IMHO admit that the American Red Cross by far seems to have a consistent & successful public relations plan in regards to everything they do nationally, regionally, and locally.
From a natural disaster standpoint they appear to have ready to go media release/talking points for the preparation, response, & mitigation phases of disasters. Volunteers & paid staff are in a consistent uniform, easy identifying them as ARC, with what appears to me to be standard talking points. They have the ability to get immediate media coverage showing them doing good things! The news media definitely sees them as an organization to provide coverage for! Even during local type incidents (e.g. apartment fires) this same type of public relations presentation to the media occurs and aids them in obtaining funds.
Contrast this with CAP. No really consistent uniform (in fact if BDUs are worn and the orange safety vest is worn, total organization identify is missing). IF assisting another government organization perception is that nothing can be released about CAP’s support. Very little released regarding CAP preparedness to provide assistance (e.g. photo recon training exercise with local pictures released). Inconsistent approach (actually missing opportunities) to providing releases to the news media. With hurricane season upon us many opportunities for getting the word out about CAP!
Perhaps National should consider developing a disaster/emergency services internal operations support kit (e.g. pre prepared type media releases (templates) that certain information just has to be filled in for specific type incidents, as well as general type media releases on CAP’s typical disaster relief missions). Perhaps even a National PAO Duty officer needs to be immediate/near immediate available to assist field PAO’s with successfully writing/releasing news media releases, perhaps even sending the releases on behalf of the field PAO’s.
A good gauge to see the Red Cross’ news media success is to use google news search engine “American Red Cross”.