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.