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News - Executive - 15 Dec 2007

News Item 14 of 22 

Executive: 15 Dec 2007
Public Relations Report to the Executive - December 13, 2007

I attended the Zone PRO Seminar on Sunday, December 9th, hosted by Branch 234, in Guelph. Speakers for the Day were:

• Brenda Funston, District ‘C’ PRO & Web Design
• Pat Smith, District ‘C’ Deputy Commander
• Elaine Rice, Zone ‘C2’ PRO

Brenda spoke on getting our branch photos and articles published in the LEGION Magazine, and provided guidelines for photo and article submissions. She also provided a power point presentation with her laptop computer to illustrate what she was talking about. She also reported that Ontario Command continues to update their web-site and are in the process of developing guidelines for all RCL branches to follow for web-sites. This information will be shared with all when finalized.

Brenda shared the Tara Branch Honour Roll issue which was published for Remembrance Day, 2007. This project is a remarkable tribute to the veterans of Branch #383. I have shared this with a few members of my PR committee and it was well received. I will share it with you following the meeting.

Pat’s talk was on the importance of the PRO, Membership Chair, and TOD Chair, working together to promote membership. Her message was very loud and clear – MEMBERSHIP MUST BE GIVEN TOP PRIORITY – without a strong membership that supports the branch, our branches will fail.

This message doesn’t just mean get more members. It means treat your current members and new members well, and they will continue to support your branch. Her handout was excellent and cited examples of why people do not renew their memberships. Some examples for non-renewal in Pat’s hand-out are:
• Aging veteran population
• Increasing age of senior members
• Lack of interest in branch activities
• New members not made to feel welcome
• Petty bickering amongst members
• Cliques
• Lack of leadership
• Associate and affiliate members made to feel unwelcome
• Uninformed membership and public
• Negative environment in the branch
• Legion image……..and the list goes on

Pat reported that she presented this information at a Zone TOD Seminar hosted by the New Hamburg Branch in October, 2007, and that our branch TOD chairman will be presenting an 11 page questionnaire to our executive, to do an evaluation on how we are doing as an executive. At our seminar, Pat passed out page 11, which had the questions for the Public Relations portfolio.

The Public Relations Officer is the ‘Good Will Ambassador for the Branch’, and is required to work with all chairmen in promoting their services and/or events.

The information contained in Comrade Smith’s hand-out is excellent and I would be pleased to make it available to any executive member who would like to read it.

Elaine reported that Ontario Command has named The Easter Seals Society as their Charity of Choice, and enquired how much each of our branches have raised for them to date. She also stated that as each donation for Easter Seals is received, an email should be sent to her to keep her totals up to date.

This information was mailed out to all Branch Secretaries in early October, and it is my understanding that it’s up to each branch executive committee as a whole, to decide what level of participation we will have in this campaign.

Elaine handed out a booklet on Communication, and said that each branch was previously sent a Public Relations Handbook, which should be in the possession of the PRO, not in the Branch Office. I have emailed Comrade Meyer, past PRO, to see if he can forward this handbook to me.

Now for Branch 50 Events:

• The web-site is very popular and Trevor has added a member section. Each member of Branch 50 can sign in using their current membership card and complete surveys relating to branch business, as well as update their personal information i.e. phone, address, email info, etc. This will help us keep our records accurate at least for those members who have access to today’s technology.
Diane Zarzycki is to be commended for the hard work she put into assisting Trevor in getting the membership data base current and uploaded to the web-site, and he wanted me to make sure the executive committee was aware of his gratitude.
• PRO has three sub-committees which have been approved by Comrade President Dave and they are: Community Relations, Dugout, and Web-site.
• The Official Launch of Branch 50’s web-site scheduled for December 16th, has been cancelled. The official launch will occur once the finalized guidelines are received from Ontario Command.

• Branch #533 would like Branch #50 to visit them in London in the new year.
• The Hamilton Branch #163, has requested another branch visit for Saturday, September 13, 2008. They would like to attend one of our branch pool tournaments and arrange a rematch bowling tournament. These sports events will be coordinated between Peter Schafer of Branch 163 and Jerry Prince.
• The next edition of the Dugout will be January/February, 2008. If you have anything you would like included in this issue, please email me at or leave the information at the bar.
• All members can contribute information to the web-site. If you have ideas, please don’t hesitate to email me or Trevor. Trevor is
• All executive members have email accounts linked to the web-site.

Gloria McKibbin, PRO

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