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GRAND LODGE PUBLIC RELATIONS & MEDIA TOOL KIT

 

 

Table of Contents

 

1 – MANUAL – AIMS, GOALS & PROGRAMS

          GL Public Relations Aims, Goals & Programs 2009-2010

 

2 – MANUAL – PUBLIC RELATIONS & MEDIA HANDBOOK

            PR and Media Handbook

 

3 – MANUAL – PUBLIC RELATIONS BASICS

            Public Relations Basics -  Word Document

 

4 – MANUAL – PUBLIC RELATIONS EVENT PLANNING

            Public Relations Event Planning – Word Document

 

5 – MANUAL – STEPS TO A PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGN

            Steps to a Public Relations Campaign – Word Document

 

6 – MANUAL – GLPR DISTRICT CHAIRMAN INSTRUCTIONS

            Public Relations planning & implementation on a District level – Word Document

 

7 - DUTIES

            District duties 2009-2010 – Word Document

            Lodge duties 2009-2010 – Word Document

 

8 – www.elks.org USER MANUAL

            User manual for www.elks.org with instructions & suggestions – Adobe pdf Format

 

9 – BANNERS & SIGNS

          Public Relations Motto - Word Document

Elk Banner Higher Visibility - Word Document

            Elk Banner New Heights - Word Document

            Elk Banner Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Leaders - Adobe pdf Format

            Elk Banner Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Leaders - Word Document

            Elks Bumper Sticker – My Pictures

Elks Care Elks Share Veterans Sign - Adobe pdf Format

Veterans, Elks Care, Elks Share - Adobe pdf Format

           

10 – ELK’S TOASTS

          A Toast to Our Absent Brothers

            The 11 O’Clock Toast

            The Eleventh Hour

            The Original Jolly Corks Toast

            To Our Absent Brothers

Toast to Our Veterans

 

11 – ELK’S LOGOS

          Various Elk’s logos including ENF & “Elks Care – Elks Share” – opens in My Pictures

            Elk’s Emblem Usage Guide -  Adobe .pdf file

 

12 – OUR HISTORY & INFO OF THE ORDER

            Elks – About Us – Word Document

            Elks – Charles Vivian - Word Document

John F. Kennedy – membership record – Windows Document

San Francisco ElksWindows Media Player

The Jolly Corks & the cork trick –  Adobe pdf file

The Jolly Corks, the cork trick, the death of Charles Vivian – Word Document

The Origins of the BPOE – Word Document

 

13 – POWER POINT PRESENTATIONS (all are in Power Poiint Presentation format)

            ENF Programs Presentation

Maine Elks Association PR Presentation 1 

Maine Elks Association PR Presentation 2 

Maine Elks Association PR Presentation 3

Maine Elks Association PR Presentation 4

Maine Elks Association PR Presentation 5

            Public Relations v.2

            Using the Media presentation

            Utah Elks Power Point – Utah Elks

            Wings – I’m Alive

           

14 – SPIRIT OF OUR FLAG

            A Tribute to Our Flag – Word Document

            Lucky To Be An American – Windows Media Player

            Colors – Power Point

            Flag Video - Windows Media Player

God Bless the USA - Windows Media Player

Greatest Play In Baseball – Windows Media Player

            I Am the Flag of the United StatesWord Document

            I Pledge Allegiance by Red Skelton – Word Document

            Star Spangled Banner -  Windows Media Player

            Taps – Windows Media Player

            Vet’s Coffee Ad – Windows Document

            Video – Flag Sky Dive – Windows Document

           

15 – MEDIA CONTACTS

            Folder – Radio Contacts

                                    Radio Media Contacts – Excel Format

Radio Contact Headquarters – Word Document

            Folder – Television Contacts

                                    Public Service Access Channels – Excel Format

                                    TV Media Contacts – Excel Format

            Newspapers – Daily – Excel Format

            Newspapers – Daily Spanish – Excel Format

            Newspapers – Weekly – Excel Format

            Newspapers – Weekly Black – Excel Format

            Newspapers – Weekly Spanish – Excel Format

                                   

16 – TIPS, IDEAS & SAMPLES

          An Evening with the Elks - Word Document

Donate Elks Magazine – Adobe pdf Format

          Elk’s Magazine Submission guidelines – Adobe pdf Format

Elks Miracle Plunge publicity – Windows Media Player

            GL Newspaper guidelines – Word Document

            GLPR Methods of Promotion – Word Document

            Major Methods of Advertising – Word Document

            Sample Lodge Newsletter - Adobe pdf Format

Sample PR flyer for a State Association meeting.pub – Microsoft Publisher

Sample PR Tri-folder Brochure 2008.pub – Microsoft Publisher

Sample Utah PR flyer Fall Meeting – Word Document

Top Ten Things Newspaper Editors Want – Word Document

UEA PR Brochure – Microsoft Publisher

 

17 – PUBLIC RELATIONS POWER POINT SEMINARS (all are in Power Point Presentation format)

            PR Presentation 1 – Power Point

PR Presentation 2 – Power Point

PR Presentation 3 – Power Point

PR Presentation 4 – Power Point

PR Presentation 5 – Power Point

UEA PR Brochure – Microsoft Publisher

 

18 – SEMINARS & WORKSHOPS

            PR Presentation – Area 1 – Power Point

PR Presentation – Sample – Power Point

 

19 – PRESS RELEASE INFO & EXAMPLES

            Elks Prototype Ad - Adobe pdf Format

            New Style ENF MVS Press Release - Adobe pdf Format

            News Release Tips - Word Document

            Press Release – Elk ENF MVS 2008 News Release - Word Document

            Press Release – National Essay Contest 2007 - Word Document

            Press Release – Top Winners News Release – PR Version 1 - Word Document

            Press Release – Checklist Summary - Word Document

            Press Release – Marvel Comics - Word Document

            Press Release – Louisiana Hurricane - Word Document

            Public Relations English Usage Rules - Word Document

 

20 – AWARDS AND CITATIONS

          Special Media Citation, No. 1 – ­Word Document

            Special Media Citation, No. 2 – Word Document

            GL PR Awards Template – Word Document

 

21 – AMERICANISM

          Americanism Tri Fold Pamphlet – Adobe pdf Format

 

22 – DICTIONARY PROJECT (all are in Word Document format)

            Dictionary Labels

            Dictionary Project Camarillo Heights

            Dictionary Project Ladera

            Dictionary Project San Cayetano

            Pictures of Dictionary Projects – opens in My Pictures

 

23 -  Elks Lodges Numerically Listed – all known Lodges – Word Document

 

Am the Flag of the
United States of America


I am the flag of the United States of America.
My name is Old Glory.
I fly atop the world's tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America's halls of justice.
I fly majestically over institutions of learning.
I stand guard with power in the world.
Look up and see me.

I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice.
I stand for freedom.
I am confident.
I am arrogant.
I am proud.
When I am flown with my fellow banners,
My head is a little higher,
My colors a little truer.
I bow to no one!
I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshipped - I am saluted.
I am loved - I am revered.
I am respected - and I am feared.


I have fought in every battle of every war for more then 200 years. I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Shiloh and Appomattox.
I was there at San Juan Hill, the trenches of France,
in the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome and the beaches of Normandy.
Guam, Okinawa, Korea and KheSan, Saigon, Vietnam know me.
I'm presently in the mountains of Afganistan and the hot and dusty deserts of Iraq and wherever freedom is needed.
I led my troops, I was dirty, battleworn and tired,
But my soldiers cheered me and I was proud.
I have been burned, torn and trampled on the streets of countries I have helped set free.
It does not hurt for I am invincible.
I have been soiled upon, burned, torn and trampled in the streets of my country.
And when it's done by those Whom I've served in battle - it hurts.
But I shall overcome - for I am strong.
I have slipped the bonds of Earth and stood watch over the uncharted frontiers of space from my vantage point on the moon.
I have borne silent witness to all of America's finest hours.
But my finest hours are yet to come.
When I am torn into strips and used as bandages for my wounded comrades on the battlefield,
When I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier,
Or when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving parent
at the grave of their fallen son or daughter,

I am proud.


Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks

 

 

ORIGIN:

Founded in New York City in 1868 by 15 entertainers. Membership embraced other professions in ensuing years.

 

 

PURPOSES:

This fraternal order was founded “To promote and practice the four cardinal virtues of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its members; to quicken the spirit of American Patriotism and cultivate good fellowship.”

 

 

WHO WE ARE:

The Order of Elks is a non-political, non-sectarian and strictly American fraternity.  Membership in the Order is by invitation of a member in good standing. One must be an American citizen, believe in God, be of good moral character and at least 21 years old.  There are nearly a million members today in over 2,100 community Lodges.

 

 

WHAT WE DO:

The Order, along with our local Lodges, donates approximately $200 million every year in cash, gifts and time to make our communities better places to live.  The programs involve assistance to children with disabilities as well as physical and occupational therapy programs for adults.  We support Scouting, athletic teams and countless other youth programs.

 

Through the Elks National Foundation, established in 1928, we grant college scholarships, and administer the Elks National “Hoop Shoot” free throw contest involving 3.5 million children annually as well as a national “Soccer Shoot.”  The youth of our country have always been important to us. 

 

For this reason the Elks Drug Awareness Education Program was launched to warn primary grade students and their parents of the dangers of drug abuse.  Over 4 million pieces of free “drug awareness” literature are distributed each year.  One of the newest programs provides teachers and students in grades 4 through 8 with “SPIDER-MAN and the FANTASTIC FOUR” drug awareness comic books and lesson plans entitled “Hard Choices.”  The material has also been made available on-line via www.elks.org.  This has been accomplished in partnership with MARVEL Comics.

 

 

Further, the Elks have adopted the Dictionary Program focused on the nations 3rd Graders by providing students in the classrooms with their own personalized students reference; for most their very first book.

 

We still honor America’s heroes as we continue serving our nation’s veterans.  Every Lodge observes Flag Day on June 14th.  This Elks tradition began in 1907 and was later adopted by the Congress of the United States as a national observance.


 

Charles Algernon Sidney Vivian

Most Elks know the story of the birth of the Elks – or at least the official story – but, in uncovering the actual facts, there’s a lesson to be learned on the true meaning of Elkdom.

 

Charles Algernon Sidney Vivian was an accomplished musical variety star when he landed in New York in 1867. He specialized in comic songs and funny stories and had begun to build a repertoire of stage roles from Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas. In the course of making new friends and contacts in and out of theatrical circles, Vivian introduced the “Cork Trick” to his latest acquaintances. All would be given a cork that each would place upon the bar. The last to pick up his cork, it was explained, would be stuck for the next round of drinks. At the signal, all hands would dart forward but only the one not in on the joke would actually pick up his cork making him the first but also the last to do so. The next round was on him as he would then look around for the newest mark to be initiated into the Brotherhood of the Jolly Corks. (B.P.O.E., p. 13)

 

When this group would gather to socialize, most often on Sundays when New York’s blue laws effectively closed the city down, they would often hear of one of their own being out of work or ill or having died. Vivian’s response to this was to suggest that the group meet more formally and regularly as a benevolent society. Thus, after meetings and discussions, was the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks born. Vivian was elected its first leader; Right Honorable Primo, presided over its earliest meetings, helped created its ritual, initiated a number of brothers into the First Degree of the Order and was presented a magnificent gold badge by the fledgling Order. (Detweiler, p. 15-18) (B.P.O.E., p. 24)

 

Soon after, however, a serious disagreement arose over eligibility for membership. Vivian felt strongly that all American males over the age of 21 years should be eligible; others felt that prospective members must be associated with the theatrical professions. When Vivian left New York to meet his theatrical obligations for a tour in Philadelphia, the matter had not been resolved but the date of the Order’s first fundraising benefit had been set for June 8, 1868. (Detweiler, p. 15)

 

Upon his return to New York and looking forward to performing, Vivian was infuriated to find that his name appeared nowhere in the program or posters for the benefit. Moreover, in dozens of advertisements in the New York Herald, the event was being called a “Colossal Minstrel Festival” (Vivian never appeared in blackface) offered by the “Performer’s Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.” (New York Herald – June 2-8, 1868) (B.P.O.E., p. 24,25)

 

 

At the June 14, 1868 meeting, Vivian made his objections known on the floor of the Lodge where an attempt was made to expel him from the Order. The protests of his friends and supporters were so strong that the meeting closed with no action having been taken on the question. (Detweiler, p. 16)

 

At the next week’s meeting, when Vivian’s closest friends and supporters attempted to enter the Lodge room, they found that the secret password for entry had been changed and that only those in opposition to Vivian had been given the new password. When questioned as to how this situation had come to pass, George F. McDonald, the newly elected Right Honorable Primo, replied that in the future none but theatrical professionals would be admitted into the Order. Soon thereafter, without notice of accusation; without trial or opportunity of defense, Vivian and eight of his closest allies were notified of their expulsion from the Order. (Detweiler, pp. 16-17)

 

Vivian, embarrassed and embittered, never sought admission to or associated with the Elks again – or so the story goes. (Detweiler, p. 16)

 

What would turn some of his former friends into such petty and vindictive enemies? Was it due to personal or professional jealousy? Charles Algernon Sidney Vivian was an incredibly attractive man. Never short of admirers among women, men had also sought his company. He had a well deserved reputation for being fun-loving and loyal. And it seemed to be so easy for him. His professional talents were such that, over the course of his career, his billing progressed from “Charlie Vivian” to “The Only Vivian” and “The Great Vivian.” Stores sold Vivian hats, Vivian collars and Vivian ties. His songsters, small bound collections of his most popular songs and stories, were available at all the best bookstalls. The sheet music for his most popular hits sold for .30 a piece or fans could purchase a copy with Vivian’s actual photo glued to the cover for .10 more. This at a time when a dime could buy three loaves of bread. In an obituary of Vivian, the Chicago Times of March 26, 1880, wrote, “No man in the profession had so wide a circle of admiring and warmly attached friends…..No man’s company was ever sought with more eagerness, or more thoroughly enjoyed….at once a brilliant humorist, a man of feeling, a scholar, a wit.” (Sketch - p. 71) Does this sound like a man who, when his feelings were hurt, would, embittered and angry, turn away from friends and principles long and lovingly held?

 

But with Vivian gone only one side of the story was making the rounds and soon there were those expressing doubts as to whether Vivian deserved the title of “Founder” of the Elks at all. Committees were formed and records combed to establish, once and for all, who deserved the title of “Founder” of the Elks. Most considered the matter settled when, in 1898, Meade D. Detweiler, Grand Exalted Ruler, presented for publication, his history of the Order of Elks which found in favor of Vivian. (Detweiler, pp. 18 - 19) 

 

His detractors had lost their battle to deny Vivian the title of Founder but, in the absence of proof to the contrary, the idea that Vivian, angry, embittered and alone, never associated with the Order or members of the Elks again, would become accepted as fact and repeated by all subsequent Elk histories. But now, we know, and can prove, that Vivian was a better man and Elk than that.

 

In 1878, one of Vivian’s best friends and fellow performer, Gus Williams (the American Star Comique) demitted from New York Lodge to found the Boston Lodge of Elks, No. 10. As the Lodge was being organized, the officers selected and degrees conferred, Williams knew that the first fundraising event of the Lodge would have to be something special. Something very special indeed.

 

On Thursday, January 23, 1879, the first annual performance to benefit the charities of the Boston Lodge of Elks, No. 10 was held at the Boston Theatre. The star of the event was the Founder of the Order of Elks, the Great Vivian. The event raised $1,962, which is equivalent to more than $39,000 dollars in 2005. http://www.measuringworth.com/calculators/compare/result.php  (Boston Theatre, p. 261) More than ten years had passed since he had been illegally expelled from the Order. But the pull of friendship and loyalty, his devotion to the principles of the Order he created caused him to waste no time in helping fellow Elks raise money to help those in need.

 

Nor was Boston Lodge the only example Vivian’s continued association with the Elks. In her memoir of married life with Vivian, Imogen Holbrook Vivian writes;

 

“I very particularly recall to mind one evening during that stay in Chicago after having devoted several hours each evening at the close of his professional duties for a number of successive nights to the Elks Club, which he had previously organized there, he decided to escort me directly home from the theatre and remain, saying nothing should call him away again that evening; but just as we were comfortably seated at our supper, which had been previously ordered, a messenger arrived with a hurry call from the Lodge, urging Mr. Vivian’s immediate appearance; to which he replied that he would remain at home that evening. We had just turned out attention to the reading aloud from a book in which we were mutually interested, when a second messenger was announced with a note from the lodge with this more forcible than elegant wording: “For Heaven’s sake, Vivian, come, come quick, for we are all dead, Come quick and bring us back to life again.” Mr. Vivian appealed to me to know how to settle the matter. I said very generously, “Go.” And thus ended our pleasant evening at home. Sketch - Pp. 68-69

 

Charles Algernon Sidney Vivian inspired the creation of this country’s foremost charitable fraternity. Now, in Elkdom’s 138th year, we have proof that Vivian put aside his ill treatment; forgot an insult; forgave his enemies and continued to work to help those less fortunate than himself. Can’t all Elks continue to learn from the Founder’s example?

