Public relations the lifeblood of a squadron
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Public Relations: The Lifeblood of a Squadron . P/C Debra Allen, P [email protected] What’s Expected. Establish a committee (don’t try this alone!) Handle Promotions Free Publicity Advertisements Public Events Be on point for media coverage

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Public relations the lifeblood of a squadron

Public Relations:The Lifeblood of a Squadron

P/C Debra Allen, [email protected]

Updated for D/26 PRO’s19 March 2005


What s expected

What’s Expected

  • Establish a committee (don’t try this alone!)

    • Handle Promotions

      • Free Publicity

      • Advertisements

    • Public Events

      • Be on point for media coverage

    • Anything that enhances the public image and tells the story of USPS®and the squadron


Job specifics

Job Specifics

  • Publish dates, locations and other information about squadron’s civic services

  • Help develop special promotion plans for the squadron’s other major events

  • Publicize the public boating courses


The process

The Process

  • Plan

  • Chart a course of action

  • Plan

  • Develop time tables

  • Plan

  • Implement

  • Evaluate the results to improve future planning


Define your goals

Define Your Goals

  • What do you want to achieve?

    • Recruit students for Boat Smart®

    • Increase membership

    • Create pride in your squadron

  • What are you marketing/selling?

    • Squadron boating course

    • Squadron event

    • Squadron civic service


Define your audience

Define Your Audience

  • Who are you trying to reach with your message

    • Squadron members

    • Non-member boaters

    • General public


Reaching your audience

Reaching Your Audience

  • Identify best medium to use

    • Where does your audience getits news

  • What is competing with yourmessage

    • USCG Auxiliary’s boating course

    • Family obligations

    • Other issues


Ways to reach your audience

Ways to Reach Your Audience

  • News Releases

  • Public Service Announcements

  • Listserv

  • Websites

  • Billboards

  • Banners

  • Brochures

  • Advertisements


Resources

Resources

  • Borrow successful ideas from others—in USPS, or not

  • Work with the outgoing PRO; bringthe incoming PRO up to speed

  • Create a local media guide to passon to future PRO’s

  • Call the District PRO for help, ideas,insight, referral to others


Communicating the message

Communicating the Message

  • Prepare materials

    • Appropriate materials directed to the right medium

  • Distribute materials

    • Timely release of information

    • Know deadlines

  • Personal follow up

    • Don’t irritate reporters, but don’t just mail your material and forget it


Beyond buying advertising

Beyond Buying Advertising

  • Lake Hartwell grew pride in its squadron and public attention with its fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House

  • Lake Murray places Boat Smart® registration brochures at marinas and other boating-related businesses


Free publicity

Free Publicity

  • Leaflets in billing envelopes

  • Speaking engagements at local civic clubs—be sure to take handouts or registration forms for your boating class

  • Vessel Safety Check is a great vehicle for promoting your image


Evaluation

Evaluation

  • Did you achieve your goal

  • What went right

  • What went wrong

  • Did you have adequate help

  • Did you have adequate time

  • Did you have adequate budget


Speaking of budgets

Speaking of Budgets

  • Cooperative Advertising Program

    • Allots $1 per active member

    • Reimburses at 50% of each dollarspent

    • Time frame: qualified activities must take place between 1 November and 3 October

  • Only 7 D/26 squadrons participated in 2004, up from 4 in 2003


How to get free money

How to Get Free Money

  • Complete and return to D/26 PRO Form NPR102S—the squadron planning form for cooperative advertising

  • Keep records

    • Receipts, invoices

    • Description of activity

    • Proof of activity

      • Photos, tear sheets of ads, etc


Deadline for free

Deadline for Free $$$

  • Checks mailed twice a year

    • Requests prior to 1 August

      • D/26 PRO must get request by 11 Julyto process in time to mail to Nationalon 25 July

    • Final deadline: 1 November

      • D/26 PRO must get request by 10 Octoberto process in time to mail to Nationalon 24 October


Who got free

Who Got Free $$$

  • Lake Hartwell submitted in time to receive an August check in 2003

  • In 2003, final submission deadline was met by:

    • Beaufort Power Squadron

    • Lake Murray Power Squadron

    • Savannah River Power Squadron

  • A 5th squadron submitted, but without proper documentation failed to bring home free $$$


Unclaimed free

Unclaimed Free $$$

  • Only a small percentage of districts used all the available free $$$

  • D/26 left $162 unclaimed in 2003

  • D/26 pro-rates allocation basedon membership of squadron

  • Magic 2005 membership date is:1 March 2004


What qualifies for free

What Qualifies for Free $$$

  • Radio/TV advertising (don’t overlook cable TV) or print advertising in newspapers, magazines, tabloids, shoppers or other publications that have local or regional circulation


What qualifies for free1

What Qualifies for Free $$$

  • Printed material such as flyers, letters, posters, or other printed items that are posted in community locations, circulated by direct mail or made available for distributionin another fashion such as handouts at a boat show


What qualifies for free2

What Qualifies for Free $$$

  • Direct mailings, telephone information lines, yellow page listings, and other mass media advertising


What qualifies for free3

What Qualifies for Free $$$

  • Billboards, banners, signs that promote the boating courses, your squadron's and USPS's image at gas docks or launch ramps and other materials displayed in the outdoor areas of communities 


What qualifies for free4

What Qualifies for Free $$$

  • Fabricated displays that promote the boating courses, your squadron or USPS

  • Such displays might be used for boating classes, boat shows, parades, shopping mall displays, local festivals and other activities 


What qualifies for free5

What Qualifies for Free $$$

  • Materials used to produce advertising to promote the public boating courses or the image of USPS on a district or regional basis

  • Several squadrons may work together on projects with reimbursement of funds shared by the squadrons involved


What qualifies for free6

What Qualifies for Free $$$

  • Expenses such as labor for billboard installation or expense associated with installing signs, building floats, decorating boats for parades etc. 


What doesn t qualify

What Doesn’t Qualify

  • Equipment purchases

  • Food

  • Squadron member-wearing apparelsuch as hats, shirts

  • Education expenses


Special note

Special Note

  • Visual displays, audio, and printed material should include, some or all of the following information:

    • Squadron name  

    • Telephone number of a squadron contact 

    • USPS toll free number, 1-888-FOR-USPS (1-888-367-8777) 

    • Details of the next class, including where and when 

    • The USPS logo or the name spelled out—remember that both require the use of the (registered mark)  "®“ on first reference


Charting the course

Promote Boating Course

Plan 1

Execute Plan 1

Plan 2

Promote Safe Boating Week & Your Squadron

Execute Plan 2

Milestone: Members Gained

Milestone: Name Recognition Gained

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

July

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Charting the Course

  • Remember: like charting a cruise,one must chart a public relationsplan to achieve success


Questions

Questions

  • Are there questions

  • Does anyone have a success story to share

  • Before you leave provide me thename, address, phone number and e-mail address of your squadron PRO and Commander


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