The Organizer’s Guide to the Galaxy: Traditional Media

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Editor's note: we wrote this resource in partnership with Texas Freedom Network Education Fund (TFNEF) as part of our work to develop a Civic Engagement Manual. So while the examples here are about Texas, and directed towards students, we hope they're helpful to organizers, young and old, across the country.

Beyond social media, You have one other avenue you can use to communicate your carefully crafted message: the news media (aka: reporters and journalists). Just like social media, there are best practices when interacting with the media as a leader of your Texas Freedom Network Student Chapter to make sure you accurately represent the group’s values and mission.

The media you’ll most likely be interacting with on behalf of your student chapter is your campus newspaper. Having your event featured in your student newspaper elevates your chapter’s visibility and increases credibility: two critical components to exciting your current base and recruiting new members. In other words: it’s a win/win.
You can invite a reporter to your event using a media advisory, which is a one-page document that provides general information about your event to journalists so they can decide if your event is worth covering. (Harsh but true – there are always too many stories and too few reporters, so earning coverage requires hard work.) Although a media advisory is only one page in length, it should contain a significant amount of compelling information to entice coverage. What’s more, if you submit a media advisory early enough, your event may get advance coverage, which is great publicity that can boost attendance. Another win/win!
For all those reasons, crafting a strong media advisory is no small feat. If you need help writing a media advisory, give the folks at TFNEF a call. They’ll happily work with you to develop an angle or “pitch” that no reporter will be able to turn down.  

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