of Public Relations is to work collaboratively with all levels of the organization to create, implement and support a proactive communications network that positively projects the American Legion Auxiliary's image to the general public while advancing our mission and goals through a variety of materials and resources available to departments and units online.
The job of the Public Relations Chair is not just to promote the American Legion Auxiliary in our communities but also to keep our members informed. The Public Relations Chair should be included in the planning of all programs and events, as well as potential newsworthy happenings involving unit leadership.
The goal is to utilize all forms of communication and media to inform and educate our members about new and existing programs. Use the national and department websites as resources for information (www. ALAforVeterans.org; www.amlegionauxwi.org). Effective and frequent communication keeps members motivated and active.
The goal of all external communications is to use the Auxiliary emblem and branding to build public awareness of our organization. Electronic images are available from department for use on printed publications and media. For appropriate use of the American Legion Auxiliary emblem or brand mark, please refer to that section of the Red Book (pg 27 & 31).
Public Relations Chairs should also focus on increasing community awareness of the many programs the Auxiliary has to offer. Utilize the brochures available from department, national, and Emblem Sales to show how Auxiliary programs benefit veterans, servicemen and women, military families, children, youth and local communities.
The American Legion Auxiliary has a public image based on integrity, action and commitment to our purpose. That image is a product of the organized efforts of the Public Relations Chairs and individual members to spread the word about our organization and programs, as well as everyday contacts of Auxiliary members with the public in the name of the Auxiliary.
Although the words 'public relations' and 'publicity' are often used interchangeably, there is a difference. Public Relations is broad-based and covers all spontaneous events, planned promotions and interviews, as well as public observation and response to Auxiliary activities. Publicity is just one facet of public relations and includes planned events or promotions that are promoted through the media. In such coverage, the Public Relations Chair can exercise more control over the content of the message and the timing of the release. A good public relations program offers one thing that advertising can never provide with assurance: credibility.
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Resources & Information:
2023 District Chairmen:
District 1 - Vacant District 7 - Christina Petranovich
District 2 - Pat Bruss District 8 - Vacant
District 3 - Vacant District 9 - TBD
District 4 - Laura Calteux District 10 - various members
District 5 - Vacant District 11 - Vacant
District 6 - Nancy Rivera District 12 - Vacant
2023-2024 National Public Relations Committee Awards Deadlines and Submission Requirements
Thank you for taking the time to share a favorite story about the positive impact you or someone you know has had on our mission! Your story may inspire another member into service. It also helps us tell the world who we are, what we do, and why we matter.
Here are the national awards for this committee:
Unit Award: Most Outstanding Unit Public Relations Program for Central Division
April 1: All unit entries must be submitted to the department chairman by April 1st using the entry form in the Public Relations Program Engagement Plan.
Authorization to Release Personal Information:
Award submissions become property of the American Legion Auxiliary. Through submission of reports and award entries, the submitter grants non-exclusive reproduction and publication rights to the materials submitted and agrees to have their names and submission published for ALA use or commercial use without additional compensation or permission.
Please fill out the information as completely and accurately as possible. Award certificates will be completed using the information provided on the entry form, so please be sure to complete it in its entirety. Please refer to the webpage for the specific criteria such as photographs, narrative length, submission deadline, and point of contact. All awards will be mailed to the department office after ALA National Convention.