Hyper Local Media: A How-To For Military Appreciation Month and Beyond
At Wreaths Across America, we often talk about capturing audiences and sharing our story well before the winter months. In our new focus on hyper-local media, we hope to give you tools to capture those markets within your own communities.
With Military Appreciation Month fast approaching, our country as a whole takes time to celebrate our military, veterans, and their families. Culminating on Memorial Day, National Military Appreciation Months stands as an opportunity to remember, honor, and teach in tangible ways. Now is a great time to become part of the national conversation around veteran and military services.
Mutually Beneficial Engagement
Delivering the right message to the right people at the right time is key. While mission matters and the Wreaths Across America story is an important one to share, broad engagement in your community will lead to more powerful connections year-round.
By learning and sharing in core community issues, you will ensure you are part of the larger conversation on the military and veterans. As a representative of WAA, you help bring awareness of our mission to your community by being involved in other organizations, other community events. Develop mutually beneficial relationships with shareholders in your community. Organize “town halls” with location coordinators, volunteers, local military, neighbors, fundraisers, city council members, etc. to produce ideas and help raise awareness of local resources for veterans. Who else is working for this demographic in your area?
Telling a Story and Three Platforms
When targeting your storytelling, be sure to appeal to core human values: safety, freedom, good health, better living, our loved ones, etc. Connect the dots between WAA and your community by drawing on the conversations you are having with local shareholders.
A great way to do that and share in the dialogue is to write an op-ed. Take this example from Connecticut Magazine. Here, the author shares a beautiful story about her local cemeteries and contemplates ways to volunteer her time in that space. The article offers a number of ideas to help maintain a cemetery, even mentioning the WAA observances in December. By talking about a larger issue within her community, the author engages a wide audience who in turn will learn more about WAA simply for the mention in the article.
There is a growing divide between our civilian and veteran populations in America. Be part of the conversation by pitching local media on various resources available in your community to military, veterans, and their families. Does your office hold a transitioning veteran job fair? Wasn’t your neighbor just talking about building a home with Habitat for Humanity for a disabled veteran and her family? Sharing news about programs throughout your community, including WAA, allows journalists to build a bigger picture and a more affective storyline for their outlet.
Finally, don’t be afraid to share content from other organizations on your location Facebook page and other social media. If we think back to the mutually beneficial relationships we’re all building with local shareholders, this is a tremendous way to continue your conversations online and with an ever-growing audience. Encourage reciprocation by tagging like-minded military and veteran service organizations in your area in posts on Facebook. Share fun news about an upcoming ruck or color run hosting their next project. Strength for our nation’s veterans truly lies in numbers. Everyone can play a part in Military Appreciation Month.