 


The Jolly Corks

Compiled by Janneyne L. Gnacinski

Sometime around 1898

 

When any organization has attained national importance and celebrity, it is natural to conduct an investigation of all attainable facts in the annals of its origin and incipient stages. The unusual name given to one organization at its formation and the lifestyle of the founder have prompted me to share with AFRA readers the data about the organization’s early history, which was published in book form in March of 1898.

 

On a Friday, in the fall of 1867, Charles Algernon Sidney Vivian, the son of an English clergyman, who had been a comic singer in England, landed in New York from an English trading vessel. On the afternoon of the same day he found his way to the old “Star Hotel,” a celebrated free and easy, but very respectable chop-house, kept by John Ireland, on Lispenard Street, near Broadway. Richard Steirly was the pianist to this place, and whilst he was engaged for the singing of some parties who were present, Vivian volunteered to sing a song for the company. He sang “Jimmy Riddle, Who Played A Fiddle, with which the proprietorship was so much pleased that he pressed him to sing other songs. After Vivian had sung three additional songs, with great success, Ireland sent for Bob Butler, of the American Theater, No. 472 Broadway, who was so delighted with the very superior voice of the stranger that he immediately engaged him for a week.

 

Steirly invited Vivian to take dinner on Saturday at his boarding house, kept by Mrs. Giesman, at No. Elm 188 Elm Street. Having been introduced to Mrs.Geisman and also meeting W.L. Bowron, whom he knew in England, Vivian was so well impressed with the place that he remained there permanently. Mrs. Geisman’s house was at that time a favorite resort with a number of choice spirits, amongst whom were several musicians and others connected with the theatrical profession. At that time the excise laws of New York were very stringent, in consequence of which Vivian and a number of congenial associates were in the habit of assembling in the boarding house parlors on Sunday afternoon for the purpose of spending the time in social intercourse. On one of these occasions, Vivian suggested that their association be given a more permanent and tangible form, which proposition was enthusiastically received, the organization being made early in the winter of 1867-68.

 

The social society thus formed was termed the “Jolly Corksin allusion to a trick which Bros. Vivian and William Lloyd Bowron had learned in England, and which they had practiced, with infinite amusement to all concerned upon their associates in the social gatherings. Vivian was the first “Imperial Cork,as the presiding officer was designated. The organization was patterned largely after the “Buffaloes,a popular social and benevolent order in England, of which Vivian had been a member. The “Corkswere not a benevolent society.

 

Of the fifteen original “Jolly Corksthe following are not (1898) living. Their business vocations as well as present resident addresses are herewith appended for the information of the brotherhood.

Richard R. Steirly, pianist and teacher, No. 349 Hudson Avenue, West Hoboken, a member of

          Hoboken, No. 74.

John T. Kent, clerk, No,. 233 Montgomery St., Jersey City, a member of Jersey City No. 211.

Harry Vandermark, clerk, Mills Hotel, N.Y.

E.W. Platt, clerk, 610 East 138th Street, N.Y.

Harry Bosworth, clothing business, Fourth Avenue and Eighth Street, N.Y., residence, Hallett’s

          Point, Astoria, Long Island.

John H. Blume, who was a clerk in Pettingill’s Advertising Agency, residence, No. 411, North

          Twenty-seventh Street, N.Y.

Frank Langhorn, photographer, Plainfield, N.J.

William L. Bowron, leader of the Fourteenth Street Theater orchestra, N.Y.  A member of New                           York No. 1

Thomas G. Riggs, actor, now residing in Australia.

The deceased members are:

Charles Algernon Vivian, comic singer.

M.G. Ashe, Photographer, who died in New Orleans of yellow fever in 1868.

William Carlton, Irish comedian.

William Sheppard, Negro minstrel.

George F. McDonald, Actor

J.W. Wilton, wood-turner. In Wilton’s case there has never been any positive intelligence of

          death, but he has not been heard from for a period of fifteen years. It was he who made

          the original small ebony gavel, which is now in the possession of the G.E.R. for the

          purpose of being handed over, at New Orleans, to the Grand Lodge for perpetual

          preservation.

 

The popularity of the new organization soon caused it to overtax the capacity of the boarding house parlors. Accordingly new quarters were secured in a portion of the building, No. 17 Delancey Street. Continuing to grow in numbers and financial strength, steps were taken for placing the new society on a more enduring basis than that of the first crude beginning. It seemed necessary to secure a more dignified title than the one first adopted, and the proper selection became a matter of grave consideration. The members of the committee to select a new name were Charles Vivian, Richard Steirly, Thomas G. Riggs, Harry Vandermark and George F. McDonald.

 

Vivian, mindful of the English society of which he had been a member, favored the name of “Buffaloes,but the majority were desirous of a designation purely American in its suggestions, and finally, on Sunday, February 16,1868, the name of “Elkwas adopted by a vote of 6 to 7, whereupon Thomas Riggs arose and said, he was glad to be an Elk, as he had been born on Elk Street, in the city of Buffalo. (Note: One can’t help but wonder if the name Buffalo was not selected because of it’s use in England. If any animal was purely American in its suggestion, it was the Buffalo, whose numbers in America have been estimated to be from 30,000,000 to 60,000,000, and in 1870 were approximately 5,000,000.)

For BUFFALO :Charles A. Vivian; Richard Steirly; M.G. Ash; HenryVandermark; Harry Bosworth; Frank Langhorne; E. W. Platt.

For ELK: George McDonald; George Thompson; Thomas Riggs; William Carleton; William Sheppard; George Guy; Hugh Dougherty; William Bowron.

There can be no doubt but that the date given above is correct as the natal period of the B.P.O.E. This is shown both by the date upon the original Constitution and also upon the first banner carried by the Order. As a further and complete confirmation, the first certificate given to Devout Elders in 1871 contains this date, likewise the original charters of New York and Philadelphia Lodges.

 

The first printed copy of the Constitution, rules and regulations adopted (1868) is a little black book of twelve pages, 2 ½ x 3 inches in size…Photographed pages then taken were subsequently published in the Antler. It can be found in the latter publication on page 28 of Vol. 1, NO 3, August 1895.

 

 

 

The Death of Charles A. Vivian

Before passing from this branch of the resume of Elks History, it will not be inappropriate to mention the death of Brother Vivian. With the beginnings of the B.P.O.E. a breech was opened between two factions within the ranks, which rapidly developed into a feud. On one hand were the legitimate actors, endeavoring to invest the new organization with principals and ideas in keeping with a benevolent and fraternal institution, while on the other were the semi-professional entertainers more in sympathy with the original purposes of the convivial Jolly Corks.

Charles Vivian was the leader of the latter faction, and when he appeared for the second degree on 14 June 1886, the professionals who were in command ordered a ballot and he was rejected. At the same time a number of Vivian's friends were barred from the meeting and afterwards declared expelled. This incident ended Vivian's connection with the B.P.O. Elks. He died in Leadville, Colorado, March 20, 1880, twelve years later, of Pneumonia. On April 28, 1889, the remains of Charles Vivian were exhumed and taken to Boston, under the auspices of Boston Lodge # 10, where they rest in Mt. Hope Cemetery. As far as can be learned from personal friends, Vivian never claimed to have been an ELK. He did claim to have been one of the organizers of the Elks, which he was, but he never took the degrees of the Order, and severed all connections with it a few months after it was born.

 


The 11 O'Clock Toast

by Mike Kelly, Grand Lodge Historian

You have heard the tolling of 11 strokes.
This is to remind us that with Elks, the hour of 11 has a tender significance.
Wherever Elks may roam, whatever their lot in life may be, when this hour falls upon the dial of night, the great heart of Elkdom swells and throbs.
It is the golden hour of recollection, the homecoming of those who wander, the mystic roll call of those who will come no more.
Living or dead, Elks are never forgotten, never forsaken.
Morning and noon may pass them by, the light of day sink heedlessly in the West, but ere the shadows of midnight shall fall, the chimes of memory will be pealing forth the friendly message,
"To our absent members."

Origin of the Toast

In regard to the Elks' 11 O'Clock Toast and its origin, we have to go back long before the BPOE came into existence. One of the main contributions of Charles Richardson -- in stage name of Charles Algernon Sidney Vivian and founder of the American branch of the Jolly Corks -- was to deliver into the hands of newborn Elks the rituals and traditions of a fraternal organization started in England around 1010 A.D., the Royal and Antedeluvian Order of Buffaloes, to which he belonged prior to coming to New York.

The RAOB, or Buffaloes as we shall henceforth refer to them, also practiced an 11 o'clock toast in remembrance of the Battle of Hastings in October of 1066. Following his victory, William of Normandy imported a set of rules, both martial and civil in nature, to keep control of a seething Norman-Saxon population always on the edge of a revolution.

Among those rules was a curfew law requiring all watch fires, bonfires (basically all lights controlled by private citizens that could serve as signals) to be extinguished at 11 each night. From strategically placed watchtowers that also served as early fire-alarm posts, the call would go out to douse or shutter all lights and bank all fires. This also served to discourage secret and treasonous meetings, as chimney sparks stood out against the black sky. A person away from his home and out on the darkened streets, when all doors were barred for the night, risked great peril from either evildoers or patrolling militia.

The hour of 11 quickly acquired a somber meaning, and in the centuries that followed, became the synonym throughout Europe for someone on his deathbed or about to go into battle: i.e."His family gathered about his bed at the 11th hour," or "The troops in the trenches hastily wrote notes to their families as the 11th hour approached when they must charge over the top.

Thus, when the 15 Jolly Corks (of whom seven were not native-born Americans) voted on February 16, 1868, to start a more formal and official organization, they were already aware of an almost universally prevalent sentiment about the mystic and haunting aura connected with the nightly hour of 11, and it took no great eloquence by Vivian to establish a ritual toast similar to that of the Buffaloes at the next-to-last hour each day.

The great variety of 11 O’Clock Toasts, including the Jolly Corks Toast, makes it clear that there was no fixed and official version until 1906-10. Given our theatrical origins, it was almost mandatory that the pre-1900 Elks would be expected to compose a beautiful toast extemporaneously at will. Regardless of the form, however, the custom is as old as the Elks.

A Note from Mike Kelly

It is very heart-warming to Elks with a deep interest in the history and "roots" of our beloved Order to note the re-awakened appreciation for the many and beautiful variations -- prose and poetry -- in the Eleven O'Clock Toasts of the yesterElks, especially coming from those of a decidedly younger persuasion who have only come into our ranks in modern times and were understandably unaware of what could be done with the bittersweet sentiment of the hour of eleven when given free rein by the great orators and theatrical luminaries who populated Elkdom prior to the introduction of the current standardized ritual toast. We encourage them to continue expanding their horizons, and ask that Lodges and individual Elks assist them by compiling as many colorful Toasts from each's own past and sharing these "gems" wherever possible.

While we also ask that the archives of the Grand Secretary's office be kept in mind when such discoveries are brought back into the light of day, we hope that all will understand if we cannot take thousands of toasts, sort through them and polish them up, have them printed and bound, and finally distribute them when there is no staff, work-hours or budget set aside to accomplish what would recognizably be a formidable task -- just one historian delving back through the dusty corridors of antiquity in the few moments allowable between more mundane duties because of an innate fondness for the magic and mystery of the antlered past.

What we can promise is that we will maintain a permanent, distinct Eleven O' Clock Toast file that will be available for reference to any visitor so that any contributions will not be lost to oblivion. And, in a tip of the hat to the new vista whose doorways are the Elks computers nationwide, we will get noteworthy additions to the collection to pop up on your screens as frequently as time permits to keep this revival humming. Perhaps the next time you hear the Toast of Eleven on a visit to another Lodge's social function, it will be the freshened echo of words spoken at the turn of the century in tribute to absent colleagues of America's greatest fraternal organization -- B.P.O. Elks, "The Best People On Earth."


THE ORIGINAL JOLLY CORKS TOAST

 

Now is the hour when Elkdom’s tower

Is darkened by the shroud of night,

And father time on his silver chime

Tolls off each moment’s flight.

 

In Cloistered halls each Elk recalls

His Brothers were’er they be,

And traces their faces to well known places

In the annals of memory.

 

Whether they stand on a foreign land

Or lie in an earthen bed,

Whether they be on the boundless sea

With the breakers of death ahead.

 

Whate’er their plight on this eerie night

Whate’er their fate may be

Where ever they are be it near or far

They are thinking of you and me.

 

So drink from the fountain of fellowship

To the Brother who clasped your hand

And wrote your worth in the rock of earth

And your faults upon the sand.


THE ELEVENTH HOUR

Eleven has struck on the Eastern coast,
The Elks have given their standing toast,

"To our absent Brothers," where'er they be.
Whether on land or on the sea.

"To our absent Brothers," from East to West.
Good wishes we send our very best.

The Lodge in the mountains and on the plain.
At eleven takes up this glad refrain:

"To our absent Brothers," the toast peals forth
From the sunny South, to the frozen North.

Though many in foreign lands may roam.
They know at that hour they are thought of at home

The toast even reaches the other shore.
Where they live who meet with us no more.

Like an echo, it comes back loud and clear
"To our absent Brothers," 'till we meet here

So with loving thought, and helping hand,
The work goes on o'er all our land.

And only the Ruler Supreme can know
The good Elks do wherever they go.

Eleven strikes on the Western coast.
The Elks are giving their standing toast.

"To our absent Brothers," from West to East.

Including the greatest unto the least,

For at this Elks' hour we all agree,
"To our absent Brothers," B. P. O. E.

 

Written by Mrs. H. A. Morton, 10/31/13 and dedicated to

Santa Monica CA Lodge 906


THE 11 O’CLOCK TOAST

 

Tis' the hour of eleven,
throughout Elkdom does it chime.
As we remember our absent brothers,
And their virtues at this time.

One by one they've left us,
To carry on each day.
Even though they've gone now,
They'll help show us the way.

While they were here with us,
They served their country well.
They will never be forgotten,
As it makes our heart throb and swell.

At the mystic hour of eleven,
We remember the brothers we once knew.
And on their journey through etetnity,
Always thinking of them as we do.

So when we hear the tolling,
We very quietly stand.
And remember our absent brothers,
Whom we've walked with hand in hand.

TO OUR ABSENT BROTHERS

 

 

Created and delivered by Dr. C. H. Harvey or Erie PA Lodge No. 67, 9/8/1896


TO OUR ABSENT BROTHERS

 

The hour of eleven has tolled again;
We pause, in our human endeavor
To renew our faith in the friendship of those
Whose virtues stay with us forever.
With hearts full of hope and voices of cheer
For an Elk is never forsaken,
We think kindly thoughts and speak tender words
Of those whose place we have taken.
The hours speed by and the days turn to months.
We cherish this brief retrospection;
The pages of time tell of memories dear
In the book of fond recollection.
Whatever the task, be it large or small
To lighten the burden of others;
Together we'll work and together we'll give
A toast —"To our absent brothers."

TO OUR ABSENT BROTHERS


A TOAST TO OUR ABSENT BROTHERS

 

Tis' the hour of eleven,
throughout Elkdom does it chime.
As we remember our absent brothers,
And their virtues at this time.

One by one they've left us,
To carry on each day.
Even though they've gone now,
They'll help show us the way.

While they were here with us,
They served their country well.
They will never be forgotten,
As it makes our heart throb and swell.

At the mystic hour of eleven,
We remember the brothers we once knew.
And on their journey through etetnity,
Always thinking of them as we do.

So when we hear the tolling,
We very quietly stand.
And remember our absent brothers,
Whom we've walked with hand in hand.

TO OUR ABSENT BROTHERS

 

 

By Tracy E. Kareha, 1977


A Toast to our Veterans

(please join hands)

 

On the 11th month,

The 11th hour of the 11th day

The Elks honor our Veterans

Who have been in harms way

They fought many battles

In both World Wars

In the air, on the seas

and defending the shores

In Korea, Viet Nam and

Desert Storm too

They did it for me

And they did it for you

They fought for our freedom

They fought for our pride

Many returned but

some of them died

They answered the call

And don't boast or brag,

All they ask in return is that

We salute our flag

They don their uniforms

And march in parades

To remind us all

When memory fades

Some gave their lives

And for that we are sad

But they gave us our freedom

And for that we are glad

So please raise your hands

for this special toast,

To our American Veterans

Whom we owe the most

 

To Our Veterans

 

Written by Jerry and Carol McCorkle

Clawson-Troy Elks Lodge #2169

Michigan Elks Association

"BENEVOLENT and PROTECTIVE ORDER OF ELKS"

A Fraternal  Organization

Bruce A. Stark DVP

State Chairman Public/Member Relations

7980 Brighton Rd Brighton, MI 48116

(Home & Fax) 810-227-8900 (cell) 313-909-0981 (pager) 313-601-7742

(e-mail) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

The toast you see here was adopted at the Grand Lodge Session in Reno by a vote on the Grand Lodge Floor. It is a tribute to the American Veterans that served in this country’s Armed Forces. Please reprint this toast into your November newsletters and use the toast in your Veteran’s Day celebrations.

