Public Relations - AVMA Officer's Visit

Posted 15 February 2005

Next time you invite an AVMA officer to your state or allied meeting, make the most of that officer's visit by scheduling activities before, during or after your regular convention program. AVMA staff has generated a list of possible activities to help you use that time to benefit your organization and the profession.

Possible Activities for an AVMA Officer Visit

  • Editorial Board with local newspaper(s) - give editors/reporters idea of range of stories so they'll know who to invite (i.e. agriculture reporters, homeland security, war in Iraq, science/technology).
  • Have president give an award, especially to a child - invite press and media.
  • Book on morning news show(s) - try to tie into recent, local news event/topic.
  • Book AVMA president to give a short speech at luncheon meeting of Rotary, Kiwanis, Business Club, Chamber of Commerce, etc. If possible and relevant, get stats on local contribution to community- invite press and media.
  • Set up a meeting with local middle and high school guidance counselors - call superintendent's office and have them do logistics.
  • Set up a meeting with local youth club(s) - Scouts, 4-H, Future Farmers of America, etc. - invite press and media.
  • Set up a photo shoot with mayor or local politician - have key to city given to president - proclamation of veterinarians' day - invite press and media.
  • If you have a local zoo, set up visit by elementary school students to visit zoo with tour conducted by zoo veterinarian and AVMA president - invite press and media.
  • Schedule a press conference where state-VMA executive director and AVMA president address a local issue (spaying, fighting, rabies, migration patterns, etc.)
  • Noon news - call assignment editor and offer to have AVMA president, along with one or two other veterinarians host a call-in "ask the doctor" segment.
  • Talk radio - colleges/universities often host a PBS radio station - call and offer to bring the AVMA president to discuss a topic such as "What's happening in veterinary medicine today."
  • Book into middle/high school science class or science club - make it a "brown bag luncheon" or after school activity - book through superintendent's office.
  • During the state-VMA convention, schedule a "town hall meeting" or "coffee with the President" where attendees can participate in an informal Q&A.
  • Have the AVMA President install new officers.
  • Have the President announce the state-VMA's "Pet Hall Of Fame" award winner (where appropriate)- invite media.
  • Where applicable, arrange for a visit to a pre-vet class at local college.
  • Visit an area veterinary college/school and arrange to meet with the Dean. If possible, address the students or attend a SAVMA meeting.
  • Tour/schedule a meeting with officials from a local animal shelter or humane society or a specialty group like Guide Dogs for the Blind or SAR dogs- invite media.
  • Plan a meeting/dinner with officers from the state's local-VMAs to share ideas and information.
  • Have an exhibitor host the AVMA president at their booth for a "meet and greet" opportunity with conference attendees.
  • Arrange meetings with legislators/regulators to discuss key issues.
  • Arrange meetings with state veterinarians and key staff members in agriculture and public health departments to discuss issues of mutual concern.
  • Find out if local hospital or long-term care facility has animal-assisted activity/therapy program and have AVMA president meet with principals involved to stress importance of veterinary involvement - tie into Josh Project, if applicable.
  • Consider hosting a "brown bag" luncheon with principals from state medical association to discuss issues of mutual interest such as bite injuries, zoonotic concerns, bioterrorism, and disaster management.

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