Our Council is dedicated to building a strong Scouting program for each of our Packs, Troops, Crews and Posts. A very important facet of this ongoing effort is publicity. We must all keep our communities aware of the vitality of Scouting, and its role in keeping young people involved in worthwhile, time-tested, wholesome avenues.
Publicity not only recognizes the achievements and activities of youth and leaders, which is very important, but it also makes the public aware and helps build support for our movement. It brings to youth, their parents, and community leaders that are not involved a sense of what they are missing, and will hopefully bring them into our circle.
How to Handle Publicity in Your Unit
Recruit a parent to be on your Pack, Troop, Crew or Post committee to be the publicity chairman. Don't be guilty of putting another hat on a good person that is doing a good job with their current responsibility. Expand your leadership base.
He or she will be responsible for writing news releases and sending them to the appropriate media. Taking photographs is also very important. People like to see the Scouts, not just read about them.
The unit committee should participate in deciding what activities are newsworthy. Publicity possibilities should always be on the meeting agenda. You probably won't be able to generate an interesting release every meeting, but there's no reason that 6 times a year you can't get your unit into print.
Remember that your release should be timely. News is only news when it's new. Your publicity program should receive quick follow through. Don't be discouraged if the media does not always use your releases. Keep at it and the results will happen.
What's News Worthy?
It would be impossible to list all of the areas that might be of interest to the media and the public, but here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
A unit service project (conservation-oriented, a project for your sponsor or town, for the elderly, etc.).
Outstanding achievements of members (ranks, special awards, Webelos to Scout Bridge - crossing, Tiger graduation ceremony, etc.).
Special events (product sales like popcorn, car wash, old uniform drive, etc.).
Outings (trips to Darien Lake, or the Aquarium, a camping trip to a neat location, etc.).
Recruitment efforts (open houses, school nights, etc.).
The majority of your releases should end with a statement on how to get involved and who to contact, when you meet, etx. Use your imagination when writing a press release. Just do it, and after the first time it should become a reflex.