 

Past State President Jerry McCorkle, and his wife Carol wrote this toast.

Our hats off to Jerry and Carol for such a touching and meaningful tribute to our nations veterans.

Thank you Jerry and Carol.

 

Remember…

 

So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them

 

 

Please print this toast and article in your November Newsletters.

 

Thank You,

 

 

 

 

Bruce A. Stark

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

http://www.njelks.org/images/stories/national foundation/2009/district-standings-6-30.pdf

 

 

The Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee

 

 

 

 

District Public Relations Duties

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elks Media Relations

2750 N. Lakeview Avenue

Chicago, IL 60614-1889

Phone: (773) 755-4892

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.elks.org

  


Elks – United To Serve Others

 

 

District Public Relations Committee

 

 

Duties of the District PR Chairperson

2009 – 2010

 

 

Within your District, to proactively oversee the gathering and disseminating information with the potential for:

 

-                          generating positive publicity and distribution of such information to all appropriate news media in a timely fashion.

-                          creating an informed and enthusiastic public environment conducive to attracting quality new Member candidates

-                          overseeing the compilation and distribution (to news media) activities of individual Elks and Subordinate Lodges as may be appropriate

-                          collecting and distributing (to Subordinate Lodges, the DDGER, State VP and other interested parties) information which may be helpful to the aims of Elkdom

-                          precipitating partnerships and coalitions with other District  Chairpersons

-                          preventing the publication of anything considered detrimental to Elkdom

 

Other duties include:

 

-                          training of Lodge PR Chairpersons and Officers of Subordinate Lodges, on Public Relations programs and contests

-                          developing media press releases for Grand Exalted Ruler visits to the District and arranging for media interviews as appropriate with State and Local Public Relations Chairpersons

-                          submitting articles in State Association newsletters, bulletins, and websites

-                          assisting other District Committees by facilitating event media coverage

-                          helping promote Subordinate Lodges with 25th, 50th, and 100th year publicity activities

-                          advising Lodge Officers and Lodge PR Chairpersons about  State Association and Grand Lodge Public Relations initiatives, activities, programs and policies, on an on-going basis

-                          developing media contacts in all territories within  your District

-                          creating, promoting, implementing, and communicating NEW State Association and Grand Lodge Public Relations programs and activities with Lodge PR Chairpersons and Exalted Rulers

-                          preparing and publishing a District PR Handbook, Manual or Brochure to be used by the Subordinate Lodges which describes controls and procedures

-                          maintaining a continuing (forward thinking) 12-month planning calendar to anticipate activities and preclude scheduling conflicts

-                          sending monthly newsletter and reports to the Subordinate Lodges.

-                          submitting, to the State Association PR Chairperson, monthly quantifiable reports of District activities; newspaper articles,  TV, Radio, Signs, E-mail & Website, Other

-                          keeping all appropriate persons informed about the availability of Public Relations supplies maintained at Grand Lodge and on-line as well as promoting GL PR Contests

-                          reminding the DDGER, State VP, and Subordinate Lodges to submit fraternal news items to the national Elks magazine along with published guidelines

-                          referring ALL GENDER ISSUES to the Grand Lodge Chairman of Advisory Committee. Only that office or the Grand Exalted Ruler may address that subject. Ensure that copies are provided to the DDGER, State VP, GL PR Chairman, PR Committee Sponsor, State Association Sponsor(s), and State Association President  as a minimum. TAKE NO OTHER ACTION

-                          creating or disseminating media releases regarding all DISASTER RELIEF information provided by the GL PR Area Committeeman

-                          cross-pollinating information and regularly providing assistance to other District Committee Chairpersons, as appropriate

-                          other program duties communicated by the State Association PR Chairperson  requesting assistance                                  




The Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee

 

 

 

Lodge Public Relations Duties

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elks Media Relations

2750 N. Lakeview Avenue

Chicago, IL 60614-1889

Phone: (773) 755-4892

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.elks.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Elks – United To Serve Others

 

 

 

Lodge Public Relations Committee

 

 

 

Duties of the Subordinate Lodge PR Chairperson

2009 – 2010

 

 

 

Within your Lodge, to proactively oversee the gathering and disseminating information with the potential for:

 

-                          generating positive publicity and distribution of such information to all appropriate news media in a timely fashion.

-                          creating an informed and enthusiastic public environment conducive to attracting quality new Member candidates

-                          overseeing the compilation and distribution (to news media) activities of individual Elks and your Lodge as may be appropriate

-                          collecting and distributing  information which may be helpful to the aims of Elkdom

-                          precipitating partnerships and coalitions with other Lodge Chairpersons

-                          preventing the publication of anything considered detrimental to Elkdom

 

 

 

 

 

Other duties include:

 

-                          training of Lodge Members on Public Relations programs and contests

-                          developing media press releases for Grand Exalted Ruler visits to your Lodge and arranging for media interviews as appropriate

-                           submitting articles to your Lodge bulletin and website, State Association newsletters, bulletins, and websites

-                          assisting other Lodge Committees by facilitating event media coverage

-                          helping promote 25th, 50th, and 100th year Lodge publicity activities

-                          advising the Lodge Membership about  State and Grand Lodge Public Relations initiatives, activities, and programs, on an on-going basis

-                          developing media contacts in all Lodge territories

-                          promoting, implementing, and communicating Grand Lodge and State Association Public Relations programs

-                          preparing and publishing a Lodge PR Handbook, Manual or Brochure  which describes controls and procedures

-                          maintaining a continuing (forward thinking) 12-month planning calendar to anticipate activities and preclude scheduling conflicts

-                          submitting, to the District PR Chairman, monthly quantifiable reports of Lodge activities; newspaper articles,  TV, Radio, Signs, E-mail & Website, Other

-                          promoting and keeping Lodge Members and Officers informed about Grand Lodge, State Association, and District Public Relations  Contests

-                          reminding Lodge Officers about submitting fraternal news items to the national Elks Magazine along with published guidelines

-                          referring ALL GENDER ISSUES to the Grand Lodge Chairman of Advisory Committee. Only that office or the Grand Exalted Ruler may address the subject. Copy the Exalted Ruler, DDGER, State VP, State PR Chairman, State Association President, State Sponsor(s), Grand Lodge Area PR Committeeperson, and Grand Lodge PR Chairman.

-                          creating or disseminating media releases regarding all DISASTER RELIEF information provided by the District PR Chairman, State Association PR Chairman, or GL PR Area Committeeman

-                          cross-pollinating information and regularly providing assistance to other Lodge Committee Chairpersons, as appropriate

-                          other program duties communicated by the District PR Chairman  requesting assistance    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 26, 2009


 

 

 

District Public Relations Committee Chair

 

Managing District Public Relations 

 

Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks 




District PR Committee Chair

 


Managing  Public Relations 

Importance of being the District Public Relations Committee Chair   

Background And General Overview

The Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks consists of over 2,100 lodges throughout the United States and several key areas.  To better manage the activities of the lodges, Grand Lodge has authorized the creation of 48 “Associations” throughout the country.   Lodges within a state is part of the State Association.

To accomplish the many goals and objectives of Elks within a region, State Associations have created as many as 20 - 25 different committees.  An Association (State) Committee Chair is appointed to head each committee - to act as a liaison between the Association President and the various District Chairs, and to coordinate the activities of the lodges throughout the Association in that vertical area of interest. 

Lodges are also grouped into geographic Districts to better coordinate the activities and efforts of lodges in a uniform and consistent environment.     

Each District  organization may activate as many as 20 - 25 committees;  directly linked to the State Association committees.  In most cases, District’s Committee Chairs are appointed by a committee of Past District Deputy Grand Exalted Rulers (PDDGERs) and District Leaders (DLs). Throughout the year, each Committee’s activities and effectiveness is monitored by the District Vice President.  Similarly, each lodge has many of the same committees, and the Exalted Ruler appoints a lodge Committee Chair for each one.  It is the Exalted Ruler’s responsibility to monitor the activities and effectiveness of the lodge Committee Chairs.  Once appointed, that person becomes the Lodge’s representative to the District’s Committee.  Thus the Lodge Public Relations Committee chair is a member of the District’s Public Relations Committee, who is in turn a member of the State’s Public Relations Committee.

Public Relations …personal and mass communications that is image-directed.   In other words…promoting the organization and its image by using both personal interaction and mass media communications.

While the responsibilities of leadership rest upon the State Association’s President and concerned State Chairs, the District PR Committee Chair assumes a specific and definite duty when consenting to lead the Committee.  Each District PR Committee Chair must recognize that duties and responsibilities go beyond the mere heading of a Committee and reporting its activities. 

First, there is the duty to visit each lodge (where practical) and the appointed counterpart within each lodge, encouraging the Exalted Ruler’s participation in working on the PR Committee’s program. 

The District PR Committee Chair should encourage local Subordinate Lodge PR committee members to attend Lodge meetings and relate the status of his/her program to those in attendance, and to include that information in monthly lodge bulletins or newsletter articles.  Remember, the District PR Committee Chair assumes the responsibility of the Lodge’s success in the public relations program.  A District Committee Chair is a position of leadership, and it is the duty of the Chair to develop a communication network with the Lodges and to develop sufficient interest by the lodge committee members, and the general lodge membership to ensure success of the public awareness program or lodge activities.  

Along these lines, the District PR Committee Chair works with the local Subordinate Lodge PR committee chair to promote the increased number and quality of lodge activities.

Second, each District Committee Chair should be especially sensitive about the welfare of the lodges within the District, the District itself, the Association, and the Order in general.  As a Committee Chair it is important to be familiar with the laws of the Order, and in particular, any of the laws directly related to the PR committee. 

Third, PR Committee Chairs are often considered to be extended members of  Membership, Lodge Activities and Lapsation Committees. As such, they should consider that  a part of their duties is to help in retaining members in danger of lapsing and increasing new members by public awareness of Elk charities and community betterment projects.

 

The Goal of Public Relations  

In general, the goal of the Public Relations Committee is to establish and maintain a relationship between the organization, and both its members and the public it serves.  To accomplish that goal, the Public Relations Committee will be most visible in the areas of:

·         Community Relations:  promoting or enhancing the District or Lodge’s image and stature in the communities we serve through various techniques including the use of personal and media channels. 

·         Crisis Management:  maintaining or enhancing the District or Lodge’s relationship with the community and the local media during times of crises.

·         Government Relations:  ensuring a positive image, and furthering the District or Lodge’s interests and activities with governmental agencies and elected officials.

·         Internal Relations:  establishing and effectively utilizing a variety of communications techniques to improve the flow of information within the District – from the District through the lodges, to the individual members.

·         Media Relations:  reaching out to various media to promote or enhance the District or Lodge’s image, or to provide response to the media on behalf of the District or Lodge.

·         Publicity:  furthering the District or Lodge’s interests through target-media coverage of the special event, activity or message

To accomplish its stated goal, the Committee will utilize a combination of sales, marketing, advertising and journalism techniques, and creativity, in most of its day-to-day efforts.

 

 

The District Public Relations Committee 

Structure & Focus of The Public Relations Committee

The District’s Public Relations Committee consists of an appointed Chair and the Subordinate Lodge Public Relations Committee Chairs as ad-hoc members.  Additional members may be appointed as may be necessary to accomplish various tasks.  The effectiveness of the District’s Public Relations effort depends on the PR Committee being as active as possible and interfacing with the other Committees.  Each level of the Elks has a Committee Chair for Public Relations, and each has certain levels of responsibility.  All Committee Members at every level must recognize that their activities are important and essential to the success of the Public Relations effort.

Non-profit Marketing:   the process of developing ideas and services, then promoting and distributing them in a manner that will influence others to accept them, and in return, to contribute to the organization in some positive way.

Grand Lodge PR Committee

The Elks Public Relations Program originates at the Grand Lodge and is cascaded to the State Association; thence to the Districts and to the local Subordinate Lodges.   Grand Lodge provides general guidelines on media relations, as well as a variety of generic public relations tools, services and products. 

State Association PR Committee Chair

The State Association Public Relations Committee Chair is the front line in promoting Elks and their good works both within and external to the State Association; i.e. providing Grand Lodge with measures of effectiveness and innovative / replicable Association programs.  The State PR Chair publishes a work plan for the coming year, which includes goals, objectives, measurable levels of success, and motivational PR programs.  The State PR Chair also coordinates public relations efforts throughout the State, monitors District and local Subordinate Lodge efforts, assists District PR Chairs with public relations projects and programs, and shares information secured from various sources with the District / Lodge Chairs and with the Grand Lodge Area  Committeeman.

The State Association’s PR Chair should also assist the District PR Chairs in developing effective promotional efforts, in networking with other District Chairs to share information, in establishing relationships with local media, and in helping implement cutting-edge efforts aimed at promoting Elkdom and specific Elk charity and community service efforts and accomplishments.  

District PR Committee Chair 

The District Public Relations Committee Chair serves as the link between the Subordinate Lodge Chairs and the State PR Chair, sets District PR goals and objectives based upon the guidance from Grand Lodge, State Association and the District Leaders (as applicable), and communicates those goals to the lodges along with national and state programs. 

The District PR Committee Chair operates at three levels to:  1) assist the local subordinate Lodges in their public relations efforts;  2) assist the other District Committees in communicating or promoting their individual efforts; and 3) act as the marketing / promotions arm of the District itself, internally to Elks and to higher levels of the organization, and externally to those benefiting from Elk outreach programs. 

The District PR Chair is the District’s public awareness and relations “consultant”, who advises on image enhancement and the coordination / implementation of promotional projects, charity programs and community service initiatives  for both the District and the lodges. 

Media:   the wide variety of methods that can be used to get the message to the group targeted for it.  For our purposes, there are 2 types of media: 1) mass media (channels that are widely circulated to the general public) including broadcast media (television, radio, and internet), and print media (newspapers, billboards / signs magazines); and 2) targeted media (direct mail appeals, newsletters, door hangers, flyer handouts, emails, word of mouth, etc.).  

The Chair should understand the basics of promotions / marketing, media relations, and communications, and be able to apply those skills to the day-to-day needs of the District and the Lodges within its purview for the purposes of disseminating information.   The ability to communicate an image as well as information, to promote District and Lodge events and projects, to inspire participation, to garner community interest, attract potential new members, and to advise the District’s leadership in methods of improving participation, are all skills a District PR Chair should possess.

Local Subordinate Lodge PR Chair 

The success of a District-wide Public Relations program is directly related to the effectiveness of the local Subordinate Lodge Public Relations Committee Chair.  The Lodge PR Chair is responsible for: 1) determining the public relations goals of the Lodge for the coming year; 2) establishing a lodge promotional plan that utilizes as many types of media as possible to get the word out; 3) creating a promotions calendar which is directly related to the Grand Lodge, State Association, District and Lodge events calendars; 4) preparing and submitting a promotional budget to the Lodge Trustees for approval by the Lodge; 5) promoting the events to Lodge members; 6) communicating the information of interest to the lodge members; 7) aid in preventing information detrimental to Elkdom from being published by news media; 8) ensuring accurate monthly activity reports and monthly lodge newsletters are sent to the District PR Chair; 9)  coordinating the design, content and publication of the lodge newsletter; and 10) aggressively interacting with local media to promote the values and accomplishments of Elks.  

Non-profit Promotions:   the process of informing, persuading and influencing the organization’s members and the communities it serves to accept and support both the organization, and its ideals, goals, and activities.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expectations of a District Committee Chair   

Duties & Responsibilities Of The

Public Relations Committee Chair

 

 The District Public Relations Chair is responsible for: 

·            Setting and accomplishing District Public Relations / Promotions goals based upon guidance from the district’s leadership

·            Promoting District events, activities and seminars

·            Assisting District Committees in communicating with lodges and the general membership

·            Assisting lodges with public relations planning and execution 

·            Filing public relations activity reports with the State Association, district leadership and others as necessary  

·            Maintaining / updating contact lists

·            Receiving and distributing Elk promotional materials

·            Training others in the art of Public Relations

·            Encouraging the use of all available media, including:

1)       Print media such as newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, posters

2)       Mass media such as radio, television, and mass mailings

3)       Electronic media including email and internet websites

4)       Personal communications such as telephone, person-to-person contact, information booths

5)       Image enhancers such as cups, T-shirts, ink pens, refrigerator magnets, etc.

·         Promote public awareness of Elk activities and events

    • Promote participation in State and National brochure contests
    • Encourage the use of pictures of Elk activities and events

 

 


To accomplish those responsibilities, the District Public Relations Chair will work to:

·         Develop and update District-level promotional goals, plans, public relations activities and other promotional / marketing programs and efforts

·         Maintain the District’s Public Relations Committee Chair’s Manual.

·         Conduct training for lodge Public Relations representatives

·         Coordinate media coverage for Grand Exalted Ruler visits

·         Help lodge PR representatives with Lodge Newsletters

·         Assist other District-level committees with their communications to the lodges

·         Assist lodges in publicizing lodge anniversaries (25, 50,100 years, etc.)

