Veterans enlist Bonner to heighten political profile

WASHINGTON, DC: The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is turning to PR to help the three-million-member organization become a more potent political force.

WASHINGTON, DC: The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is turning to PR to help the three-million-member organization become a more potent political force.

WASHINGTON, DC: The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is turning to PR

to help the three-million-member organization become a more potent

political force.



The group has tapped DC-based Bonner & Associates for a grassroots

campaign aimed at raising its profile with politicians during what

promises to be a lively election year.



’We think the campaign will help us achieve our goal of getting veterans

back on the agenda in Washington,’ said Ken Steadman, executive director

of the VFW’s Washington, DC, office.



The campaign has two major objectives: securing increased funding for

the Department of Veterans Affairs and becoming a very visible player in

the 2000 elections. ’The key word is ’visible,’ ’ said Bonner chief Jack

Bonner.



Bonner said his firm is planning to train and mobilize VFW leaders and

members, as well as tout the group’s sizeable political muscle.



’The VFW has a significant presence in all congressional districts, with

an average of 23 VFW posts and 5,500 VFW dues-paying members,’ he

said.



’This presence gives them potential political clout that is unmatched

almost any other group - the AFL-CIO, AARP, Chamber of Commerce, you

name it.’



According to Bonner, even the Republicans and Democrats ’cannot make a

similar claim’ about having as substantial a home-district presence as

the VFW.



The campaign, whose time-frame was not specified but will likely be

lengthy, will involve community outreach as well. VFW members plan to

work with allied veterans’ groups and others in their home districts to

grow a bigger base of political power.



Unlike other advocacy organizations, the VFW has never been shy about

flexing its PR muscle. Earlier this year, the group worked with

Fleishman-Hillard to promote its 100th anniversary celebration.



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