Let’s continue to communicate our great work

The American Legion has completed another inspiring Washington Conference while many departments have organized educational spring conferences. These both represent great opportunities for NALPA members to share these successes in their local communities.

For example, if a post member met with a congressional representative during Washington Conference, a letter to the editor of your local newspaper would be appropriate. Of course, you can also share a photo of the meeting on your post’s, district’s and/or department’s newsletter and/or social media.

During Washington Conference, NALPA Executive Director Pat Rourk and the staff from the Media and Communications Division recruited 20 new members, bringing the current total to 140 above where we were last year at this time. Our membership is growing. Let’s keep it moving forward!

Rourk and staff members also handed out flyers touting the social media push for appeals modernization and shared what NALPA is doing. NALPA leadership also met with staff members to discuss plans for the rest of this membership year that included our NALPA Annual Awards Program (which by the way is free to submit your entries).

I was fortunate to have National Commander Charles E. Schmidt attend the Department of Virginia’s Spring Conference, which was held in Virginia Beach. Schmidt shared stories from his travels to over 30 departments and more than 130 posts since he became national commander. A highlight of his Virginia trip was the Walk for Veterans, during which about 25 Legion Family members, including myself, braved the 34-degree weather. These events not only symbolize the Legion’s dedication to taking strong steps to improve the lives of veterans, they represent potential positive media that NALPA members should be striving to promote. It’s up to us to build awareness of the great things the Legion does in all of our communities.

Events and stories like these are exactly what NALPA and especially your Department’s Press Association is all about. We need to continue to share our events and all of the veterans outreach we are doing. We need to continue to let our key influencers know we are here to promote, market and share through our association’s website, our social network platforms and quarterly newsletters.

As we move toward spring, our youth programs — the Oratorical Contest, American Legion Baseball, Boys State and Nation, and others — will take center stage. These are great programs that allow us to generate positive coverage for our organization.

Let’s continue to communicate the great things the Legion Family does throughout the year!