·         Advise the District and lodges on Grand Lodge events, activities and policies

·         Develop and enhance media contacts

·         Prepare and publish District informational brochures

·         Prepare and publish District event promotional flyers, emails, and ads

·         Maintain a continuing calendar to anticipate District events, activities and seminars planned for the next 12 months

·         Receive monthly reports from lodges, consolidate them into a single report and file them with State PR Chair.

·         Prepare quarterly consolidated PR reports and file them with District VP and District Leaders

·         Encourage lodges to file news articles with ELKS magazine and State news- paper

·         Receive and distribute all publicity and programs (also contests)  sent by Grand Lodge PR Chairman and State PR Chairman 

·         Perform other duties tasked by Grand Lodge PR Committee and State PR Chair

·         Perform other duties tasked by DDGER, District VP, and the District Leader(s). 

 

Conducting Successful Committee Meetings 

Although “shared leadership” is an ideal, it is the Committee Chair who is usually held responsible for any breakdown of the group’s progress or the program’s success.  Thus the successful Committee Chair needs to pay special attention to how the committee operates.  The Chair’s tasks for conducting a typical meeting normally fall into a related sequence:  1) planning;  2) conducting;  and 3) evaluating. 

·         Planning the Meeting

1.          Have a copy of the legislation, which has created this committee, or assemble all the facts pertaining to the committee’s formation and purpose so that you will know the nature and extent of the assignment, program or project.

2.       Draw up a tentative outline of the work necessary to complete the assignment or to move forward on the program or project.

3.       Learn as much as can possible about the interest and abilities of each lodge committee chair.

4.       Suggest Lodge Chairs seek out both existing and new members to be part of the committee in order to stimulate their interest, activity and fellowship in the Lodge.

The Committee Chair should not offer the outline to the Lodge Committee as an arbitrary guide, but as a suggestion for consideration by the committee members.  What you learn about them may be useful in investigating special phases of the problem.  In any case, the Committee Chair should not plan to be just a “good administrator” (i.e. one who gets others to do all the work), but to participate in the work, to determine which tasks do not interest other members, and to create ways and means to encourage enthusiasm.  It is important to remember that completion of a task means completing all phases of that task – the easy and good, as well as the hard and the distasteful. 

·         Conducting the District Meeting

The success of a District Committee Chair’s leadership in conducting a productive meeting includes informality and a cooperative discussion.  These can best be achieved if the opening statement is phrased carefully to encourage Lodge Chairmen not to commit themselves in advance, to encourage them to carefully study alternatives, and makes it clear that everyone will be participating in the discussions on equal terms.

Below is a general outline of procedures that may help guide the Committee Chair in preparing an agenda for the Committee Meeting, although a simpler one may be more practical:

1.       Call the meeting to order; conduct a roll call; choose a secretary at the first meeting.

2.       Review the District’s goals that relate to the PR Committee; outline the Committee’s purpose and objectives; and review the scope of its assignment.

3.       Establish the District PR Committee meeting procedures

4.       Compare the tasks to be accomplished in relation to the District’s goals and the Committee’s purposes.

5.       Establish the minimum essentials necessary to achieve the District Committee goal(s).

6.       Investigate / discuss potential solutions in terms of minimum essentials.

7.       Ask for volunteers or assign committee members to accomplish specific tasks where necessary. 

8.       Evaluate proposed solutions in terms of minimum essentials.

9.       Decide on the best solution.

10.   Prepare the District PR Committee report. 

11.   Critically evaluate the District PR Committee meeting procedure and make adjustments to ensure success of future meetings.

12.   Adjourn the meeting.

A District Committee is a team.  As it learns to work and communicate like one, it will increase its productivity and sharpen its efficiency.  The District Committee will profit by keeping accurate minutes of each meeting and by a discussing the successes or failures of the meeting at its conclusion, and by sharing ideas on how to improve the next meeting

 

 

The PR Committee Chair’s Monthly Task List 

 

The PR Committee Chair is responsible for accomplishing various tasks each month.  Some tasks are   recurring every month, while others are quarterly, and still others may be random.   In addition to these basic tasks, the District Committee Chair is expected to initiate actions or accomplish unplanned tasks that occur throughout the year as circumstances dictate.  Thus the Chair is expected to be able to have the initiative and judgment to act independently as necessary to maintain and improve the District’s Public Relations efforts.  

March

·         New Chair should contact the prior Chair and make arrangements to receive the various files, documents, annual budget, and adopted goals for the upcoming year for the Public Relations Committee

·         Continuing Chair should sort and organize the materials in the files in preparation to starting a new Committee year.

·         Study the manuals and other documents that pertain to the Public Relations Committee.

·         Contact the State Public Relations Chair / Designate and establish a communication link.  Request a copy of all required forms, event calendars, and other information that can be sent to you to assist in setting up the coming year’s Committee Calendar.

·         Prepare and send out a letter to the District’s Exalted Rulers announcing your appointment and request the name and contact information (mailing address, phone, email address) of the Lodge Pubic Relations Committee Chair (the Lodge Chair).

·         Prepare a master list of all Lodge Public Relations Committee Chairs and their contact information.

·         Prepare a master District Public Relations Committee Calendar that contains dates for meetings, special events, planned VIP visits, etc.

·         Organize and set up your filing system.

·         Prepare and send a welcome packet to each Lodge Chair that includes a personal welcome cover letter that outlines what you have planned for the coming year, and your personal contact information.  The packet should also include a copy of the master Lodge Committee Chair contact information, a copy of the Lodge Monthly PR Activities Report, and other information necessary for the person to begin implementing Public Relations activities.

·         Send a copy of the welcome letter, master Lodge Committee Chair contact list, and District Public Relations Committee Calendar to the designated District VP, District Leader, and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.

·         For ease of communication, the Committee Chair should also send the Lodge Monthly PR Activities Report to the Lodge Chairs by email so that they can be filled out and returned electronically.  This reduces mailing time and also improves reporting options available to the Lodge Chairs.

·         Plan to attend, photograph, and write an article about the District’s Annual Ritual Competition for lodge newsletters and publication in the State newsletter.

April

·         Collect the monthly Lodge PR Activity Report, consolidate the reports in a format approved by the State Chair, and send it in.  Also send a copy of the report to the designated District VP, District Leader, and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.

·         Write an article about the Public Relations Committee and its goals for the year, and send it to each Lodge for their monthly bulletin / newsletter

May

·         Collect the monthly Lodge PR Activity Report, consolidate the reports in a format approved by the State Chair, and send it in.  Also send a copy of the report to the designated District VP, District Leader, and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.

·         Develop plans for your District-wide Committee meeting

·         Attend the DDGER Clinic and anticipate conducting a Public Relations / Marketing workshop.

June

·         Collect the monthly Lodge PR Activity Report, consolidate the reports in a format approved by the State Chair, and send it in.  Also send a copy of the report to the designated District VP, District Leader, and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.

·         Finalize arrangements for district-wide subordinate Lodge Committee meetings.

 

July

·         Collect the monthly Lodge PR Activity Report, consolidate the reports in a format approved by the State Chair, and send it in.  Also send a copy of the report to the designated District VP, District Leader, and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.

·         Write an article about the Public Relations Committee and send it to each Lodge for their monthly bulletin / newsletter.

·         Submit the first quarterly report, which consolidates the activities of all Lodges for the months of April, May and June to the District VP, with a copy to the District Leader and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.  A copy of the report should also be sent to all Lodge Exalted Rulers and Lodge PR Committee Chairs.

August

·         Collect the monthly Lodge PR Activity Report, consolidate the reports in a format approved by the State Chair, and send it in.  Also send a copy of the report to the designated District VP, District Leader, and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.

·         Prepare and submit a proposed budget for the coming year. The annual budget should detail the Public Relations goals and objectives, publicity, communications, marketing and other efforts for the coming year as outlined in the District’s Strategic Plan or as communicated by the District’s leadership, and the anticipated costs to accomplish those efforts.

·         Attend the DDGER clinic and anticipate conducting a Public Relations / Marketing workshop.

September

·         Collect the monthly Lodge PR Activity Report, consolidate the reports in a format approved by the State Chair, and send it in.  Also send a copy of the report to the designated District VP, District Leader, and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.

October

·         Collect the monthly Lodge PR Activity Report, consolidate the reports in a format approved by the State Chair, and send it in.  Also send a copy of the report to the designated District VP, District Leader, and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.

·         Write an article about the Public Relations Committee and send it to each Lodge for their monthly bulletin / newsletter

·         Submit the second quarterly report, which consolidates the activities of all Lodges for the months of July, August and September to the District VP, with a copy to the District Leader and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.  A copy of the report should also be sent to all Lodge Exalted Rulers and Lodge PR Committee Chairs.

November

·         Collect the monthly Lodge PR Activity Report, consolidate the reports in a format approved by the State Chair, and send it in.  Also send a copy of the report to the designated District VP, District Leader, and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.

 

December

·         Collect the monthly Lodge PR Activity Report, consolidate the reports in a format approved by the State Chair, and send it in.  Also send a copy of the report to the designated District VP, District Leader, and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.

·         Attend the Annual Veteran’s Christmas Party, take appropriate pictures, and prepare an article for distribution to local lodges for their newsletters

January

·         Collect the monthly Lodge PR Activity Report, consolidate the reports in a format approved by the State Chair, and send it in.  Also send a copy of the report to the designated District VP, District Leader, and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.  A copy of the report should also be sent to all Lodge Exalted Rulers and Lodge PR Committee Chairs.

·         Write an article about the Public Relations Committee and send it to each Lodge for their monthly bulletin / newsletter

·         Submit the third quarterly report, which consolidates the activities of all Lodges for the months of October, November and December to the District VP, with a copy to the District Leader and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.

February

·         Collect the monthly Lodge PR Activity Report, consolidate the reports in a format approved by the State Chair, and send it in.  Also send a copy of the report to the designated District VP, District Leader, and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.

March 

·         Collect the monthly Lodge PR Activity Report, consolidate the reports in a format approved by the State Chair, and send it in.  Also send a copy of the report to the designated District VP, District Leader, and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.

·         Attend the District’s Committee Chairman Clinic

·         Turn over your files to the incoming Public Relations Committee Chairman

·         Prepare and submit the Year End Public Relations Report to the District VP, District Leader(s), and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.  A copy should also be sent to the Lodge Exalted Ruler and Lodge PR Committee Chair.  At a minimum, the report should include:

o     A consolidation of all the activities of all the Lodges for the entire year

o     A summary of projects and products completed during the previous year

o     A summary of project and products started but not completed by the end of the

               year

o     Recommendations for improvements or changes in the Public Relations Committee operations

 

 

 

 

 

 

Promoting Events and People 

The District PR Chair is responsible for both promoting and documenting the various District events and activities.  The Chair (or a designee) should be prepared to develop flyers and promotional materials, and to prepare news articles about such District events as Flag Day, the Jamboree, DDGER Clinics, the District’s Veterans Christmas Party, annual Hoop Shoot, annual Soccer Shoot, and the award of special scholarships. 

The District PR Chair should also anticipate attending special events such as visits by Grand Lodge or State Association dignitaries, special Subordinate Lodge events, conventions and conferences.  The Chair should also be to prepared to create and publish informational articles about newly appointed Elk leaders (District VP, DDGER, District Leader(s), etc.), results of Grand Lodge and State Association Annual Conventions, and special fundraisers, and sending those articles to local lodges for their newsletters and to key media outlets as press releases.

Publicity    

Publicity is typically the use of paid non-personal media to identify the organization in a message that is designed to inform or persuade a particular group (target market).   There are actually 2 types of publicity:  1) Institutional Publicity; and 2) Product Promotion.  Institutional publicity promotes an organization’s particular concept, idea, or philosophy.  It also solicits good will toward the organization amongst its targeted market.  Obviously, product promotion is aimed at a specific target market to convince them to purchase or invest in a product or a tangible item.

The District might use Institutional Publicity to promote its image, or to solicit support for what it stands for, like helping veterans or conducting Flag Day activities.  The Elk lodge might use Product Promotion to draw people from the community to a giant White Elephant Sale to earn funds for the major project.  Obviously, when done properly, the overall reputation and image of Elkdom is enhanced by the how the message is presented and the quality of the event or product offered. 

These two types of publicity can be further broken down into 3 sub-categories, depending on the objective of the message:

·         Informative – develop the demand, establish the initial image, or set the original idea

·         Persuasive – to increase the demand, enhance the image, or grow the idea

·         Reminder – to reinforce the need for the product, cement the image, or firmly place the

                              idea.

 

 

Components of a Promotional Effort

 

There are several major components to a successful promotional effort for an event or activity.   They are:

·         The objective - what your exact goal is (to sell donated items to raise funds for the major project, for instance)

·         The plan:

o        Determining who your target group is  (for example – everyone from 8 to 80 within the three surrounding communities)

o        Establishing an marketing budget  (typically no more than 10% of expected revenues)

o        Determine the media to be used (newspaper, local radio station, flyers, billboards, etc.)

·         The event’s media promotional calendar  (when do you place the ads, when will they be published, how often will they be published, etc.)

·         The ad’s design / or promotional spot preparation

·         Placing the ad

·         Assessment of success / failures for the next time

 

The importance and effectiveness of  personal sales promotion and point-of-purchasing marketing should be noted.  Personal sales promotion is the art of personally convincing people to increase their purchase or donation at the actual time of the exchange, or for them to tell others about the event or organization.  Point-of-purchase marketing is the placement of follow-on promotions or giving additional promotional materials to the customer at the time of the actual sale or exchange (i.e. strategically distributed pamphlets about Elks youth programs with school superintendents or principals, or flyers promoting Hoop Shoot or Soccer Shoot events, etc.).  

 

Finally, marketing can be accomplished in a wide variety of situations, including booths at trade shows, street fairs, and community events; holding contests; fielding speaker’s bureaus; flying banners; wearing or giving away lapel buttons; sponsoring sport teams, etc.  Creativity and uniqueness is the key to economical and effective public awareness and promotion.  

 

Anticipating the Unexpected

Elks accomplish a number of things that directly affect their local communities, their lodges and the people within each.  On many occasions, these accomplishments aren’t planned, they just happen.  New members (each with their own life’s story) join the Order because of their involvement in, or awareness of, organized Elk activities.

Communicating significant community service and charitable activities is important for maintaining the fabric that is the Elk family.  Almost like a newspaper reporter, the District PR Chair should be vigilant in discovering Elk members participation in newsworthy events, noting their significant accomplishments, and reporting their comings and goings.   

 

Recommended Supplies and Equipment  

The District’s Public Relations Committee is generally more complex than others  and operates on several levels, across multiple lines.    To be able to prepare news articles, communicate with various leaders of the District, assist lodges in redesigning newsletters, preparing pamphlets and promotional flyers, receive / consolidate / forward monthly reports,  interact with the media, and a myriad of other details, the PR Chair should possess certain basic supplies and equipment. 

While these items are not mandatory, experience has shown that they have become more essential in today’s hi-tech world.  For successful operations, and to maintain a high degree of communications, it is recommended that the Public Relations Committee Chair have access to facsimile (FAX) equipment or preferably be computer literate and utilize e-mail to communicate / generate & distribute promotional documents. 

 

 

 

Personally Owned Supplies & Equipment   

 Supplies

·         Large envelopes (9x12s)

·         Standard size envelopes (#10s)

·         File folders

·         Stapler / staples

·         3-hole punch

 

Equipment

·                     A digital or good 35mm camera

·                     A computer with e-mail and Internet capabilities

·         A digital scanner (desirable)

·         Color printer

·         Appropriate computer programs (i.e. MS Word, Excel, Publisher, Pagemaker, etc.)

·         A plain-paper fax machine

·         A telephone answering machine

·         A filing cabinet

 

 

Public Relations Reference Materials    

Grand Lodge Publications

The Grand Lodge produces two types of Public Relations materials:  1) printed guide / Elk informational pamphlets; and 2) generic Elk promotional items such as vinyl banners, magnet signs, billboard posters, window decals, lapel buttons, videos, PSA radio spots CD on veterans services / drug awareness / scholarships / hoop shoot, and bumper stickers. 

The Grand Lodge also publishes several public relations resources that may be of value, including:

·         PR and Media Relations Handbook  (code 510700)

·         The ABCs of Publicity

·         Seven Easy Steps to Planning and Staging a Special Event

·         “Making A Difference Through Publicity” – a kit that includes the two items above plus

                    Hoop    / Soccer / Drug Awareness backgrounders

·         The GER Media Kit

·         The Lodge and State Anniversary Kit

 

The complete price list is available through the Grand Lodge Supplies / Shipping Department, 2750 N. Lakeview Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614-1889;  (773) 755-4710 or email at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  All orders should be placed through the Committee Chair’s Lodge Secretary. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX 1

 

ANNUAL BUDGET REQUEST

FORMAT

 

Below is a sample Annual Budget Request format.  While certain items will remain relatively constant, other items may be added or removed as circumstances dictate.  Because the budget is normally reviewed and approved, it is highly recommended that a short, concise narrative be provided to inform the committee on the need for the funds being requested.   

