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The Pennsylvania Elks Magazine Re-Launch

At the most recent Grand Lodge Convention the PA Elk received a 4-star accreditation, and after looking at the requirements, the scoring, and the 5-star accredited newsletters, our goal is to bring Pennsylvania to a 5-star newsletter. Glen Klein has been doing a great job as the Editor, but when he was first brought on board he was the designer for our newsletter, never was supposed to be the editor, but like any Great Elk, he took on the role, and now we as the Public Relations Committee will be teaming up to lighten the load of the Editor Job, and allow Glen more creativity on the forefront of the Pennsylvania Elk, and allow him to work with us to gain a 5-star accreditation.

Moving forward it is going to take an Army of dedicated members to reach this goal. It will start at the Lodge Level with the local Public Relations Chairperson. Each Lodge will be responsible for Editing their information, and grouping their submissions prior to sending the information off to the District Chairperson. The Editing part of the process has always been in place, but we have been laxed on this over the years, and now we need to get back to doing this. The Grouping of information is going to be a new process, a process that will flow from the Local Lodge to the District and then to the State.

What do I mean by Grouping? Well with our new launch of our PA Elks Magazine, we are going to make some very big changes to the way the paper is laid out. Comparing our paper to other 5-star papers, the new layout will help reach our goal. Grand Lodges’ main requirement when it comes to newsletters is to make sure that Grand Lodge Programs are promoted within your newsletter as well as your state association.

Grouping will come into play with the programs for which we hold functions, fundraisers, awareness and other great news within the association. Grand Lodge programs such as Elks National Foundation/Grants, Drug Awareness, Americanism/Veterans will now be highlighted within the newsletter, and events held at our local lodges will now be grouped by category. Grouped at the Local Level, then the district will group by lodge, in which category their submissions fall in, and then send it to the state. Our Grouping of Photos and stories will fall under each category, much like they do in the National Elks Publication. With this change, we will be eliminating the district-by-district news. Why are we breaking this up? It’s simple. We are one Association that is broken down into Districts, but we all bring the same news and information to the table. Let’s make ourselves one anywhere that we can, and let’s start in our state association newsletter. (Grouping of the information will be put into further detail with the District Chairs across the state during my Visits.)

Other changes that we are going to make will be to move the State Sponsors Message and the State Presidents message into the magazine and not be the cover page of the newsletter. Making this change allows us to highlight specific stories within the newsletter and allows for specific photos pertaining to our association and programs to be highlighted, which takes us back to the grouping selections. For each Edition the goal is to highlight one of Grand Lodge’s programs on the Front Page or Cover Page of our newsletter.

The State Sponsors Message & State Presidents Message will be the first two items you see on the inside of the newsletter, with the ability for us to highlight certain articles in a Table of Contents, and a list of the Editors/PR Chairs across the state, as well as our graphic designer and main editor Glen Klein. Following our State Presidents Message will be the messages of our District State Vice Presidents messages and we are hoping to be able to get a photo of each one of these individuals to use with their stories. Why do we want a photo? It is time everyone sees who these people are. This is going to be much the case for every chairperson across the state. A photo with the message from these individuals is important with the information they are providing. A face always helps someone find you at a convention, a face helps guide someone for questions.

Following these messages will be our highlighted Grand Lodge Programs, no particular order can be provided, but it is important that reports on Membership and Marketing, Elks National Foundation (ENF), Drug Awareness, Hoop Shoot and all other Grand Lodge Programs are highlighted within the newsletter. Stories from across our state association with photos can be provided with each grouping.

The Newsletter is not just for past news that has already occurred, we would love to start getting some stories submitted for events that will be happening as well/ Past news is great, but upcoming events that haven’t happened are even better, and we need to start providing this information in advance. Any events that will be fundraisers for our state association major projects, legacy trust, or even ENF related, should be provided in the newsletter. We already do this on our social media and State Webpage. Let’s add it into our newsletter, as each of these three publications provide and reach different audiences of people.

Lastly, all of these changes will be a progression, my personal goal is to launch this for our (Spring) Edition in February. I will be visiting each and every single district starting in August and hope to conclude my visits by December. My main objective for why I want to travel to each district is I want to get the word out to not only the district chairs, but to the Lodges themselves. I have found that in my twenty-two years as a member, different people attend different meetings. Those you see at a District Meeting don’t always attend a State or National level meeting. I want everyone to hear this not only from their District Chairperson, but also from their State Chairperson as well. In addition, there are several District PR Chairpersons I have never actually met in person. I would like the opportunity to sit down with them and explain what we need them to do to make this a successful transition. Anything that I and the team of District PR Chairs can do to make Glen’s Job easier and allow him to focus more on the graphic side and creativity side, is a win.

Jason Cook, Public Relations Chairperson



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