2023-2024 National Historian & Media Relations Ambassador Diana Moore-Morris
Historians, you are the one in your Auxiliary to reach out to all the media sources in your area. To help spread the word, National has given us a ton of resources to help us along the way. These can be found in MALTA Member Resources, Historian & Media Relations.
WHO DO YOU CONTACT?
- Contact your local newspaper, ask for the Editor.
- Contact your City or Metro Editor, or the Editor or columnist for the section or column where you want your article to run.
- Contact your local radio stations and ask for the News Director.
- Contact your local radio station Program Director, for a talk show or to report an Auxiliary function be added to the radio station event calendar.
- Contact your local TV stations and request to speak with the News Director or Assignment Editor should your Auxiliary have an event you wish them to cover.
- One of the most important contacts should you not know who you need to be speaking with is to simply ask the individual answering the phone.
A FEW PREPARATIONS BEFORE MAKING A CONTACT TO COVER AN EVENT
- Is your event occurring within the next month?
- Will your community be interested in the event?
- Will your event assist your local community?
WHAT IS NEWSWORTHY:
- Assisting families of deployed troops (Hosting holiday events, i.e. Christmas parties, Easter Egg hunts, Trick-or-Treat events, offering financial assistance)
- Decorating graves for Veterans Day and Memorial Day
- Participating in Wreaths Across America.
- Meeting our heroes at the airport as they return from deployment or veterans returning on an Honor Flight.
- Scholarship winners, such as the winner of the Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest, make a special invitation for the media to attend any ceremonies.
- Events hosted by an Auxiliary at a VA facility.
- Adopting a Unit through the VFW Veteran & Military Support Program; collection points for supplies your community may want to donate for deployed troops.
- Members and possibly any youth groups who are participating in a “Buddy”® Poppy Drive or POW/MIA remembrance ceremony.
- Auxiliary members and possibly any youth groups who are participating in Flag presentations to community groups.
- Our National President’s visit.
Start by providing information about what the Auxiliary is and how to contact your Auxiliary for more information. For example: The VFW Auxiliary is one of our nation’s oldest veterans service organizations. Our members are the relatives of those who served in a location of foreign conflict, consisting of approximately 470,000 members representing all 50 states, Panama, Guam and the Philippines. Auxiliary members volunteer millions of hours and give millions of dollars to support veterans, military service personnel, their families and communities.
Compose a press release by utilizing some of the following suggestions:
VFW Post & Auxiliary [insert Name/Post Number] are excited to announce the kick-off of the VFW Auxiliary’s annual scholarships & contests for kindergarten through high school students who may compete for thousands of dollars in scholarships and prize earnings.
Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest: Students submit an original 2D piece of artwork. Entry must have been completed during the current school year. Student entries must be submitted to VFW Auxiliary [insert Name/Post Number] by March 31, 2024. Students begin by competing at the local VFW Auxiliary level. The first-place winner from each Auxiliary advances to the state competition. State first-place winners compete for their share of $34,500 in National awards. The National first-place winner is awarded a $15,000 scholarship.
Students may also submit a 3D piece of artwork. Student entries must be completed during the current school and must be submitted to VFW Auxiliary [insert Name/Post Number] by March 31, 2024. The first-place winner from each Auxiliary advances to the State level. State first-place winners compete for their share of $5,500 in National awards. The National first-place winner is awarded a $2,500 scholarship.
Illustrating America: Students in grades K-8 can participate in this patriotic art contest that encourages a student’s artistic abilities as they express how they see America through drawings and paintings. The contest consists of three grade divisions: K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. Winners in each division receive VISA gift cards ranging in value from $25-$100. These entries should be submitted to [insert Name/Post Number] by March 31, 2024.
With our upcoming holidays and New Year’s, consider publishing an article for your Auxiliary or advertising on your local radio station. Let’s BAND TOGETHER and make HISTORY for the future of our Auxiliaries.
Just as a reminder, Department Historian & Media Relations Chairmen should capture the National President’s Official Visit and email no more than 10 of them to National within two weeks of the visit. Also, send me a PowerPoint presentation with a minimum of five photos of the National President during her visit to your Department; include clear (not blurry) photos that tell a story. Submit it on a thumb drive and mail to me, your National Historian & Media Relations Ambassador, by April 30, 2024.
The PowerPoint from each Department will be combined into a single presentation and shown at the National Convention. A copy of the single presentation will be presented to the National President to keep.