AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY DEPARTMENT OF CALIFORNIA
PUBLIC RELATIONS
National Public Relations Program
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National American Legion Auxiliary Web site

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To provide maximum support to The American Legion, the Auxiliary must be well thought of in the community.  It must have a reputation for worthwhile community endeavors.  This can only be accomplished by telling the public about the work of the Auxiliary and its value to the community.

Public relations is simply a matter of establishing and maintaining goodwill.  It is telling the general public of the value of the American Legion Auxiliary to the community and the country.  Public Relations covers every kind of communication from personal contact in casual conversation, to speakers , and to carefully prepared news releases for the media.  It is not a complicated job, but it is a vitally important one.  It is a job for every member of the Auxiliary as well as the Public Relations Committee.

There is only one way to build a reputation for worthwhile work, and that is by doing things well and making sure the public is aware of both the effort and the result.  There are many ways to build goodwill, and an active Unit will take advantage of each of them, appointing a committee to make personal contact with newspapers, radio, and television stations, thus building a bridge from the Unit to the media.  There is interesting and important information that can be given to the public about all the Auxiliary programs.

Local Broadcasting and Training
There are many programs devoted to the local community that can provide an avenue for reaching the public.  The local program schedule (published in the newspaper) can point out opportunities.  Many radio and television stations provide air time for public service announcements.  There are locally produced talk shows and sports on human interest stories.  Community access television and community calendars are other options.

The Unit chairman should meet with the staff of all available electronic and print media to explain the Unit's objectives.  Frankly asking for suggestions fro the station on how these programs can be promoted can encourage interest and provide solutions.  The Chairman should offer to provide information on veteran's affairs, community service and other matters to assist the media.  The chairman can provide the opportunity and, at the same time, build and excellent rapport with the media that will be helpful in the future.  If she asks for their professional assistance, they will usually be happy to help.  Be sure to thank them for their cooperation.

Your National and Department committees can offer suggestions and give assistance, but it is up to the local chairman and members to put a Public Relations program into action.

You have a wonderful story to tell; the story of the American Legion Auxiliary.  If you use the right approach, know your program, and have established goodwill in the community and good rapport with the media, you can bring invaluable support to all your program activities.