What Does Good Public Relations Do For You

Earl D Beauchamp, Jr.
Vice President, Public Relations & Communications

What can you do to bring about good public relations? One thing you can do is appoint a member of your Region or Chapter, perhaps the Editor or the President, to make sure you get something into your local newspaper several times a year. It really isn't that hard to do. The smaller your local newspaper, the easier it is. What is the value of these mentions?

Each time you get something about your club into the newspaper, you do several things. First, you advertise the existence of the Antique Automobile Club of America. You would be surprised to know how many old car enthusiasts either do not know about the club, or have a misconception of it. Next, you advertise the existence of your Region or Chapter, which (1) adds to a non-member's desire to participate, and (2) brings out additional spectators for your events; and finally, (3) it identifies you as a large group of people who are doing something good in the community. This fact that may help you influence the local politician. should one of their ordinances tax plans give problems to the local old car collectors.

It's usually an easy matter to get a "Press Release" of your up-coming big show, major undertaking, or outstanding member into the paper. Your appointed Public Relations chairperson should prepare a `'Press Release" by first typing those words across the top of the page, large enough to get the editors attention. If you have a computer, next give your article a title, using 24-point Times Roman font, and then type the article in 12-point Times Roman. If you do not have a computer, just use your typewriter. However, your chances will be improved if the submission can be inserted directly, without reformatting. This is called camera ready copy in the industry. Camera ready copy can be inserted into the newspaper or publication by just using the copy directly. Major advertisers submit camera ready ads to the papers. Make sure you include one or two photographs they can keep; newspapers like photographs. Always deliver the press release in person. It identifies you to the newspaper people, and shows you have a real interest in getting the item published.

Although it may not be the most exciting day in your life, participate in local parades, fairs and festivals when you can. When the politicians decide to do something to you, the past support provided to community activities is always helpful. You can call this type of an event good public relations.

If you can get a record of your Region's or Chapter's participation in the local newspaper that's even better. Have your public relations person work up an article on one of your members' and his participation with old cars. Provide a couple of photos. Then when you deliver it, invite them to send a reporter out so they can do their own story on this member. If you need to show what a great hobby this is for the community, you can point to these articles as having set a good example of the positive, constructive nature of our hobby. Also, such an article may ignite the fire in another prospective member who has had a dormant interest in old cars for some time.

Remember, every time you take your old car out, you're being noticed. The public loves nice antique motor vehicles. Help get the word out with steady information about our club, and use good public relations to help our club grow in several ways.