“What’s in a name?” While most of us can say we’re darn proud of our name after a century of existence, that famous line from the great William Shakespeare could have lots of outside people asking the same about the American Legion Auxiliary.
Conversations with non-members/the public sometimes go like this: “Are you the Legion?” “Well, no; but we’re part of them.” “Then what’s an auxiliary? What does it do?”
Back in 1919 when the ALA was established, people spoke differently. The English language was more formal in nature, a thorough grasp of grammar was strictly enforced in schools, and everyone wrote like college professors. Even in some of the ALA’s most menial historical pieces like old office memos, you’ll see this prim prose in action.
What does all of this have to do with us today? We know the ALA is experiencing a membership slide. Attendance is down at unit meetings and service activities. But we can fix that by making some seemingly minor changes. Let’s start with how we refer to ourselves. No, we’re not planning a name change. However, we can use a different descriptor/tagline to more accurately reflect our brand, who we are, and what we do: A Community of Volunteers Serving Veterans, Military, and their Families.
In the coming months, you’ll see more of this key marketing phrase throughout national ALA media, and we’ll provide you with oodles of ways you can utilize it to your unit’s advantage. The choice is ours – adapt to the changing times around us, or stick with statements that may not provide outsiders a more aptly written description of who we are.