Once approved, the “Approved” column of the form should be updated and filed for reference.   It is also recommended that the Committee Chair prepare a Budget Balance Sheet (see next page) on an Excel or other such spreadsheet program.  The Balance Sheet should be updated as funds are spent so that constant line item balances are available as a reference.  This will help avoid going over-budget as each project proceeds. 

 

DISTRICT PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE

ANNUAL BUDGET REQUEST

 

 

Line Item

Last Budget

Year

Requested

Narrative

Approved

Offices Expenses

 

 

 

 

   Postage

 

 

 

 

   Stationery

 

 

 

 

   Reproduction

 

 

 

 

   Photography

 

 

 

 

         Sub-Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating Expenses

 

 

 

 

   Web Site

 

 

 

 

   Travel

 

 

 

 

          Sub-Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Event Promotions

 

 

 

 

   District Convention

 

 

 

 

   Flag Day

 

 

 

 

   Jamboree

 

 

 

 

   Veterans Christmas Party

 

 

 

 

   Clinics

 

 

 

 

       DD Clinic 1

 

 

 

 

       DD Clinic 2

 

 

 

 

       DD Clinic 3

 

 

 

 

       Ritual Clinic

 

 

 

 

       Leading Knights Clinic

 

 

 

 

   State President’s Visit

 

 

 

 

        Sub-Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Projects

 

 

 

 

   Annual Lodge PR Tng

 

 

 

 

   GER Official Visit

 

 

 

 

         Sub-Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                      Totals

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX 2

 

DISTRICT PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE

BUDGET BALANCE SHEET (SAMPLE)

 

 

Line Item

Requested

Approved

Current Remaining

Balance

 

Offices Expenses

 

 

 

 

   Postage

 

 

 

 

   Stationery

 

 

 

 

   Reproduction

 

 

 

 

   Photography

 

 

 

 

         Sub-Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating Expenses

 

 

 

 

   Web Site

 

 

 

 

   Travel

 

 

 

 

          Sub-Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Event Promotions

 

 

 

 

   District Convention

 

 

 

 

   Flag Day

 

 

 

 

   Jamboree

 

 

 

 

   Veterans Christmas Party

 

 

 

 

   Clinics

 

 

 

 

       DD Clinic 1

 

 

 

 

       DD Clinic 2

 

 

 

 

       DD Clinic 3

 

 

 

 

       Ritual Clinic

 

 

 

 

       Leading Knights Clinic

 

 

 

 

   State President’s Visit

 

 

 

 

        Sub-Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Projects

 

 

 

 

   Annual Lodge PR Tng

 

 

 

 

   GER Official Visit

 

 

 

 

         Sub-Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                      Totals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX 3

 

DUTIES OF THE

DISTRICT PUBLIC RELATIONS CHAIR

 

 


The District Public Relations Chair is responsible for: 

  • Setting and accomplishing District Public Relations / Promotions goals based upon guidance from the district’s leadership
  • Promoting District events, activities and seminars

·         Assisting District Committees in communicating with lodges and general membership

  • Assisting lodges with public relations planning and execution 
  • Filing public relations activity reports with State Association, District leadership and others as necessary  
  • Maintaining / updating contact lists
  • Receiving and distributing Elk promotional materials

 

 


To accomplish those responsibilities, the District Public Relations Chair will work to:

 

·      Develop and update District-level promotional goals, plans, public relations activities and other promotional / marketing programs and efforts

·      Maintain a District Public Relations control and procedures manual.

·      Conduct training for lodge Public Relations representatives

·      Coordinate media coverage for Grand Exalted Ruler visits

·      Help lodge PR representatives with Lodge Newsletters

·      Assist  other District-level committees with their communications to the lodges

·      Assist lodges in publicizing lodge anniversaries (25, 50,100 years, etc.)

·      Advise the District and lodges on Grand Lodge events, activities and policies

·      Develop and enhance media contacts

·      Prepare and publish District informational brochures

·      Prepare and publish District event promotional flyers, emails, and ads

·      Maintain a continuing calendar to anticipate District events, activities and seminars planned for the next 12 months

·      Receive monthly reports from lodges, consolidate them into a single report and file them with State PR Chair.

·      Prepare quarterly consolidated PR reports and file them with District VP and District Leaders

·      Encourage lodges to file news articles with ELKS magazine and State newspaper

·      Receive and distribute all publicity sent by Grand Lodge PR Chairman and State PR Chairman 

·      Perform other duties tasked by Grand Lodge PR Committee and State PR Chair

·      Perform other duties tasked by DDGER, District VP, and the District Leader(s). 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX  4

 

DUTIES OF THE LODGE

PUBLIC RELATIONS CHAIR

 

GENERAL OVERVIEW

The Lodge Public Relations Chair is the primary person responsible for developing and placing Elks / Lodge promotional materials within the community that the lodge serves. 

The PR Chair is responsible for ensuring that the image of Elks, and the lodge itself, is maintained and promoted within the community.  This is accomplished by gathering information about Elkdom and the Lodge, its activities and accomplishments, disseminating that information to the various news media within its region by using the wide variety and types of media available.  The Lodge PR Chair is responsible for filing timely reports on the efforts undertaken and the successes of those efforts to the District PR Chair.

The Lodge PR Chair is also responsible for gathering information within Elkdom (national, State, District, and within the lodge itself) which may be of interest to the lodge members or helpful to the aims of Elkdom, then ensuring the  distribution of that information to the members through the various means available, including newsletters, posters, email, lodge website, pamphlets, and other such media.  

The Lodge PR Chair is tasked with working to prevent the publication by any news media of anything which might be detrimental to Elkdom or negatively impact  the Order’s image.  

The Lodge PR Chair is automatically a member of the District Public Relations Committee, and in that position, is responsible for assisting in promoting the District and its events / activities / accomplishments.  

 

DUTIES

 

1.      Develop / maintain a Lodge Public Relations Program

2.      Develop a manual that describes the goals, objectives, controls, and procedures to guide the lodge Public Relations efforts. 

3.      Develop a program and train your lodge members on the need for successful, timely, and positive Public Relations; both within the lodge and externally to the community it serves 

4.      Develop, organize, and ensure media coverage when the Grand Exalted Ruler, or other dignitary visits your lodge

5.      Assist with creating and publishing the Lodge newsletter or paper

6.      Ensure the timely updating of the lodge website

7.      Develop and maintain an accurate email address listing of lodge members

8.      Develop and utilize a lodge email informational system to keep lodge members informed of current information.

9.      Assist Lodge committees in creating media coverage for their activities and the results of those activities.

10.  Ensure the promotion of the lodge’s 25th, 50th,  and 100th year anniversaries.

11.  Advise the lodge members of ongoing current information of Grand Lodge activities and Grand Lodge policies

12.  Develop media contacts

13.  Prepare and publish a lodge brochure to be used by your lodge to promote itself to the community and to potential new members

14.  Maintain a continuous 12-month calendar to anticipate activities occurring over the upcoming year.

15.  Attend meetings / conferences / work sessions with the District PR Committee

16.  Send monthly reports to your District PR Committee Chair. 

17.  Maintain a file on public relations supplies kept at Grand Lodge Supplies / Shipping Department, and provide that information to the various Lodge committees.

18.  Coordinate and ensure timely articles are submitted to both District / State / and National Elks publications. 

19.  Actively disseminate all publicity sent to you by Grand Lodge Public Relations Chairman on Elk’s Disaster Relief Program

20.  Actively disseminate information on other programs or new responsibilities received from Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee or State Chairman

21.  Provide timely assistance to District, State or National Committee Chairs asking your help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee

 

Steps To A Public Relations Campaign

 

Elks Media Relations

2750 N Lakeview AVe

Chicago, IL 60614

Phone: (773) 755-4892

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.elks.org

The Steps of a PR Campaign


INTRODUCTION

 

As your Lodge or State Association grows, you will face all kinds of challenges. You may be required to generate a Lodge/State business plan, attract capital, and recruit, train, and motivate the membership and employees. But perhaps, the most intricate and misunderstood challenge involves leveraging Public Relations (PR). It will significantly improve the success of  all Lodge activities and image in the community.

 

In the most general terms, the goal of Public Relations is to establish and maintain a relationship between an organization and its community.

 

-ALL ELKS ARE PUBLIC RELATIONS CONSCIOUS and

 

-ALL ELKS ARE AWARE THAT COMMUNITY IMAGE IS A CORNERSTONE OF PUBLIC ACCEPTANCE … relating to attracting QUALITY candidates for MEMBERSHIP.

 

As such, there a number of proven methods to help establish and maintain the Order’s relationship with the public.

 

Examples:

 

·         Community Relations:

      Enhancing your Lodge or State Association’s position and participation in the  

community though PROMOTING PARTNERSHIPS and outreach efforts   mutually benefiting your lodge and the community.

 

·         Crisis Management:

Pro-active awareness and re-energizing your relationship with the City, County, & State (and the media) during a disaster or crisis. Ask Officials what is needed and how the Elks can help. Ask those Officials to contact the media to let the public know the role Elks are playing … expect calls from the Press for phone or in-person interviews. Provide them with timely photos of Elk engagements with those in need.

 

·         Government Relations:

Representing your Lodge’s interests and activities to governing bodies and elected officials.

 

·         Internal Relations:

Serving as the conduit for information amongst your Lodge’s membership.

 

 

 

 

·         Media Relations and Publicity:

            Two closely related terms that define the goal of using the media — television,  

            radio, newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and the Internet — to sell your  

            product or service through news articles, interviews, and product reviews and to 

            manage the public’s perception of the Elks organization.

 

·         Special Event Planning:

            Special PR events can include fairs, trade shows, conferences, parties tied to a 

            Lodge theme or holidays, dedications, and Elks celebrity appearances.

 

·         Public Interest and Image Building:

Elk Lodges must disseminate information that aligns the Lodge with Elks charities, engage leadership training and other activities steps to communicate the lodges’ your commitment to community and social responsibility.

 

 

How Can Public Relations improve the quality of your lodge?

 

Developing a working relationship with the media (specifically a REPORTER who covers Community Presence and Local Charities will be key in keeping the public informed about the Elks. By identifying your Lodge’s most positive programs and getting the word out, you can not only meet some of your duties as member of the PR committee, but also:

 

·         Increase Membership:

When you tailor your Public Relations activities to a specific audience of potential QUALITY members and reach out to them, you can build visibility and increase your membership. Each time people read or hear your Lodge name and associate it  with something positive, it will bolster their awareness of the Elks and help them differentiate Elks from other groups. An informed public provides a pre-awareness of Elk accomplishments and facilitates the process of attracting candidates for the RIGHT REASONS … ones who will REMAIN IN THE FOLD … ones who will be ATTRACTED due to our PROGRAMS versus social elements.

 

·         Build Credibility:

            By positioning your Lodge as an expert in the not-for-profit world, you can attract 

            media attention and serve as a quoted source in your community. As you give

            interviews and get quoted, your community may ask you to give speeches or

            participate in panel discussions, thus solidifying your credibility.

 

·         Forging a new or Strengthen a Current membership relationship:

            Elk leaders will tell you that it's not enough to win a new member. You need to

            encourage a newcomer to remain a member and to become active in the Lodge.

            By aligning your PR campaign with your goal of attracting and retaining members, 

            you can build membership confidence and trust. Example: By profiling some of 

            your most active Elk leaders in your newsletter or your Web site, you send a 

            message that you value your members, that their contributions are recognized, and 

            that share a stake in their success.

 

·         Penetrating New Target Audiences:

            When you begin a program to interest a new audience or launch an Elks project or

             service, you need to alert members and potential members. Effective PR can

            draw them in and educate them about what you offer as an organization or what

            benefits your new activity [or on going activity] can offer...

 

·         Attract Members Who Will Become Committed Members:

            Good PR can introduce you to a range of potential members. By presenting lodge 

            leaders as authorities who operates in the public eye, you show potential members

            that your lodge is important in your community. Better yet, an ongoing PR

            campaign helps you craft an image of your Lodge as a long-term player in your

            community. Community leaders and Elk members needs to recognize the need for

            this type of commitment.

 

Public Relations versus Publicity

 

While both Public Relations and Publicity draw attention to your Lodge, they do so in often overlapping, but complementary ways. Publicity, for example, may involve such activities as putting up posters and sending out mailings. Public Relations involves generating media interest and actual coverage, such as a news story, radio interview, or product review. Other PR functions speak directly to potential members, creating an image of the Lodge and the value of membership in the Order via speeches, seminars, special events, and newsletters.

 

Publicity is event oriented--letting the public know about specific activities or programs, and the goal is to get people to take action--come to the barbecue or flag ceremony or a drug-free party for teenagers. Better yet, coverage of the Dictionary Project presentation and distribution to an assembly of 3rd Graders and teachers at a local elementary school with Drug Awareness “Hard Choices” super hero comic books.

 

Public Relations, on the other hand, is a long-term outreach that helps create a positive image of the Lodge and of the BPOE. Activities may include giving speeches, appearing on the radio or television, presenting seminars, and developing close relationships with the media.

 

Public Relations versus Advertising

 

When you advertise, you create a tightly controlled message and you purchase either the space in the newspaper or the time on radio or TV. With Public Relations, however, you do not control the message. The newspaper or radio station will determine how and if information about your Lodge’s activities or programs will be conveyed to the public. For example, you may send out well-written press releases and make phone calls to the media . . . but, perhaps no one is interested enough to develop a story or ask for further information.

 

Therefore, it’s vital to have a story that is sufficiently interesting that the media will pay attention. Once you’ve managed to get your story included in the media, the message will have much more credibility than it would have if it is purely advertising.

 

Eight (8) Effective PR Tools:

 

1.      Press Releases. These short documents detail what's new, different, or exciting about your Lodge. Press releases make it easy for journalists to understand how their audience might benefit by learning more. A tight, one-page press release that captures the most newsworthy information about your lodge can persuade key media contacts to write a story and mention your lodge favorably.

 

2.      Press Kits. A press kit or media kit often includes a press release along with background information and your Elks business card--all packed neatly in a snazzy, eye-catching folder. The folder might also include photographs and a list of questions lodge representatives are prepared to answer (also known as a "cheat sheet" for radio and TV hosts).

 

3.      Tip Sheets/Newsletters. A tip sheet is a page of snappy advice or information that helps your members and future members. Newsletters provide short articles and practical information that's of interest to your target audience.

 

      4.  Awards. Applying for Elk’s or local awards provides great visibility if you win or earn recognition as a finalist. Many trade journals, government agencies, and        professional associations sponsor annual "best of" award programs.

 

The awards that the BPOE gives out each year offer a great opportunity to your    lodge. Citizen of the Year, Police and Fire Officer of the Year, Drug Awareness     poster and essays contest winners, and all other contest winners deserve special     recognition ceremonies as well as luncheons or dinners, if possible. What better      time to invite the media to cover the event itself or to designate someone from         your Lodge to take photos, write up the story, and send or DELIVER it to the

media.  

 

5.   On-line Outreach. Smart, media-savvy entrepreneurs use chat rooms, their own                            Websites, and other Internet-based tools to launch awareness-building campaigns                               for their companies. Elks Lodges can do the same.

 

6.   Special Events. Carefully planned events can create media interest and bring members and potential members to your Lodge. Examples include fund-raisers, contests and drawings, public celebrations of Lodge milestones such as your lodge’s anniversary, charities, and member-sponsored parties.

 

7.   Trade Shows/Conferences. To maximize your Lodge’s presence at a large event, you may want to pay for a centrally located booth that's guaranteed heavy foot traffic. Or you can save money and strategically prowl the aisles to spread your message, perhaps by introducing yourself to key contacts or participating in break-out sessions that relate to your Lodge.

 

8.   Speeches, Panels & Forums. By delivering speeches about your lodge to community groups, local schools, or other profit and nonprofit agencies, your can create heightened public interest in the Lodge and attract new candidates for membership.

 

3-Stages to a successful Public Relations campaign:

1.     Planning

2.     Improve on your Media Outreach  

3.     Complete the Project

 

Planning

Determine Your Goals. Of the eight PR tools listed above, you must decide which ones will work best for your Lodge. Listing your top objective(s) will help you identify the right tools to use. When drafting your goals, make them as specific as possible. Instead of hoping for increased media coverage, for instance, address specific ways to increase coverage by attracting more visitors to your Web site, or tailoring your press releases so that there is a higher probability of positive media coverage. Make sure to keep track of the numbers of mentions in the media.

 

In setting goals, also make sure you know who your target audience is. To communicate to a younger audience, for instance, you may want to tap the Internet more aggressively rather than relying on standard press releases or advertising.

 

Also think in terms of strategic alliances you can establish with other programs, services, or lodges. This way, you can achieve your public relations goals by reinforcing your message the public in an understated or clever manner. Example: Have your Lodge open house program tied to a blood drive.      

 

Establish Your Priorities: Now that you've identified your PR goals and the tools to realize them, decide which goals matter most. Weigh these factors:

 

·         Timing: [ When do we accomplish it?]

       Increasing your PR efforts might involve planning special events,  

       writing and issuing a press release, or applying for a community award.

