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November/December Issue

red star bulletThe Veteran Departments :Featured Stories / President's Message / Letters / VVAF Report / Government Relations / Ask The Parliamentarian / Public Affairs Committee Report / Region 9 Report / From The National Secretary / PTSD/Substance Abbuse Report / Disaster Relief Committee Report / SHAD/Project 112 Task Force Report / AVVA Report / TAPS / Veterans Initiative Task Force Report / Arts of War / Book Review / Membership Notes / Locator / Reunions / Homeless Veterans Task Force Report

2010: Jan/Feb
2009: Jan/Feb | mar/apr
| may/june | july/Aug | sept/oct | Nov/DeC
2008: Jan/Feb | mar/apr | may/june | july/Aug | sept/oct | Nov/DeC
2007: Jan/Feb | MAR/APR | MAY/JUNE | july/aug | SEPT/OCT | Nov/DeC
2006: July/Aug | SEPT/OCT | nov/dec


A Shift In Direction


Being the new guy is not always easy. But I would like to thank Jim Doyle, my predecessor as Chair of the Public Affairs Committee, for taking the time and effort to fill me in on the background and history of the committee. In reviewing the 2005 Convention Resolutions, it’s clear that the Public Affairs Committee, due to its scope, interacts and supports the effort of all committees in the organization. In its truest form, the PA Committee helps shape and communicate the image, goals, and initiatives of the organization.

The Public Affairs Committee works directly with the Communications and the newly formed IT Departments. Committee members come from all levels of VVA, including National Board of Directors members, State Council presidents, AVVA officers, and chapter members. Subcommittees of the Public Affairs Committee include Education (Tom Hall, chair), Awards (Charlie Montgomery, chair), Press Club (Jim Boyd, chair), Talklist (Dick Southern, chair), and SPOC (John Miner, chair). The focus of the committee has changed to a more concentrated effort on marketing and branding.

The new marketing efforts include improved communication with our current members. The contracts to redesign the web site have been issued, and the committee presented the first sample of the redesigned web site to the Board of Directors in April. We are almost done building an e-mail opt-in page and membership e-mail database that will allow members to receive e-mails from the national office. We are working on a new membership on-line application page and an on-line renewal page, for current members and lost or old membership renewals. We’re planning on adding a blog, offering chapters and state councils a standardized domain name for their web sites and adding the bios of officers and the Board of Directors. To help the members communicate with the press, we are adding an on-line press release form.

A web-based marketing research and positioning effort, which is critical in helping our outreach efforts for new membership, is under way. The intent is to generate new members, increase donations, and find new sources of revenue. An entirely new source of revenue is available through the web site, and the PA Committee is aggressively pursuing it. We have identified potential vendors to help us with the buying and selling of Internet-based advertising. Advertising revenue from the new site will come from various-sized banner ads, selling streaming video ads, selling banner ads as a “plus up” or add-on to The VVA Veteran buy, and by putting The VVA Veteran on line as a PDF (or e-zine format) making it readable, searchable, and generating more revenue for the ads.

Marketing of VVA on the web includes planting articles (known as “white papers”) on various search engines and other web sites. On the web, content is king, and we know that there is not one leading site for Vietnam veteran content. VVA will become the content king of all things related to our Vietnam War experiences.


Some recent accomplishments include: Created three brochures: Prostrate and Diabetes for the Health Care Committee and a new brochure for the VVAF, wrote a new training seminar on working with the media for 2006 Leadership Conference, reviewed the Press Club training seminar. We also wrote and edited memos on the use of the VVA logo to set a new cohesive policy for BOD approval.

In addition, we are working with the Membership Committee to produce a Membership 3-4 minute DVD for recruitment and presentations. We can now add it to the web site. Based on a referral from the Membership Department, we helped organize and confirmed VVA, VVAF, and AVVA participation in the GoodSearch web-based search engine with donations to the respective organizations. When you go to the site, there is a prompt that says “I’m Supporting.” You type in the organization that you want to support. Just type in “Vietnam Veterans of America,” “Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund,” “AVVA,” or “Vietnam Veterans.” is offering to pay VVA one cent per search from their site, which is powered by Yahoo. Please make this your home page and tell all of your friends to use it to help us raise funds. This is a no-brainer; all we have to do is promote it to our members and associates. We will link it to our current site and then add it to our new site when we are up and running.

One of the great things about VVA is the wide range of talent and skills that our members have. I’m thankful for the new committee members and the ones who have been around for a while as we shift the direction of the Public Affairs Committee.

It’s been a little more than a year ago that one of the great talents and communicators of the VVA passed away, but for all of us that heard or read the words of Steve Mason, his compassion for his fellow veterans lives on.

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