Let’s Get in the News! - Media Tips and Tricks
Why using the media is important. 3
Messages and Talking Points 4
Worksheet 1 5
Interviews 5 6
Worksheet 2 7
Press Outreach and Pitching 7 8
Press Materials 9
Op-eds, Letters to the Editor 10
On the day 11
Worksheet 3 12
Additional trainings and resources 12
Why using the media is important.
Stories move us, spring us into action, cause us to reflect on how things are, reckon with how they need to change, and so much more. When we tell our stories we make our movement visible, and catch the attention of the media and the general public.
For many organisations, gaining positive and consistent coverage in the media can have an incredible impact on the work we do.
It can have a multiplier effect on the good work that groups are doing. If people know what you have achieved and what you do, they are more likely to support your group. The more support you get, the more likely you are to have a bigger impact.
Telling stories through the media allows you to reach audiences in where you live and beyond, bring new people into your campaign, increase public support, and grow the movement at scale with what the crisis requires.
While it is important that groups don't become obsessed about getting media attention as a bigger priority than actually doing the work they do, it can make a difference
It’s also important, especially if the media are going to report on a story anyway, that you get your voice in the media and an opportunity to tell your story in your words.
And remember, it doesn’t always go right- there are sometimes bad articles, mis quotes, an interview doesn’t go very well, a journalists traps you into saying something you didn’t mean to. It can be tough but looking after each other, giving critical and supportive feedback, and sharing the workload are really important.
This media toolkit walks through how we use the news to communicate our power, campaigns and the climate movement with the world.
Justice, Equity, Diversity,and Inclusion in Media Work
As we continuously work to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive in our organizing, here are some tips everyone should take into account in our media & communications work:
* Bring partners’ stories in their own words to the media: open up space for partners to write their own stories and speak for themselves. This ensures that their work is not filtered through our own biases.
* Check out this Centering Equity in Storytelling training on best practices, including practicing credit, consultation, and consent,
* Ensure partners are central to the narrative-crafting process: having a partner be involved in the media work, not just as spokespeople, but as strategic allies, allows us to build authentic relationships, collaboration, inclusion and trust.
* Invest in local media networks, trainings and partnerships: justice & equity starts with recognizing that not all of us are starting out with the same resources.
* This means a consistent practice and openness to sharing press relationships, investing in various types and levels of media and spokesperson training, and supporting the work of groups across movements for justice.
* Find Speaking opportunities for partners: support and amplify partners’ voices instead of speaking for them.
* Think about your own personal storytelling: talk to your networks and other volunteers about ethical storytelling so they feel trained and supported on how to do this work ethically. Here is a resource on how to tell stories on social media and check your own biases:
* Empowerment & Resilience; NOT tokenizing poverty: emphasize resilience and the communities’ agency over solving climate related problems when addressing issues of poverty and climate change. Don’t just focus on the negative address how partners are seeking and implementing solutions to the challenges they face. Emphasize human resilience in general.
* Invest in authentic and quality content partnerships: investing in strong partnerships where media outreach is collaborative leads to incredible joint work and growth for our partners and ourselves.
Let’s get to work!
Messages and Talking Points
When you are dealing with the media it’s a good idea to make a list of your key messages and talking points. This is the way that we can tell our stories and also make sure that we get the right messages out there.
➡When thinking about your key messages these five principles can help you present them.
1. Speak to people’s best self - Appeal to the good, compassionate sides of people and respect their journey on the issue. The audience aren’t your villain so don’t paint them as the problem
2. Create common ground - Find the identity and values you share with your audience e.g. they’re likely to have young people in their life who they care about and want the best for.
3. Talk about change - explain the problem but also present your solution - talk about your demands)
4. Embed facts in stories - Don’t rely on facts and figures alone - appeal to people emotionally rather than rationally, put a human face on the issue.
5. ‘Try not to respond directly to your opponents claims’ - Use your frames, with your values, your vision.
Good Messages are also
● Concise: Focus on three to five key messages per topic; write one to three sentences for each key message; should be read or spoken in 30 seconds or less.
● Strategic: Define, differentiate, and address benefits.
● Relevant: Balance what you need to communicate with what your audience needs to know.