What have you done LATELY?
As I have traveled around Illinois, I have learned about some of the programs and projects being done by VFW members and Auxiliary's but don't sit back and rest on your laurels, plaques, trophy's, certificates.
Recognition is a good thing, but GOOD recognition will pay dividends for your Post, your membership, your auxiliary, but take advantage of it. BRAG A LITTLE.
Do you communicate with your own membership? I was told by someone once that "THEY SHOULD KNOW WHEN THE MEETING IS?" Really? Did you bother to tell them, or did you say, "We do BINGO Tuesday, Show UP? Huh? IF you have a large Post, with over 200 members as an example, it makes it difficult, but you can put together a committee to call members. Break it up into a doable number. I worked for a manager and had a monthly assignment, to call a couple of our clients, talk to them, make sure we were responding to their needs, was there anything we could do better, if there was a challenge, they would tell me so I could correct it and return a call to verify that. Now while my manager knew what was going on, I had to write a report on each of the clients I was responsible for. Could you do that? Have you had a conversation in the last two weeks, month, YEAR?
The Website Solution provides you the ability to communicate and keep in touch with your members. Send a newsletter, talk about your members, what the post is doing, upcoming projects and programs.
SELL THE SIZZLE
Stop and take a moment to review what you are doing for veterans, military, your community and what did you do?
Its about going beyond and making sure you let the Community, the county, the Department, know what you are doing.
Look at the "X Sheet" did you really bring in 42 pints of blood in your blood drive? If you did, that is GREAT, but did you write a news release (let's call it a short story) Talk about the planning, logistics, the actual event and the feeling of having helped unknown recipients of your hard work.
Call me. It doesn't have to be earth shaking, but it has to be something to help your image as a VFW Post. I can help you draft the press release, and I may have a contact or three at local newspapers in your community.
DO NOT SUBMIT PHOTOS OF TWO MEMBERS STANDING SIDE BY SIDE. Most News Editors I know will trash it, they want a photo that draws attention to the story. Use some thought about what the main point. For example, if you attend a community event about recognizing Memorial Day, a photo of the VFW members at the event is not news worthy. A photo of the Major General/Admiral, or distinguished guest with the Mayor, your Post Commander, is the photo you want to send to the newspaper, the Department and upload to your website.
Call me if you want help with a press release, my job is to promote the VFW Department of Illinois, the VFW Illinois Districts, and Posts. So help me help you!
Carl Sorensen, firstname.lastname@example.org