Becoming "the news" How do you get your story out to the public via the mass media (newspapers, TV, radio) 1. Have a story to tell. Reams of data and conclusions aren't news. Tell a story about people and use data to back it up. 2. If you are seeking TV coverage, have "visuals". 3. If you are seeking print coverage, have on the record "quotes" from victims and experts. 4. If you are seeking radio coverage, have "sound bites".
Getting access 1. Know your local media outlet. What kinds of stories do they cover? When do they work on stories (deadlines)? Who covers your issues? 2. Make a call or send an email outlining "the story" and offering an interview or request a meeting. 3. Stage an event for the media. 4. Avoid press release, talking heads and
Become an expert on the issue Once you are recognized as knowing something about an issue, reporters will seek you out for advice and comments...especially if they know you are willing to speak on the record and say something interesting.
Many media outlets do editorials that express "good government" sentiments. You can use their interest in civic journalism in support of your issue. 1. Letters to the editor 2. Meet with editorial boards 3. Informal contacts with media leaders
Many media outlets provide space to well reasoned, rational explanations of current issues from an advocacy perspective. 1. Submit an OpEd to your local media outlet 2. Find an ally with credentials to submit an OpEd. 3. Ask an opinion writer for the media outlet to write an OpEd for your cause.