       Positioning your Lodge as an expert in your community and getting more

       members/guests into your lodge are both worthwhile goals, but if your time is 

       limited, select the one that will more directly benefit your overall Lodge goals.

 

        Because all media outlets operate on a deadline, the timing of your media plan is

       crucial. Missing a deadline may mean that your message does not get coverage.

 

·         Resources and Skills:

      Analyzing your resources will help you prioritize. If your Lodge is small and lacks

      a conference room, conducting an in-lodge seminar won't work. If you or other 

      members love public speaking, addressing community groups can make sense.

      Harness your strengths to maximize the PR program’s effectiveness

     

 

·         Plot Your Approach or Strategy : [how will it be accomplished] PR involves selling a message, idea, or product. To appeal to the media, research your options. Here's an exercise to help you lay the groundwork for your PR campaign:

 

            1.  Decide which group do you want to reach most with your PR campaign? 

                 Members

                 Potential members

                 Journalists/Media

                 Youth

                 Other _____________________

 

A.       Ask at least five representatives of each group what types of media they read or use most frequently (such as trade magazines, web sites, local newspapers, radio, newsletters, etc.). List the most common answers

 

B.        Contact all media sources in your area. Ask for a marketing kit or speak to their advertising director.  

                               1. Look for their demographic target audience? Ages? Income level?

             2.What's is their circulation? (if printed publication) How many "hits"  

                                  do you get a day? (for Web sites)

 

Armed with this information, you can select the most appropriate places to concentrate your PR efforts and tailor your approach to maximize its appeal. For example, if you've isolated a community newsletter that reaches the market you're pursuing, read at least three copies and note the editorial style. Mimic this style in your press release.

Note: If the purpose of your PR is to attract new (QUALITY) candidates for members, identify what they care about most.

 

Improve on your Media Outreach

 

Now that you're ready to implement your plan, you need to choose the right PR tools to publicize your message. This may involve preparing and distributing printed materials, making contacts online, or meeting audiences in person.

 

Regardless of which technique you choose, follow these rules to ensure good media relations:

·         If you call a journalist, never start by asking: "Did you get my press release?" Some media people get dozens of press releases a day. This question thus annoys them. Instead, start by introducing yourself and asking, "There's some big news at my lodge. Is this a good time?"

 

·         Tell the truth. If you don't tell the truth, the media will probably find out about it, and your PR campaign will fail. Resist the urge to inflate the facts or make assertions you can't support.

 

·         Admit mistakes. Journalists appreciate it when a caller is willing to acknowledge  what they did wrong. That makes for more compelling, believable stories.

 

·         Justify a press conference. Nothing will damage your relationship with the media as swiftly as calling a press conference for no real reason. Unless you're addressing a major public crisis, allying your organization with a celebrity or political figure, or announcing significant news that affects your local community, rethink whether to call a press conference.

 

·         Print contact info on all documents. When sending printed materials such as press releases, bylined articles, or press kits, make sure the top or bottom of each page includes a contact name, phone number, e-mail address, and your Lodge's Web address because pages can get separated. You want people to know how to reach you even if they only have one page of your 4-page article. On your Lodge's Web site, include full contact information at the bottom of the home page.

 

 

Complete the Project

Use the forms in Grand Lodge Public Relations, “Guide to Event Planning” manual to fill in the PR campaign documentation. This manual will also help you to run successful event or activity, such as youth activities, or a charity program to raise money for your lodge or state. [Perhaps your Lodge is celebrating a significant anniversary, and you want to have an evening to commemorate the occasion. Or you are planning regular events like installation of officers, inaugural ball, etc.] Take time and read this manual and reflect on how to create stronger and more successful projects. You will find this manual on, www elks.org.

 

 

The last page of “Guide to Event Planning” manual is the completed event report. Please complete this form and turn it into your Lodge Secretary. The Secretary will  enter it into the Elks Charity Records Booklet. This information by May 1st will be sent to Grand Lodge on page 2 of the annual report. This is what Government Relations and Public Relations use in telling our communities about all charity monies we give. This also helps the Elks in keeping off the tax rolls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMPLETED EVENT REPORT

 

Name of Event:_______________________________________

 

Name of Lodges/State:__________________________________

____________________________________________________

 

Planning:

Number of Committee Meetings: ___________ General:________

Subcommittee:______________

 

Publicity and Promotion Used (plus any photo/newspapers/other):

 

 

Dates of Planning Activities: From ______________    To____________

 

Estimated Person-hours:             Elks ______________      Others_________

 

Number of Committee Members:________________________________

 

Number of Elks Participants:___________________________________

 

Number of Other Participants:__________________________________

 

Miles Traveled:                    Elks ______________      Others_________               

 

Budget:     Income Lodges/State  _____________

                        Total Income               _____________

                        Total Expenses            _____________         

                       

Net Profit/Loss           _____________         

 

Final Summary: Briefly describe the event, explain what was done, provide

recommendations and comments, explain benefits to the Lodge and the community­.

Send all work sheets to Lodge Secretary. This last work sheet should be used for year-end reporting.

 

 

 

______________________________

Event Planning Chairman's Signature

 

 

APPENDIX A: MAJOR METHODS OF ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION

 

Developing Ads—Developing ads is a skill.  There are many important elements of an ad to think about, including the wording, graphics, arrangement of wording and graphics, coloring how your audience will interpret the ads, ad placement, etc.  Poorly crafted ads can hurt you more than not having ads at all.  Therefore, very carefully consider getting help writing your first ads.

 

Brochures or flyers—Many desktop publishing and word-processing software packages can produce highly attractive tri-fold brochures (an 8.5-inch-by-11 inch sheet folded in thirds).  Brochures can contain a great deal of information if designed well and are becoming a common method of advertising.

 

Direct mail—Mail sent directly from you to your members can be highly customized to suit their nature and needs.  You may want to build a mailing list for each Lodge program of your current and desired members.  Mailing lists can quickly become out of date.  Notice mailings that get returned to you.

 

E-mail messages—These can be a wonderful means of getting word out about the Elks.  Design your e-mail to include a signature line at the end of each of your e-mail messages.  Many e-mail software packages will automatically attach this signature line to your e-mail, if you prefer.

 

Magazines—Magazine ads can get quite expensive.  Find out it there’s a magazine that focuses on any of the activities or programs that the BPOE provides.  For example, soccer magazines or basketball magazines might be interested in hearing about how their sport is promoted by lodges.  Consider placing and ad or writing a short article for the magazine.  Contact a reporter to introduce yourself.  Reporters are often on the lookout for new stories and sources willing to be quoted.

 

Newsletters—These can be powerful means to conveying information about the nature of your lodge and its services.  Consider working with a member who has a design and layout background.  Today’s desktop publishing tools can generate very interesting newsletters quite inexpensively.

 

Newspapers (major)—Almost everyone reads a major newspaper.  You can get your Lodge mentioned in the newspaper by placing ads, writing a letter to the editor, or working with a reporter to get a story written about the Elks.  Advertising can get quite expensive, but newspaper advertising sales people are often quite useful in giving advice about what and how to advertise.

 

Newspapers (neighborhood)—Ironically, local newspapers are often forgotten, yet the neighborhood newspapers are often closest to the interests of our organization’s membership.

 

 

 

On-line discussion groups and chat groups—As with e-mail, you can gain frequent exposure for yourself and your Lodge by participating in on-line discussion groups and chat groups.  Note, however, that many groups have strong ground rules against blatant advertising.  When you join a group, always check with the moderator to understand what is appropriate.

 

Posters and bulletin boards—Posters can be very powerful.  Your best bet is to place the posters on bulletin boards and other places that have high foot traffic and always refresh your posters with new and colorful posters that will appear new to passersby.  Note that some businesses and municipalities have regulations about the number and size of posters that can be placed in the area.

 

Billboards—Billboards offer high visibility and target entire geographical areas.  A campaign can reach a large audience economically with a simple message on billboards.  The printer usually needs camera-ready art.  Layout work by the printer can be quite expensive.  However, there have been 50-foot posters for billboards with the message “Elks Care—Elks Share” which may still be available in the Chicago office.

 

Radio announcements—A major advantage of radio ads is they are usually cheaper than television ads, and many people still listen to the radio (when in their cars for example).  Ads, are usually sold as a package that considers the number of ads, the length of ads and when they are put on the air.  A major consideration with radio ads is to get them announced at the times that will do you the most good.

 

Telemarketing—While telemarketing is on the rise in the general marketplace, the role of telemarketing for the Order might better be termed “telephone outreach.”  Effective ways of using the telephone to “market” the lodge and Elks programs might be to develop highly tailored lists of people to contact for specific programs.  Calling all school principals to let them know about the availability of scholarships from the Order is a good example of effective use of telemarketing.  An outreach for the BPOE’s athletic programs might mean developing a list of every soccer or basketball coach in the area as well as community organizers so that the callers have a targeted, potentially interested audience.

 

Television ads—Many people don’t even consider television ads because of the impression that the ads are very expensive.  They are more expensive than most major forms of advertising.  However, with the increasing number of television networks and stations, your Lodge might find good deals for placing commercials or other forms of advertisements.  Television ads usually are priced with similar considerations to radio ads, that is, the number of ads, the length of ads, and when they are put on the air.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Web pages—Advertising and promotions on the World Wide Web are commonplace today.  Businesses are developing Web pages sometimes just to appear up-to-date.  Using the Web for advertising requires certain equipment and expertise, including getting a computer, getting an Internet service provider, buying (usually renting) a Web site name (domain name), designing and installing the Web site graphics and other functions and features as needed, promoting the Web site (via various search engines, directories, etc.) and maintaining the Web site.

 

Yellow Pages—The yellow pages can be very effective advertising if your ad is well placed in the directory’s categories of services, and the ad is descriptive of your services and/or your ad stands out (for example, is bolded, in a large box on the page etc.)  The phone company will offer free advice about placing your ad in the yellow pages.  They usually have special packages where you get a phone line along with certain number of ads.

 

 

APPENDIX B: BASIC DEFINITIONS

 

It’s easy to become confused about these terms: advertising, marketing, promotion, public relations, publicity, and sales.  The terms are often used interchangeably.  However, as already shown, they refer to different--but similar—activities. A review of  some basic definitions are provided below.

 

Definition of Advertising

 

Advertising is intended to sell something or to improve public awareness. Advertising is typically done with signs, commercials, print ads in magazines and newspapers, direct mailings, or Internet ads and e-mails, and is created by the advertiser, who purchases the space in print media, the time on radio or television, the internet space, or the costs of direct mail advertising programs.

 

Definition of Promotion

 

Promotion keeps the product in the minds of the customer and helps stimulate demand for the product.  Promotion often involves offers on a specific item or within a specific time frame. For example, in terms of the BPOE programs, a “first 100 children receive a safety helmet” offer would count as a promotion for an Elks Safety Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Definition of Marketing

 

Marketing is the wide range of activities involved in making sure that you’re continuing to meet the needs of your members and getting value in return.  These activities include market research to find out, for example, what groups of potential members exist, what their needs are, which of those needs you can meet, how you should meet them, etc. 

Marketing also entails structuring your activities so that they best conform to the expectations of the audiences a lodge serves, such as schools, and reaching out effectively to them.

 

Definition of Public Relations

 

Public Relations includes ongoing activities to ensure the organization has a strong public image.  Public relations activities include helping the public to understand the organization and its products.  Often, public relations is conducted through the media, that is, newspapers, television, magazines, etc. 

 

Definition of Publicity

 

Publicity is mention in the media. Organizations usually have little control over the message in the media, at least, not as they do in advertising.  Regarding publicity, reporters and writers decide what will be said.

Steps of a PR Campaign: 2008 rjg

 

The Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee

 

 

Public Relations Event Planning

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Elks Media Relations

2750 N Lakeview AVe

Chicago, IL 60614

Phone: (773) 755-4892

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.elks.org

INTRODUCTION

 

So You’re Planning to Stage a Event or Activity ….

 

Are you planning a youth activity for your lodge? Or a charity program to raise money for your state project? Perhaps your lodge is celebrating a significant anniversary, and you want to have an evening to

Commemorate the occasion. Or you are planning regular events like Installation of Officers, Inaugural Ball, etc.

 

This guidebook, contains easy steps to plan and stage your next event or activity. These steps  range from the idea and theme to project completion. By reading through this booklet, and filling out the basic worksheets. We know that you will have a plan of action for the present and the steps to complete the project. For more information contact your Area Grand Lodge or State Association Public Relations Committee.

 

 

Once you pick an event, selecting a date is one of the most important decisions you will make as you begin the process of planning and staging a successful event. It can affect all subsequent steps and is worth very careful thought. Before you make your decision, here is some important thing to consider:

 

·         Decide who you want to attract to your function. If it is a specific group of people, consult their schedules before selecting a date.

 

·         Allow plenty of preparation time. If possible, give yourself at least two to three months to make all the arrangements.

 

·         Be aware of major holidays, and avoid holding an event on those days. Also, if you are trying to attract local business owners or government officials, take note of special holidays when their offices may be closed.

 

·         Try to avoid a conflict with major community events and activities such as fairs, parades, sporting events and other community celebrations. Most important, check on other scheduled Elks events that might conflict with your event.

 

·         The best days of the week to get good attendance are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Members and friends frequently find themselves too busy on Mondays to leave work, and on Fridays [particularly in the summer] they may leave town to begin the weekend a little early. Although, with Elks weekend events often work well.     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 2: Choosing the Best Time of Day

 

The time of day you choose to hold your event is also crucial to its success. It's an important step in the planning process and helps determine the type of special event you will conduct. You must also consider whom you want to attract to your event.

 

Morning functions, for example, will have an entirely different atmosphere and style than an evening cocktail reception. Luncheon gatherings may naturally require more food and beverage. Consider the following when making your decision:

 

·         Very few successful special events are held in early morning (7:00 to 7:30 AM) unless a special breakfast is planned. Otherwise, morning events should begin no earlier than 8:00 AM

 

·         Luncheon events often turn out well, since most everyone eats a midday meal, but they require more advance notice in sending out invitations. Many people schedule luncheon appointments weeks ahead, and they'll need to be notified as early as possible to get your event on their calendar.

 

·         Late‑afternoon or early‑evening functions appear to be the most popular and successful. Perhaps it's because guests can stop by the event on their way home, or that the day is over and there are no more business matters to interfere with guests attending your event. The best time for an evening event is 5:00 to 6:30 PM, allowing everyone a chance to "drop by". Unless your event is a major one, few people will want to go home, change clothes and go out again, so avoid late evening functions beginning after 7:00 PM. Always consider your guests' driving distance and their approximate arrival time.

 

·         Avoid mid‑morning or mid‑afternoon time periods. Many people are reluctant or unable to break away from their own work in the middle of the day.

 

·         One more consideration: If media coverage is important to you, give serious consideration to their deadlines before selecting a time for your event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 3: Developing an Invitation List

 

Your event can be considered a success if you get the "right" people to attend.

The "right" people will vary from event to event, but they would normally include the following:

 

·         Potential and current members (your most important group)

 

·         Friends and family ‑ this is a big day for you, and you will want them there to share it with you.

 

·         Your employees and their spouses

 

·         Those who helped you get started ‑ your banker, accountant, attorney or other advisors.

 

·         Fellow members from other Lodges in your area.

 

·         Representatives from the State Association and Grand Lodge.

 

·         Key government officials, city council members, and county officers from the district in which your Lodge is located.

 

·         Military dignitaries ‑ particularly if your event has to do with veterans.

 

·         The media.

 

Once you have identified your guest list, here are some tips to remember when inviting them:

 

·         Prepare a nicely written letter of very basic invitation, but whatever you do, keep it simple and to the point. A formal, preprinted invitation should also be clear and concise.

 

·         Check to make sure that all information is included: who, what, when, where and why.

 

·         Be sure to include an RSVP. You may be in for a real surprise if you don't ask people to either return a reservation card or call you to confirm their attendance by a certain date (i.e. please RSVP by June 1). This will also help you in knowing how much food and beverage to order.

 

·         Allow ample notice, between six and eight weeks is ideal for most events, although longer would be preferable if you are planning to invite Past Grand Exalted Rulers, legislators and others whose calendars are typically full.

                 

·         Be sure to include a good map or clear instruction on how to get to your lodge or site of your event. A street address alone is not sufficient.

 

·         If you choose to generate a fancy or elaborate invitation, do it right. Get professional help

from a graphic artist or designer.

 

·         Indicate in your invitation whether the event is casual, semi‑formal (often called

"business attire"), or formal.

 

·         If spouses are invited, say so. Otherwise, it will be assumed that they are not.

 

·         Send your invitations by first‑class mail, if at all possible. Bulk mail can take up to a week or longer, and delayed delivery of your invitation could seriously hurt your attendance.

 

·         Now is the time to prepare a news release and make contact with the media. A sample news release is included in this kit.

 

 

And a few other things to remember:

 

·         When creating your guest list, always consider the amount of space available for your event. Being forced into cramped spaces can irritate your guests and create a negative impression of your event.

