NALPA executive director: Gaining momentum

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s celebration and is sprinting into the new year. I’m sure you’ve recognized that NALPA is ready and has already undergone a significant change from a year ago. But, we cannot do it all alone. We need you to keep the fires burning, the printers humming and the social media buzzing! We all need to remember that we exist as communicators to get the good word out about what The American Legion is all about.

Membership Membership Membership. Please take out your membership card and look at the expiration date. If it doesn’t say 2016 or Life Member, you are not current. We had quite a few members who had to scramble to get their membership up to date to enter the Media Contest last year. There is no change for this year – you will again have to provide a copy of your membership card to enter the contest. Besides not being able to enter the contest, you will be unable to enter the new members-only part of our website that will roll out soon. So please renew when you can. The new membership or renewal application is on page 7.

Logo. I hope you noted the rebranded logo for NALPA. We have been working on this project for over a year. "Member" publications (if your post is a member) can request a copy of the logo for inclusion on print and/or digital publications. Send me an email with a request.

Pins. At the Washington Conference, I will have NALPA pins with the new logo for sale. The price for pins will now be $5 in person and $7.50 each via mail. Postage rates have increased so much that 1-ounce small mailers now cost $2.54 to mail. So unfortunately there will be a price increase for pins by mail. Moral of the story – purchase your pin(s) at the Washington Conference or National Convention and save $2.50. That will save us a few cents as well.

Media Contest. We are nearing this year’s Media Contest. During the NALPA Annual Meeting at National Convention in Baltimore last year, we had determined that the association should find a sponsor for the awards program to alleviate or at least lower the cost to enter the contest. While that organization has not been located yet (cost is approximately $5,000 or more depending on the number of entries) we are still working on it. In the meantime, the 2016 Media Contest entry blank is located on pages 4-5 and the fee remains at the same low price of $25. If we are successful and recruit a sponsor in time for this year’s contest, entry fees will be refunded.

General information. We will have a table on the concourse at The American Legion Washington Conference for the first time this year. If you are attending the conference, stop by and see us and the new NALPA greeting and marketing sign as well.

Last, but certainly not least, a friend wrote me just today and said he had heard a rumor that the "Public Relations Division was no more." I had to affirm his rumor as fact, but explained that a number of divisions had merged into the Marketing, Media and Communications Division within The American Legion National Headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana. For those not in the know, we now fall under their sponsorship at the National Offices. New brand, same people, same great publications and services upgraded to the 21st century in thought, deed and use of digital media.

See you soon!