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Creating PA Opportunities Presented by Julie DeBardelaben NHQ Public Affairs Lay the Foundation for Success Create a solid PA Plan that you can grow and nurture. Eliminate the There is no right or wrong plan.

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creating pa opportunities
Creating PA Opportunities

Presented by Julie DeBardelaben

NHQ Public Affairs

lay the foundation for success
Lay the Foundation for Success

Create a solid PA Plan that you can grow and nurture.

eliminate the
Eliminate the
  • There is no right or wrong plan.
  • A plan is a living document that’s meant to be constantly refined throughout the year as you learn what works and does not work for you.
follow the reg s planning model
Follow the Reg’s Planning Model
  • Step 1:Determine PA needs and opportunities.
  • Step 2:Establish goals to meet these needs.
  • Step 3:Identify ways to implement the goals.
  • Step 4:State what you hope to achieve.
your goals are predetermined
Your Goals are Predetermined

According to 190-1:

  • External:Develop goals and initiatives that emphasize CAP’s importance in performing its three congressionally mandated missions.
  • Internal:Develop strategies that emphasize CAP’s importance, member recognition, retention and encouragement of member participation in unit/wing/region/national activities and training.
listen to your leaders
Listen to Your Leaders

Here’s the top goals your region PAOs recommend you target in your first year of planning:

1. Issue 2-3 releases with photos per month to local and internal media.

2. Publish an informative newsletter.

3. Develop and maintain an informative Web site.

4. Conduct a community outreach event every year.

putting it all together
Putting It All Together

Goal 1: Promote CAP to external audiences

News releases


Web site

Community outreach

putting it all together8
Putting It All Together

Goal 2: Promote CAP to internal audiences

News releases


Web site

Community outreach

a basic pa plan
A Basic PA Plan

Goal 1: Promote CAP to external audiences

A. Develop and implement media strategies designed to attract maximum publicity.

1. Promote coverage of significant newsworthy events by disseminating news releases to local media platforms on an ongoing basis.

2. Utilize the unit newsletter and Web site to publicize success stories and the latest news information.

3. Plan and implement at least one special event annually that promotes CAP in the community.

a basic plan
A Basic Plan

Goal 2: Promote CAP to internal audiences

B. Identify strategies designed to recognize, motivate and retain members.

1. Identify media platforms for disseminating news releases publicizing members’ achievements.

2. Utilize the unit newsletter and Web site to publicize members’ achievements, the value and significance of CAP’s missions for America and upcoming training


the kiss syndrome
The KISS Syndrome

Always begin by keeping your plan simple.

Then, add to it as needs and opportunities arise.

gauging your success
Gauging Your Success

1.News releases


3.Web site

4.Community outreach

don t get stuck in a rut
Don’t Get Stuck in a Rut

Be on the alert for new ideas:

  • CAP PAO Listserv
  • Learn from example and mentoring … what worked

and what didn’t

  • Use of blogs
  • Use of social media
  • Use of video
  • “Out of the box” story ideas
  • Links to online newsletters

steal er borrow from your neighbors
Steal … er “Borrow” from Your Neighbors

Study well-written PA plans

  • PA plans on the CAP PA page
  • CAP Public Awareness Plan
  • Air Education and Training Command’s

Communication Campaign Plan

keepin up with the joneses
Keepin’ Up with the Joneses

Ideas from the Arizona Wing:

  • Give CAP memberships as awards or thank-you gifts.
  • Post nationally produced posters/flyers.
  • Invite VIPs to meetings as guest speakers.
  • Make a CAP squadron presentation at one middle school and one high school annually.
  • Present a quarterly podcast of CAP information.
ideas from the new jersey wing
Ideas from the New Jersey Wing
  • Distribute articles, photos and video to media outlets

at McGuire AFB and Fort Dix – a rich resource for future


  • Post video and photo coverage of wing special events

on the Web site at

  • Organize meetings with emergency service providers to

present CAPabilities to the public.

ideas from cap s public awareness plan
Ideas from CAP’s Public Awareness Plan
  • Secure local TV coverageat

least once per year.

  • Speak at local civic clubs, schools

and community-based gatherings at

least three times a year.

  • Develop relationships with local groups that have a

natural affinity for patriotism, civic duty, aerospace

education, leadership development and service to


  • Developa welcome system when active members

move to another city or state.

ideas from air education and training command
Ideas from Air Educationand Training Command

Media Engagements: TV, radio, print, roundtables, editorial boards, op eds

Internal Engagements: Commander’s calls, conferences, briefings, podcasts, letters

Civic Engagements: Academic institutions, civic clubs/organizations, chambers of commerce, industry/business organizations, public events

more from aetc
More from AETC …
  • Identify opportunities to highlight the unit’s training

mission and the quality of Airmen undergoing training.

  • Identify and plan opportunities to

highlight Airmen’s deployment experiences.

  • Package “Portraits of Courage” stories;

make available online.

  • Identify and plan opportunities to

highlight Airmen’s deployment experiences.