 

·         While it is impossible to predict how many people will attend, you can usually figure that between 25 and 50 percent of those invited will show up. The percentage of friends and relatives who attend will be much higher than the percentage of those to whom you have sent courtesy invitations or whom you don't know very well.

 

·         Always provide easy‑to‑find and accessible parking for your guests. People will start

off in a bad frame of mind if they experience difficulties in finding a place to park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 4: Serving Food and Beverages

 

Although it's an added expense that you may want to avoid, serving food and beverage of some kind is almost a necessity for a successful event.

 

No matter what time of day your function is held, people will expect something to eat  and drink. It's become traditional, and your event will be remembered as the exception to 

the rule if you choose not to offer refreshments. Here are some hints:

 

·         For morning events, coffee, juice, fruit and pastries are perfect. Unless you are in the restaurant business or wish to go overboard to impress your guests, a full breakfast is not necessary.

 

·         At luncheon events, remember that this is the midday meal for most of your guests, and they will expect (and deserve) some kind of sandwich or buffet meal at minimum. Do not hold an event from noon to I p.m. and then force your guests to go elsewhere to each lunch.

 

·         During late afternoon or early evening events, light hors d'oeuvres or finger foods are appropriate. Chips, dips, cheese, vegetable plates or cold cut meat trays are perfect. Avoid messy foods that might spill.

 

·         If you choose to have a formal dinner or late evening party for your guests, make it exceptionally nice. If you are asking people to spend most of an evening with you, they deserve something special.

 

·         About alcohol ‑ late afternoon or early evenings are the only time alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, mixed drinks) are advisable. Many people enjoy an after work cocktail, and it can add to the enjoyment of your event. Beer and wine are often served at luncheon gatherings, but alcohol is hardly ever served in the early morning. At events where alcoholic beverages are served, always have something non‑alcoholic for those who do not drink. Be sure to check with your local liquor store to determine if a permit is required. NEVER TAKE PICTURES WITH PEOPLE HOLDING BEVERAGES … regardless of content!

 

·         It would be smart to enlist the help of a professional caterer for medium or large events or if you haven't the time, manpower or talent to provide your own food and beverage. Caterers can give you good, solid advice and are not as costly as you might think. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for a list of their catering members.

 

·         If you do decide to provide your own refreshments, be sure to have an ample food and beverage supply for your guests, as well as sufficient plates, cups, napkins, trash cans and other items. Running out of food and drink is a bad way to end an event.

 

 

STEPS 5: Planning a Program

 

Whether you are staging a groundbreaking, an open house, fund‑raiser or an anniversary celebration for your Lodge, it adds a nice touch to an event to have a brief program of some kind. (See Ritual Manual)

 

It provides not only valuable recognition for you and your key people, but it makes the event more purposeful and allows you to explain more about your Lodge. But consider these points when planning your informal program or formal ceremonies:

 

·         The shorter, the better. People have brief attention spans at events such as these, and you might lose a large part of your crowd if the program drags on too long. As a rule of thumb, no program or official ceremony should last longer than 20 to 30 minutes, with 10 minutes being the ideal.

 

·         Your program should be led by an effective master of ceremonies.

 

·         Limit the number of speakers and the length of their speeches. People get bored easily when speakers ramble on for too long a period, so set a time for all those you ask to take part in the program.

 

·         Introduce only those who need to be introduced, even though the temptation will be to acknowledge nearly everyone in attendance that you know. Otherwise, it slows down the program and you will invariably forget someone.

 

·         Conclude your program with some appropriate ceremonial or symbolic activity to commemorate the event: a ribbon‑cutting for a grand opening, shoveling the first load of dirt for a ground‑breaking, or cutting a cake for an anniversary of your Lodge. These are nice ways to let guests know the formal program is over and they also create good publicity opportunities for your photographer.

 

·         If your event includes an open house or tour of your facilities, be certain that friendly and knowledgeable members conduct group tours. Unguided self‑tours by your guests are not nearly as valuable as guided tours.

 

·         Speakers taking part in any formal program should include appropriate city or county government representatives, State Association and Grand Lodge representatives, Exalted Rulers or appropriate members of your Lodge.

 

·         Be sure to send thank‑you letters the day after your event to anyone who played a key role in staging it, particularly those who took part in any official program or ceremony.

 

·         Indoors or out, any group of 50 or less usually does not need a microphone system. More than 50 people usually will require voice amplification. A portable podium or lectern is often very helpful

      to speakers.

 

·         Rain can do more than just dampen your spirits ‑ it can drench your guests and your program as well. Always try to have a back‑up plan for a rainy day, which may involve moving indoors or erecting a tent.

 

·         Consider having some kind of door prize or drawing as part of your program. It can help attendance.

 

 

STEP 6: Getting Media Coverage

 

Without discouraging you unnecessarily, we need to be frank. The media cannot be counted on to give extensive coverage to your special event.

 

It's not that they view your function as insignificant, or that they are deliberately ignoring it ‑it's simply a matter of manpower available to cover the event and a lack of sufficient air time or print space to carry your story. The media are often swamped with business community news of grand openings and groundbreakings, and they are unable to provide good coverage to them all.

 

Armed with that realism, remember that there are some concrete things you can do to enhance the chances that it's your event that they choose to publicize:

 

·         Send your invitation to the news director or city editors at least three weeks ahead of your event, and include a personal letter or note explaining some of the details about your Lodge, and why your event is different or has some significance to the overall community.

 

·         Include a brief letter or press release that contains the journalistic basics of who, what, where, when and why. Your release or letter doesn't need to be fancy, just factual (see sample).

 

·         A follow‑up letter or reminder call the day before your event is a good idea, although some media people consider it an imposition or a waste of their time.

 

·         See Grand Lodge Public Relations Manual for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                            Sample News Release

 

July 3, 2XXX

 

                               

                                                                                          Contact: John Doe

                                                                                          Exalted Ruler

                                                                                          503-777-6161

 

 

River City Elks Lodge to Hold Grand Opening

 

River City Elks Lodge is announcing its Grand Opening for its new building at 727 Boeing Blvd.

 

The Grand Opening and Tour will be held at the new building from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25, 2XXX. Ribbon‑cutting ceremonies will be at 6 p.m. The event is open to the public. Tours and refreshments will be provided.

 

Members of the local Elks Lodge recently completed construction of their new building after only six months of fund‑raising and planning activities. Their previous site was damaged due to the earthquake last June and was condemned by building inspectors shortly thereafter.

 

Exalted Ruler John Doe is pleased with the modern and seismically updated facility and believes the public should have an opportunity to take a tour of the building.

 

River City is one of nearly 2200 nationwide Lodges in the Chicago‑based BPO Elks of the USA. Last year, the nearly million‑member organization contributed more than $200 million to charitable and philanthropic programs. These include youth athletic and drug education programs, college scholarships, veteran's service, and aid for people with disabilities, the major project of the State

Elks. The primary beneficiary of the River City Elks' charitable work is the Children's Hospital. The Lodge annually raises about $ 10,000 for the hospital.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 7: Using State Association and Grand Lodge

               Public Relations Committee Services

 

By reading this information you are already taking advantage of some of the help available to you from the Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee.

 

And there's more. We'll be happy to speak with you and help you make some of the decisions we mentioned earlier, and also describe some of the other ways we can be of service. Some of these include:

 

·         Providing invitation lists. Besides the people you will invite on your own, we can offer lists of our state officers, area Grand Lodge representatives, trustees, state chairmen, committee people, etc.

 

·         Providing a list of possible speakers for your event.

 

·         Recommendations on media coverage and releases.

 

 

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS ...

The previous pages provided a picture of the basic elements in  staging successful special events.

They don't happen by accident ‑ they take careful thought, planning and attention to detail.

 

If you simply follow the advice we've offered, and call upon the State Association and/or Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee to help you in any way that they can, your event will be a memorable one for both you and your guests.

 

As a next step, use the following Event Worksheet and Project Form, letting it serve as your "road map" from start until your event is finished.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPECIAL EVENT WORKSHEET

Event__________________________________________________

Key Contact:__________________________________ Phone ___________________

Address:______________________________________________________________

City/Zip:______________________________________________________________

1.         Date/Site Selected:____________________________________________

2.         Time Chosen:________________________________________________

3.          Invitations:__________________________________________________

             Format style (letter, formal, etc.)_________________________________

             Guest list to be developed no later than____________________________

             Invitations to be mailed no later than______________________________

             Name of graphic designer, printer (if any)__________________________

             Number of invitations to be printed mailed_________________________

4.         Food and Beverage:___________________________________________

            ___________________________________________________________

            ___________________________________________________________

            Type of meal served:  _________________________________________

             Name of caterer to be used (if any)______________________________

5.         Program/Ceremonies:_________________________________________

            How Long?_________________________________________________

             Format: ____________________________________________________

            Master of Ceremonies:_________________________________________

            Length of each speech: _________________________________________

            Others on the program: _________________________________________

Special "props" needed (ribbon, scissors, etc.)

 6.       Media Coverage: _____________________________________________

          Notice of event to media no later than: ______________________________

                                 PROJECT FORM

 

The purpose of this form is for use in PRE-PROJECT PLANNING to record the goals and objectives of the project. Then the form is to serve as a reference and guide during the progress of the project.

 

 

PROJECT PROPOSED  ______________________________

 

Purpose of Project:

 

 

 

 

 

Estimated Number of People Working on Project and for What Use?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits and Comments Concerning Project Proposal:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Estimated Project Starting Date _________________________

 

Estimated Project Completed Date ______________________


PLAN OF ACTION

 

Steps to Be Taken to Complete the Project (meetings included):

 

    1.

 

    2.

 

    3.

 

    4.

 

    5.

 

    6.

 

    7.

 

    8.

 

        9.

 

 

 

 

Publicity and Promotion (2 to 3 months in advance):

 

    1. Flyers (several; each different)

    2. Bulletin Board Signage

    3. Lodge Bulletins (at least 2-months in advance for attendee planning)

    4. Direct Member Mailings (separate from Lodge Bulletin); USPS + e-mail
COMMITTEE'S SUMMARY OF ACTION

 

List your important activities and functions during the planning and operation of this project. Give approximate time period in which these activities occurred. Make copies of this page if needed.

 

Date                Action Taken:

 

_______         _________________________________________

 

_______         _________________________________________

 

_______         _________________________________________

 

_______         _________________________________________

 

_______         _________________________________________

 

_______         _________________________________________

 

_______         _________________________________________

 

_______         _________________________________________

 

_______         _________________________________________

 

_______         _________________________________________

 

_______         _________________________________________

 

_______         _________________________________________

 

_______         _________________________________________

 

_______         _________________________________________

 

_______         _________________________________________

 

_______         _________________________________________


COMMITTEE ORGANIZATIONAL CHART

 

The purpose of this form is to illustrate in chart form the basic committee organization of the project. The chart is to represent the actual structure used, including both titles and names from Chairman down. This organizational chart should be prepared at the first project committee meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chairman ____________________________________________

 

Address _____________________________________________

 

Home Phone ______________Work Phone_________________

 

Fax ________________E- Mail ___________________________

 

 

______________________________________

Project Chairman's Signature

 


Special Materials Needed:

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUDGET

 

Income                                        Proposed Budget        Actual

 

Appropriation from Lodges       ______________        _______

 

Appropriation from State           ______________        _______

 

Appropriation from Other          ______________        _______

        

Appropriation from Other          ______________        _______

 

Total Income                              ______________        _______

 

Expenditures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Expenditures                    ________________   _________

 

Profit or Loss                              ________________   _________


COMPLETED PROJECT REPORT

 

Name of Project: _______________________________________

 

Name of Lodges/State: __________________________________

 ____________________________________________________

 

Planning:

Number of Committee Meetings: ___________ General:________

Subcommittee: ______________

 

Publicity and Promotion Used (Plus any photo/newspapers/other)

 

Dates of Project:          From ______________    To____________

 

Number of Project Hours: Elks _____________          Others________

 

Number of Committee Members___________________________

 

Number of Elks Participants______________________________

 

Number of Other Participants_____________________________

 

Miles Traveled         ELKS __________           Other __________

 

Budget: Income Lodges/State  ________

Income Other               ________

                   TOTAL INCOME         ________  Expenses_______

 

Final Summary: Briefly describe the project, explain what was done, give recommendations and comments, benefits to the Lodge and the community­ Send all work sheets to Lodge Secretary.

This last work sheet should be used for end of the year report.

 

______________________

Project Chairman's Signature

 

 

                                         NOTES & IDEAS

 

After the event, while the activity is fresh in mind, list:

 

WHAT WENT WELL:

 

 

WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED:

 

 

LESSONS LEARNED:

 

 

ATTENDANCE:

 

 

VOLUNTEERS:

 

 

COST SAVINGS POSSIBILITIES:

 

 

NEW ELEMENTS FOR NEXT TIME:

 

 

THANK YOUs FOR ALL VOLUNTEERS:

 

 

PICTURES OF EVENT FOR CONTEST BROCHURES, BULLETIN, and HISTORIAN:

 

MEDIA COVERAGE:






 

PR Event Planning: rjg 2008

The Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee

 

Public Relations Basics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Elks Media Relations

2750 N Lakeview AVe

Chicago, IL 60614

Phone: (773) 755-4892

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.elks.org

 Public Relations Basics

 

Like charity fund raising, media relations is an ongoing process; requiring energies, tact, and personal involvement. Your strategy for press coverage goes beyond trying to land one big story -- you want the press to know that you are THE “organization of expertise” to contact whenever they are creating a story on a subject relating to your mission.

 

Don't think that every press release is going to result in a story though -- it's not. But maintaining regular press contact will build recognition of your lodge among reporters, and will result in ongoing benefits down the road. As stories and listings for your lodge appear, you won't just be reaching new audiences--you will also be reaching current members and supporters reminding them of what your lodge is doing and what they have chosen to be a part of.  When considering press coverage, be sure and remember that:

 

·         The Elk’s mission statement has the perfect brief description of our organization. An overview of the history of Elkdom is also available; it should be in every press kit and displayed prominently on your Web site as well. The Grand Lodge has these items as well as brochures and other great items. 

 

·         Everyone at your lodge should be able to recite the mission statement from memory. If it's too long for staff and board members to easily remember, it's too long for the press to remember as well.

 

·         Media relations needs to be fully supported by your lodge, and you need policies and procedures to govern your lodge's press relations. Be sure you have answers to the following questions.

 

1.  Who is responsible for press relations at your lodge (writing press releases,  

      answering calls from the press, inviting press to events, etc.)? Does the  

      person who answers the phone know to refer ALL calls from the press to 

      that person?

 

2.  Do all staff members and volunteers (including board members) know         

     what to do if they are contacted by a press representative?  Should they talk      

     with that person and then let the lodge’s public relations director know

     they have done so, or should they refer the reporter to the public relations

     director first before any interviews take place?  (Decide on a strategy and 

     make sure it is communicated to everyone.)      

 

3.   Who at your lodge needs to know that a photographer or camera crew is

      showing up at your lodge or a lodge event?  If the lodge feels an event is

      inappropriate for a camera crew to film (for instance, a dress rehearsal for

      a play the night before opening), what alternative filming opportunities

      can you provide?  And, finally, always notify people they are going to be

      (or might be) photographed or filmed before it happens!  You don’t want

      someone who is upset on the evening news.          

 

 

 

 

·         The person who answers your phone, or anyone who signs anyone up for an activity at your lodge (volunteers, people who attend events, etc.), should ask people who call how they heard about your lodge or activity. This will help you see how effective your outreach activities are, and help you plan strategically for the future.

 

·         You should identify media outlets in your area. You should have the names, postal addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, and e-mail addresses of all local daily and weekly newspapers, all TV stations, all radio stations, all organizations and editors that maintain event calendars (including the local chamber of commerce and tourism board), and all TV programs, radio programs, and specific beat reporters that would be interested in your lodge in particular. If you are in a rural area, you should also identify and know how to contact the major media outlets for the nearest metropolitan area.

 

·         Most major metropolitan areas have a media guide, published by a local professional association (Women in Communications, Public Relations Association of America, etc.) or by a civic group (Junior League). Call other nonprofit organizations, the nearest United Way, or a press representative to find out if such a guide is published in your area. You can also use the phone book and the Web to compile this information.

 

·         You don't necessarily have to have people's names to go along with positions -- sending something to "Attention Calendar Editor" at your local paper will get it to the right person as quickly as putting that person's name on it. And given the high turnover in media, it's certainly easier to maintain your database this way.

 

·         You should not contact all media outlets every time you send a press release or have an event. If you do, you will overwhelm the organization, and reporters and editors will stop reading your materials. Also, some publications are highly-focused: a weekly neighborhood or community paper may only be interested in activities that directly and obviously involve their particular community or population served. Therefore, you may have to tailor press releases to these publications to illustrate this connection.

