2018-2019 Historian/Media Relations Ambassador
Creating Your Local Fact Sheet – Make it Effective
Fact Sheets are a powerful way to communicate the results of your work directly to the public. These concise official publications can be particularly useful in helping readers understand and appreciate your efforts. Fact Sheets also increase public awareness of the VFW Auxiliary and our mission.
An effective Fact Sheet should be a tool in every Auxiliary’s toolbox. Refer to it at a recruiting event, a Family Freedom Festival, or when speaking to the community about your accomplishments.
No matter how well written, a Fact Sheet will not convey its message unless it is picked up and read. An attractively formatted, color Fact Sheet is far more likely to be noticed than a plain-looking black-and-white product. Colorful illustrations, an interesting format and a bold title help capture the viewer’s attention at a quick glance.
The following information should be included:
- Auxiliary President’s name, address, phone number, cell phone number and email address.
- Your name, address, phone number, cell phone number and email address.
- Total membership.
- What your Auxiliary is doing to assist veterans and active-duty service members and their families.
- Other local program statistics.
- The date of your next upcoming three events for your Auxiliary.
Additional Elements of a Good Fact Sheet
- Short, non-technical title
- Attention-grabbing introduction
- Eye-catching, effective graphics
TEAMWORK—Every phrase in a Fact Sheet must be carefully considered to ensure that it can be clearly understood, cannot be misread and conveys no unintended meanings to the non-VFW Auxiliary reader.
REVIEW—Different eyes see different things, so you almost cannot have too many people read and review a Fact Sheet.
COLOR! COLOR! COLOR!—Tasteful and effective use of color makes it more likely that the general public will pick up a publication and read it.
“SPEAK PLAINLY”—Because Fact Sheets are intended for the public, it must be easily understood by a broad audience.
CONCISENESS—Ask yourself, “Will the public really care about this?” If the answer is “No,” either delete the particular item or, if it is essential to the story, make it relevant.
POINT OF CONTACT—So that the interested reader can get more information on the topic presented, a point of contact should be given at the end of your Fact Sheet. Include a telephone number, mailing address, and email and (or) website address.
Creating an effective Fact Sheet for the general public may involve many revisions and much teamwork. Every aspect of a Fact Sheet must be carefully considered to ensure that it will be clearly understood by the non-VFW Auxiliary reader.