Reprinted from Starting Point (Appendix II.B.11)

Public relations is the art of using the media to inform and to influence. The PR chair may have primary responsibility for heightening League visibility in the community, but every board member should contribute to the group's PR efforts. Leagues should build a communications strategy into every activity on their agenda.

Role

Promotes the League's image and activities in the community and informs the public of the League's services, positions, membership opportunities and fundraising efforts.

General

  • Formulates a public relations plan and submits it to the board for approval.
  • Trains board members to think about their role in communicating the League's message to the community, emphasizing that every event offers an opportunity for visibility.
  • Explores all means of promoting the League: media releases, op-ed pieces, radio/television appearances, press conferences, exhibits and displays.

Specific

  • Develops and maintains personal contact with media representatives.
  • Maintains an up-to-date list of media contacts, as well as a list of organizations for networking.
  • Develops all media releases, with the approval of the president, and directs the releases to all appropriate contacts.
  • Maintains a copy of all media releases and coverage.

Techniques

Think public relations at all times.

  • Make appointments for you and the president to meet with the editor of your local paper and the news editor of your local cable station. Discuss opportunities for League-media partnerships; encourage them to consider League as a resource.
  • Work with the chair/committee responsible for special events and program activities to develop a PR component.
    Involve others. Divide and assign tasks.
  • Be positive, courteous and diplomatic when promoting the League. Be appreciative of time and space given by the media.
    Submit material to the media with ample lead time and in the form requested.

A good media release clearly and concisely states who, what, when, where, why, how and perhaps why not. It is typed, double-spaced, on one side of the page and includes:

  • Media contact/address (TO)
  • League contact/title (FROM)
  • Date of sending (DATE)Date of release (RELEASE DATE)
  • Subject (SUBJECT, TITLE OF STORY)

Reprinted from Starting Point (Appendix II.B.11)