 

·         You should develop a media outreach calendar tailored to your own lodge’s events and resources, as well as to your goals for media outreach. Note the dates of events your lodge will sponsor in the next 6 to 12 months. What about events that will involve your Exalted Ruler or other key staff (a high-profile speaking engagement, for instance)? What about the launch of a new program or service? The launch of your annual charity fund raising campaign? Once you've developed this calendar of events, you can set your dates to contact the media. Your press release "send" schedule should follow this basic model:

 

 

 

 

 

 1.  Announce events, workshops, etc. Announcements should be sent two to

                        three weeks in advance for daily and weekly publications; they should be

                        sent six to eight weeks in advance for monthly publications.

 

 2.  Assignment editors at TV stations should get press releases that announce 

      events you think would provide good video for the nightly news.

      Remember that TV stations are looking for lively visuals--with faces and

      movement. You should also fax the assignment editor 12 to 24 hours   

      before such an event—a one-page fax with just the who, what, why,

                        where, when, how, a contact name, and why this event is particularly

                        important.

   

 

 3.  Beat reporters (people who are assigned to a particular subject or issue

      area such as education, entertainment, senior issues, sports, etc.) should  

      get press releases only for events, workshops, or services that relate to 

      their particular area of focus. Send these two to four weeks in advance.

      For announcements of a major event, you may want to send a "Save the

      Date” press release several weeks or months in advance.

 

 4.  Press releases can also be sent out on an as-needed basis, such as the

      departure of your Exalted Ruler to the Grand Lodge Convention, a major 

      donation given or received, an award to your organization, etc.

 

 5.  As mentioned earlier, some publications are highly focused. A weekly

      neighborhood or community paper may only be interested in activities that  

      directly and obviously involve their particular community or

      population served. You may have to tailor press releases to those

      publications to illustrate this connection.

 

 6.  As radio stations have a music format, and have very limited time for

      public service announcements. Send your press releases only to those

      radio stations that feature regular news times, audio event calendars, and 

      public affair shows, following the guidelines above. For other radio

      stations, consider event partnerships.  If are you hosting an event, such as

      a “Car Show” fund raiser, ask if that would be a good place for a radio

      stations, to set up a live broadcast. Or are you trying to target a particular 

      community or population that also makes up most of an audience of a

      particular radio station (for instance, if an you are hosting a conflict

                        resolution workshop for youth, perhaps the radio station teenagers listen to 

      most in the area would be willing to sponsor this event and promote it on

      it on their station).

 

 

 

 

                          7.  Some public policy issues may affect your Lodge’s target population.

      If so, non-press organizations and people should also get your Lodge

      press releases (as appropriate).  This is how you will build a public

      reputation and get calls from the press as appropriate.  Some of the

      organizations you may want to send selected press releases to include:      

 

A.    City (mayor, council people), county, state (legislators), and federal officials (congress people and senators) that represent your area.

B.     Chambers of commerce, tourist association, arts council, etc.

C.     United Way (even if you are not a United Way agency).

D.    Nonprofit development or support centers that serve your area.

E.     Nonprofit and public sector agencies with a similar focus.

F.      Professional associations and civic groups.

 

                    8. Make sure the press views your Exalted Ruler and other key staff and  

                        board members as accessible. For instance, your PR person should have

                        lunch or dinner, one-on-one, occasionally with key local reporters, not

                        necessarily to pitch stories or do an interview, but just to network and

                        cultivate a relationship. However, members should not consider these

                        meetings off the record; they need to watch what they say and conduct

                        as representatives of the lodge.

 

          The basic information in this document will get you started on the road to building   

            a reputation with the press and getting media coverage.  Remember to evaluate

            your efforts every few months.  Include in your evaluation, answers to these

            questions: Are stories being generated?  Are press people attending your events?

            Are more people attending your events or calling your Lodge? (Remember—you

            should ask anyone who calls your lodge how they heard about your event or

            services).  Also make sure all staff members know the results of your efforts:

 

      1.   Distribute copies of all articles that appear about your lodge, 

      positive or negative, to all staff and board members. As resources

      allow, and as appropriate, also send copies of stories to volunteers,

      donors, and members/clients.

 

2.   Find space in a public area at your lodge for a "brag board," where

      you can post articles about your lodge that are published. Also

      watch the "Letters to the Editor" column for things that might

      relate to the Elks, and distribute them appropriately. If your 

      Exalted Ruler or other members writes a letter on behalf of your

      lodge (with approval, of course), make sure all staff and board

      members get copies.

 

3.   A notice should go out to all staff and board members if a TV or

      radio program is going to do a feature on your lodge (more than

      just a mention of the dates and times of an event).

 

 

How to Succeed in Media Interview

 

Dealing with media can be direct and even enjoyable, provided, of course, that you know how members of the media think and what they want. To help you prepare for an interview, take the little quiz below. The questions originally appeared in Nonprofit Management Strategies. The answers are below.

 

1.  News Is:

 

     A.  Important information.

     B.  Information about your organization.

     C.  Whatever the editor says it is.

     D.  Information that is timely, unique, and important to the people in your area.

 

2.  When Being Interviewed:

 

     A.  You have several basic rights.

     B.  You have no rights, the reporter makes the rules.

     C.  You have the right to approve the article or story.

     D.  You may redo the interview if you don’t like it.

 

3.  “No Comment” Is:

 

     A.  Better than admitting guilt.

     B.  A phrase best used in connection with litigation.

     C.  A signal that you are covering up something.

     D.  The best way to avoid answering a sensitive question.

 

4.  Errors Appear in Stories Because:

 

     A.  The reporter doesn’t allow you to review it.

     B.  There is a multi-layered editing system that creates errors.

     C.  Reporters aren’t knowledgeable about your organization.

     D.  Reporters are human and make mistakes.

     E.  You did not communicate effectively during the interview.

 

5.  What’s the Best Time for an Interview?

 

     You have the option of deciding when a reporter should come to do a story for the       

      5:00 p.m. news.  Should you choose:

    

     A.  10:00 a.m.    B.  2:00 p.m.     C.  3:30 p.m.      D.  Live at 5:00 p.m.

 

6.  A Media Interview Is:

 

     A.  An annoyance.

     B.  A glorious opportunity.

     C.  Asking for trouble.

     D.  Only occasionally worth it.

 

Answers to Quiz

 

1.  News is important information. (C)

 

2.  When being interviewed you have several basic rights. (A)

 

3.  “No comment” is a signal that you are covering up something. (C)

 

4.  Errors appear in stories because you did not review them;

There is a multi-layered editing system that creates errors;        Reporters aren’t knowledgeable about your organization; Reporters are human and make mistakes; and

You may not have communicated effectively during the

    interview. (A, B, C, D, and E). 

 

5.  The best time for an interview is live at 5:00 p.m. (D)

 

6.  A media interview is a glorious opportunity. (B)

 

 

 

The Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee

Public Relations and Media Handbook


Elks Media Relations

2750 N Lakeview AVe

Chicago, IL 60614

Phone: (773) 755-4892

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.elks.org

 

The Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee wishes to dedicate this handbook to one of its own, Past Grand Est. Leading Kt. William Hansch. During his tenure as a member and chairman of the GL Public Relations Committee, Hansch distinguished himself as the moving spirit behind the Elks’ modern public and media relations efforts. His dedication, creativity, and deep love of the Order have served both as model and an endless source of inspiration for this committee. It is our hope that, in some small way, this handbook will serve as tribute to him.

Public and Media Relations

Implementing successful public and media relations initiatives requires planning and an understanding of your audiences, and the media and its audiences. Fortunately, the programs and activities of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks offer many opportunities for you to promote your Lodge or state association to the media, thereby strengthening in the public’s mind that “Elks Care—Elks Share.”

Our members and the people they serve—from our young Elks “Hoop Shoot” and “Soccer Shoot” athletes, amazing scholarship recipients, handicapped children, veterans, emergency service personnel, community service leaders, educators, and parents—each has an emotionally appealing story with the potential to affect a wider audience.

This handbook, developed by the Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee, will help your Lodge or state association better tell the stories of Elks’ activities and programs, position your Lodge or association to gain favorable media coverage, build an awareness of the B.P.O Elks, and even create a greater interest in joining our organization. Your efforts are key in encouraging a positive image of the Order.

Good luck in spreading the word.

Goals of Public Relations

In the most general terms, the goal of public relations is to establish and maintain a relationship between an organization and its public. As PR chairperson, you will find that you have a number of methods to help you establish and maintain the Order’s relationship with the public. These methods often involve:

  • Community Relations: enhancing your Lodge or state association’s position and participation in the community through outreach efforts mutually benefiting your Lodge and the community.
  • Crisis management: maintaining your relationship with the public and media during a crisis setting.
  • Government relations: representing your Lodge’s interests and activities to governing bodies and elected officials.
  • Internal relations: serving as the conduit for information amongst your Lodge’s membership.
  • Media relations: conducting outreach and responding to the media on behalf of your Lodge.
  • Publicity: furthering your Lodge’s interests through target-media coverage of your Lodge’s messages and events.
  • A mixture of sales, marketing, advertising, and journalism.

Your Duties as PR Chairperson

As the PR chairperson for your Lodge, your basic duty is to oversee the gathering of information with potential for positive publicity and to distribute such information to all appropriate news media in a timely fashion. Other duties include:

  1. Train members of your Lodge in public relations
  2. Develop media releases for Grand Exalted Ruler visits to your Lodge
  3. Help with Lodge newsletter
  4. Help other Lodge committees with media coverage
  5. Help your Lodge on anniversary years (25th, 50th, 70th, 100th)
  6. Advise your Lodge of ongoing current information on Grand Lodge policies
  7. Develop media contacts
  8. Develop Lodge public relations activities and programs
  9. Prepare and publish a Lodge brochure to be used by your Lodge
  10. Develop a manual that describes the controls and procedures to be used by your Lodge in public relations
  11. Maintain a continuing 12-month calendar to anticipate activities occurring in the next 12 months
  12. Send monthly reports to your district committeeman
  13. Keep Lodge informed about public relations supplies kept at Grand Lodge supplies/shipping department
  14. Keep reminding Lodge to send fraternal news items to The Elks Magazine
  15. Send all gender issues to Grand Lodge chairman of the Advisory Committee. Only he or the Grand Exalted Ruler may address subject. Also send a copy to the chairman of the Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee and to your state sponsor and president
  16. Create media releases regarding all information sent to you by Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee Chairman on Elks disaster relief
  17. Provide assistance to Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee or state chairman when needed

Goals of Media Coverage

Developing a working relationship with the media will be key in keeping your community informed about the Elks. By identifying your Lodge’s most positive programs and getting the word out, you can not only meet some of your duties as PR chairperson, but also:

  • Recruit new members, volunteers, or sponsors
  • Reach potential program participants or donors
  • Educate the community about Lodge programs
  • Highlight Lodge programs that are improving the community
  • Raise the Lodge’s visibility in the public eye
  • Provide recognition for volunteers

How the Media Works

To get media coverage for your Lodge you need more than a good story. You need to understand both how the media works and its goals. Knowing the role of the media in your community will increase your effectiveness in promoting the news of your Lodge. In most cases, the goals of media outlets are to inform, advise, entertain, and make a profit. By keeping the media’s goals in mind, you place yourself in a better situation to tailor the news of your Lodge to a media outlet’s needs.

Each day, news agencies are inundated with stories about events, people, organizations, and corporations. Most of these stories don’t make the paper or the broadcast. The ones that do invariably are items deemed to be newsworthy. By giving your Lodge’s story the right angle, you will improve the chances of the media viewing your story as newsworthy.

Typically, editors, producers, and reporters use similar criteria to judge if a story is newsworthy:

  • Proper timing
  • A local angle
  • Widespread interest
  • Well-known people
  • Human interest/emotional appeal

One of the best ways to make your Lodge’s story meet a media outlet’s needs for newsworthy material is by providing your story with a “hook”—something that will tie your news to their needs.

With some creative thinking on your part, you will find that news hooks for your story aren’t difficult to come up with. Some of the best news hooks involve:

  • Presenting a local angle to breaking news of interest. For example, if Congress were to sign legislation concerning veterans, you might contact media outlets and provide a local angle on how your Lodge plans to assist area veterans in light of the new bill.
  • Presenting an education or community service award. Frequently, many media outlets honor local heroes of community service and by honoring these individuals you may be able to garner both them and your Lodge additional media coverage. In the past, some Lodges have presented awards to reporters and editors as well for their excellence in community reporting.
  • Involving the media as a partner in one of your Lodge activities. Consider having a local media outlet cosponsor an event or invite representatives of the media to attend awards banquets as guests of honor.
  • Arranging for testimonials or guest speakers at appropriate events.
  • Explaining local implications on national reports or surveys. Suppose a study is released detailing the problems facing homeless single parents. If your Lodge sponsors a shelter, you may be able to generate a news story about how that national study relates to the community and what your Lodge is doing to help.
  • “Tie-ins” with holidays, anniversaries, previous news reports, or news reports on current trends. Perhaps your story can be tied to something other than just your Lodge. The Lodge’s scholarship program may be considered more newsworthy if the local paper or television station recently reported on current educational trends. Be creative when looking for tie-ins, but be sure that your news item and the one that you are tying it in with are both newsworthy.
  • Creating the unexpected. Novelty attracts attention and media outlets are often on the lookout for it. Ask yourself if you can bring something unexpected to your Lodge’s event or story to make it stand out.

Identifying Your Audience

The most important thing to remember as you work with media outlets is that, in terms of public relations for your Lodge, the media is not your audience. The residents of your community are. The media is just the messenger and that is why it is vital for you to identify your target audience, tailor your message for them, and use the media outlet that will best help you reach that audience. Your audience can be parents, students, teachers and school administrators, business leaders, government bodies or officials, other community associations, or some other group.

Some Hints on Best Reaching Your Target Audience:

  • Audiences want to hear about themselves. People seek news that relates to their lives in an immediate fashion. With this in mind, many media outlets cater directly to these specific audience interests. Newspapers are divided into sections on lifestyles, sports, business, farm reports, and health sections so that a target audience can reach the news it wants as quickly and easily as possible. Television and radio stations make programming choices in a similar manner. Magazines, especially, increasingly target a niche audience. As a PR chairperson, make sure that your message is relevant to the audience you hope to reach or it will go unnoticed.
  • Audiences prefer news involving people over statistics. Too many facts, figures, and numbers can quickly bore an audience. Be sure that you are reaching your target audience by including people in your message. Saying that your Lodge annually contributes $7,500 to local handicapped children isn’t as engaging or impressive to an audience as explaining how one of one of those children has been helped by the Lodge.
  • Audiences can sense self-promotion. Audiences tend to shy away from a shameless self-promoter. To reach your audience, you will need to be certain that your message is about the people your Lodge helps and not that your Lodge helps people. The difference is slight, but it can make a big impact with your audience.
  • Learn about your audience. Advertising and marketing professionals go out of their way to familiarize themselves with a target audience. It’s up to you to discover the things your target audience reads, what television programs and stations they watch, radio stations they listen to, and what interests and concerns them. By understanding these things, you can hit your audience where they live. The advertising department at a media outlet can often provide you with valuable demographic information about their readers, listeners, or viewers, but don’t stop there. Examine the style of the media outlet to get a feel for its approach to the audience, and then make sure your message mimics that style.

Reaching the Media

Before going to the media with a story, it is extremely important for you to be sure that you are beginning with the strongest possible start. To do this, you will need to formulate a media plan that can answer three basic questions:

  • What do we want to accomplish? (Goals)
  • How will it be accomplished? (Strategy)
  • When do we accomplish it? (Timing)

Although there is really no media plan that works for every situation, as PR chairperson you will need to keep your eye on the goals, strategy, and timing with each plan you create.

In setting your goals, make sure that you have decided on the audience you want to reach and how to best create excitement through news hooks or other means. Make your goals as specific and tailored as possible. This will help determine the media outlets you will need to provide your message to. A goal to generate 50 media impressions with one story might seem like a good idea at first, but having five extremely well-placed media impressions may be ultimately more beneficial to your Lodge and its programs. Remember, it’s difficult to gauge your success if your goals are general.

Your strategy is the approach you will take to meet your goals. While some approaches will be simpler than others, no strategic plan should ever be just releasing your message as soon as it is ready. A strategic media plan should include:

  • Your newsworthy message
  • A target audience
  • A list of media outlets reaching the target audience
  • Contact points and deadlines for those media outlets
  • An approach to getting your message to the media in a timely manner

Because all media outlets operate on a deadline, the timing of your media plan is crucial. Missing a deadline may mean that your message does not get coverage.

As your media plan gets under way, make sure you monitor it. This allows you to verify that you are on the path to meeting your goal, make any revisions, and see if anything has passed unnoticed. Without a way to monitor your media plan, it can almost be as if you never had one.

Your Media Lists

A media list contains the carefully selected names, addresses, phone and fax numbers, E-mail addresses, and deadlines of every news organization, reporter, and editor who will be likely to use the material you send.

The main types of media are:

  • Print: Newspapers (daily and weekly), magazines, The Elks Magazine, church bulletins, education and business publications, industry trade papers, college and high school newspapers, brochures, and community calendars
  • Television: News and locally produced talk shows, community-access cable
  • Radio: News and locally produc