South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary


Public Relations


Public Relations Action Plan

Debra MacDonald

 Public Relations Chairman

                                      24195 Alkan Ln                                      

Hermosa, SD  57744


Thank you for allowing me to be your 2017-2018 Public Relations Chairman. I look forward to hearing about all you, as members, and your units do throughout the coming year around South Dakota. Remember to “Ring Your Bell” for the American Legion Auxiliary. Let your area newspaper, South Dakota media, and National know what you are doing to serve the Veterans, Active Military personnel, their families, children & youth, and the communities. I would also like to encourage you to collect and send any newspaper articles and other public relation material, highlighting your activities, for the Department Public Relations Press Book to me. I am also conducting the “Ring Your Bell for Veterans” Unit Press Book competition again this year. I would love to see more units participate in this event.

Promoting President Elvira’s theme this year:

“Thanks to Our Veterans, Freedom Rings in South Dakota”

What is this program, and why do we have it?

Public Relations promotes who the American Legion Auxiliary is, what the Auxiliary does, and why the Auxiliary matters.

National American Legion Auxiliary Purpose Statement: To promote, publicize, and re-educate the general public and our members about our core program values of serving veterans and their families.

Public Relations and the 2014-2019 Centennial Strategic Plan: Promoting who we are exemplifies the American Legion Auxiliary brand (Goal 5 of the Strategic Plan) and makes us appealing to potential members. They will recognize that we, as an organization, have a common goal of helping veterans, servicemembers, and their families (Goal 2 of Strategic Plan).

What can you do?

1.Promote a positive image of the American Legion Auxiliary by supporting and promoting the efforts of Goal 5 of the Centennial Strategic Plan. The essence of this plan is to “Build Brand Loyalty with the American Legion”. You may also make use of the wide variety of public relations materials and resources available online at


            For members:

  •  Give an Auxiliary magazine gift subscription to your local library and local doctor/dentist’s offices.
  •  Distribute American Legion Auxiliary brochures and posters in the community at local events, libraries, medical facilities, and your post home. Print brochures from the Member Resources section at  or order them from your department secretary.
  • Wear your officially branded American Legion Auxiliary apparel / pins and “Honoring Their Service” button when out and about in public. Button order forms are available at 
  •  Be prepared to answer when asked who the American Legion Auxiliary is, what you do in your South Dakota community, and why the Auxiliary matters.


           For Unit:

  • Develop a list of local media contacts for your unit to use. You can find step-by-step instructions included in the Public Relations Guide and Tips for Volunteer Recruitment handbook, available in Marketing & Promotional Materials in the Member Resources section at Familiarize your unit with this handy media aid.
  • Build a relationship with your local media (newspaper, radio station, and TV stations) and political figures to educate them on who we are, what we do, and why we matter as we strive to help Veterans across the state. 
  •  Write a letter to the editor and/or news release for patriotic holidays and events. If you do not have a local newspaper in your area, go ahead and put up flyers announcing the event that you are sponsoring.
  • Order a copy of the “Step Up, ALA” public service announcement DVD ($10) to take to your local television stations and request they air it, or request a free 15-second version for your public broadcasting station. To order the 60-second version DVD or request the 15-second version, email 


2. Build brand loyalty of the American Legion Auxiliary through the utilization and promotion of websites, social media, and other electronic communications.            


              For members:

  •   Subscribe to ALA eNews and In the Know eBulletin via 
  •   Promote Auxiliary events on your personal social media account (ie: Facebook)
  •   Link to  and/or the ALA Step Up commercial in your personal email signature.


            For unit:

  •   Create and actively maintain a unit website that adheres to brand standards. Be familiar with “Department Website Best Practices” available in the American Legion Auxiliary Branding Guide at 
  •   Create and maintain an active social media presence for your unit on one or more platforms that you are comfortable with (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)


Reporting Member and Unit Public Relations Activities:

It is very important to report all PR activities that your unit does in the community. Every time that you put an Auxiliary item in the newspaper, Auxiliary pictures in the newspaper, enter Auxiliary news on Facebook, etc., you should be recording this activity. Be proud of who you are, what you do, and why you matter as an Auxiliary member and unit.

Mid-Year Reports Due:

            Units to District Presidents                                November 15, 2017

            District President’s to Dept. Chair                      December 1, 2017

            Dept. Chair to Dept. President and

            National Div. Chair                                             December 15, 2017


Year End Reports Due:


            Units to District Presidents                                April 15, 2018

            District President’s to Dept. Chair                      May 1, 2018

            Dept. Chair to Dept. President and

            National Div. Chair                                            May 15, 2018


Remember: Mid -Year reports include activities from April 1, 2017, to November 1, 2017, and Year End Reports include all activities from April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2018

Questions to consider when filling out reports:

  • ·       How did your ALA Unit use social media (ie: Facebook, Twitter, Website) to promote your activities for Veterans, Children/Youth, Community, etc?
  • ·       How did your ALA Unit use local media (ie: newspaper, radio, TV) to promote your activities for Veterans, Children/Youth, Community, etc?
  • ·       Do you promote the American Legion Auxiliary by wearing branded ALA apparel, Auxiliary emblem patch, and/or “Honoring Their Service” buttons?
  • ·       Does your ALA Unit send letters /news releases/ pictures to your local newspaper to promote Patriotic holidays and events?
  • ·       Did your ALA Unit distribute posters to local businesses / public places to inform the community of upcoming ALA and Patriotic events?
  • ·       Does your ALA Unit display ALA posters/ banners/ brochures when you set up a table / booth in public places?


Public Relation Forms:

The following Public Relations information forms may be found on the South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary website; (Look at the Public Relations page under the American Legion Auxiliary emblem on lower left side of page.)

  • ·         How to write a news release
  • ·         Utilizing Facebook and Twitter
  • ·         How to set up a Unit Website
  • ·         Auxiliary Magazine Gift Subscription form

You will find these information forms under the Auxiliary Emblem on the lower left- hand side of the Public Relations page.


Please utilize the American Legion Auxiliary Facebook page. Log onto your Facebook account and then type South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary in the search bar. It will pop up. If you are not a member of the South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary group, you may request to join. The Facebook page is a media forum to communicate / share positive information/pictures regarding American Legion Auxiliary news / happenings from your unit, the Department of South Dakota, and sharing National American Legion Auxiliary posts. This is not a forum for debates and/or negative posts.

Thank you for all that you do,

Debra MacDonald – Dept. Public Relations Chairman