  • Equip and inspire internal audiences to

serve as ambassadors.

  • Develop and implement annual “Day in the Life” of AETC communications campaign.
nhq s online resources
NHQ’s Online Resources

CAP PAO Toolkit

Anniversary planning Annual report BiographiesCAP NHQ PA staff contact sheetCivil Air Patrol VolunteerFact sheetsGrant writing, fundraising guidesGraphicsInstructional videosMedia relationsNews writing tipsPA planning guidelinesPAO checklistPress releasesRegulationsSubmission guidelines

nhq s online resources21
NHQ’s Online Resources

Internal Communications

  • PA Essentials-- the blog of National Headquarters Public Affairs
  • CAP News Online-- the latest news about Civil Air Patrol
    • Final Salutes
    • Awards and Decorations
    • Submission guidelines
    • Submit news
nhq s online resources23
NHQ’s Online Resources


  •'s multimedia resource
  • What Makes

a Good Photo and Video

  • National Cadet

Special Activities Photo Gallery

ideas from the pao checklist
Ideas from the PAO Checklist

Community activities to consider include:

(1) Operate information booths at community events.

(2) Support and assist Children’s Hospital programs.

(3) Support and assist community’s senior citizens programs.

  • 3. Media Relations Program

c. E-mail news articles and photos of unit activities to local, state, regional and national media as appropriate; include niche publications targeting

pilots, aviation enthusiasts, teachers, etc.

a surefire strategy for securing publicity
A Surefire Strategy for Securing Publicity

Hometown News Release Program


2-5 2009 Annual Conference and National Board Meeting,

San Antonio, Tex. Information


17-24 National Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

17-25 Red Ribbon Week, nationwide  


1 CAP's 68th anniversary, nationwide  Updated anniversary guide

12 Wreaths Across America, nationwide Information

2010 February

25-27 Winter National Board, Washington, D.C.                   

newsletter links
Newsletter Links
  • Great Lakes Region Newsletters
  • Great Lakes Region News
  • Illinois Wing News Blog
  • Indiana Wing
  • Wisconsin Wing
  • Ohio Wing
  • Middle East Region Newsletters
  • Maryland Wing
  • NC Wing's Asheville Composite Squadron
  • National Capital Wing
  • North Carolina Wing
  • South Carolina Wing
  • SC Wing's Spartanburg Composite Squadron
  • West Virginia Wing
  • Delaware Wing
cap websites
CAP Websites

Great Lakes Region

Illinois WingBlog

IL Wing, Palwaukee Composite SquadronBlog

Indiana WingNewsletter

Kentucky Wing

Michigan WingTwitterFacebook

Michigan Wing, Van Dyke Cadet Squadron

Ohio Wing News

Ohio Wing, Xenia Cadet Squadron

Wisconsin WingNews

WI Wing, Fox Cities Composite Squadron

WI Wing, Timmerman Composite Squadron

Middle East Region

Delaware WingNewsletter

Maryland WingTwitterNews

MD Wing, Group 3Twitter

National Capitol WingBlog

NatCap Wing's Fairfax Composite Squadron

NatCap Wing's Mount Vernon Composite Squadron

North Carolina Wing

learning from other sites
Learning from Other Sites

Website in a Box Link

  • This site is a series of templates that you can modify using any HTML editor such as FrontPage.
  • For the photo gallery we suggest using a free online album such as Picasa or other services.
  • The banner graphics were created using PowerPoint. and the template is part of the WSB Zip File.
ncr pao academy
NCR PAO Academy


2009 NCR Public Affairs Academy HandoutsNew PAO's Orientation - 2009_06_pa/0.0  new_pao_orientation_20090226.pdfBrand Ambassador by Julie DeBardelaben - 2009_06_pa/1.2 brand ambassador.pdfPlanning - 2009_06_pa/1.3 pa_planning_handout_20090611.pdfPress Release Basics - 2009_06_pa/2.2 releases.pdfNewsletter Basics - 2009_06_pa/3.2 News_letter_basics.pdfWebsite Best Practices - 2009_06_pa/4.0 web sites.pdfPA on the Cheap (PA Resources) - 2009_06_pa/4.2 pabon_on_the_cheap.pdfCommunity Outreach - 2009_06_pa/5.1 Community Outreach.pdfProfessional Development for the PAO - 2009_06_pa/17.1 pd.pdfPreparing for the IG - 2009_06_pa/19.1 ig.pdfCrisis Communications for PAO's - 2009_06_pa/19.3 crisis comm.pdf

nhq s resource store
NHQ’s Resource Store

A new soon-to-be-introduced online resource featuring our own PAOs’ best resources

don t forget the need for training
Don’t Forget the Need for Training!

CAP PAO Academies sponsored nationwide

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)

International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)

Society of Professional Journalists

National Information Officers Association (NIOA)

National Press Club

Florida Public Relations Association

FEMA IS-250 and IS-702

always keep up your antenna
Always Keep Up Your Antenna

Great ideas unfold before

you every day


What you read

Who you socialize with

Work-related projects