Each and every member of the American Council of the Blind can and should be ACB's best public relations agents. Below are some ideas you should feel free to try to help spread the word about the great work ACB continues to do to improve the lives of all this nation's blind and visually impaired citizens. Even if you've never been involved with public relations, you can do these things. There is no time like the present to begin the fulfilling journey of spreading our news; you may be responsible for touching the lives of other blind people in your area.

Contact at least the top three radio and television stations in your area. Ask for the name, telephone number, mailing address and e-mail address for the staff members responsible for receiving media releases and public service announcements. Contact those people either in writing or by phone and introduce yourself as an expert on issues impacting people who are blind. Share your contact information with them.

Touch base with your contacts every 3 months or so to ask if they have had any stories or issues on which you might comment or about which you might provide clarification.

When you see a media release issued by ACB, contact the national office to request a clean copy by attachment. What you see posted in an e-mail is generally very poorly formatted and should never simply be forwarded along to the media. Save the clean copy in a folder on your computer dedicated to media releases.

Call your contacts and leave them a voice mail message, alerting them to the fact that you are about to send an important media release regarding issues of interest to the blind. Suggest that they contact you with additional questions. Always remember to thank your contacts each time you interact with them, whether by e-mail, phone or hard copy letter.

Send your contacts a copy of the release, appending your own contact information at the top. On a separate cover sheet, remember to thank them and offer yourself as a subject matter expert.

If at any time you have questions, please feel free to contact Ron Milliman, chair of the ACB public relations committee. Ron is available by e-mail at [email protected] and by telephone at (270) 782-9325.

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