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Lets Get Some MEDIA Attention


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Title: Lets Get Some MEDIA Attention

Lets Get Some MEDIA Attention!
  • How to Generate Press
  • Around the Campus Climate Challenge
  • on Your Campus

  • Context
  • Brainstorm session
  • How-tos
  • Examples of Successful Challenge events
  • QA

Why get media attention?
  • We do media because it helps us to WIN!
  • Generates Buzz/Hype around our campaign
  • Gets people interested new volunteers, keeps
    old volunteers psyched
  • Educates the general public on our work and on
    the issues

Types of Media Coverage
  • Letter to the Editor
  • Reporter coverage newspaper article, TV story,
    radio story
  • Editorial
  • Opinion Editorial
  • Feature Articles
  • In this training we will focus on the first two
    Letters to the editor and reporter coverage!

Letters to the Editor
  • What is a Letter to the Editor?
  • Why?
  • Opinion page most read
  • Public attention and information
  • Attention of decision-makers
  • When?
  • LTEs are best in response to a recently published
    article, but you can write them any time
    (especially for on-campus papers).

Letters to the Editor
  • How?
  • 150-250 words. Depends on paper check their
  • Follow up call up the paper to make sure they
    got it
  • Send in more than you will actually get published
  • Bonus Writing LTEs can be a great action for a
    meeting or tabling event!
  • Have samples available, and articles to respond
  • Have the above list of tips available
  • You can do the follow-up or make sure that they

Sample Letter to the Editor
  • Young and Green
  • Published in the Washington Post on Wednesday,
    September 20, 2006 Page A24
  • In "An Inconvenient Truth About Youth" op-ed,
    Sept. 11, Laura Wray and Constance Flanagan
    contend that the apathy of young people toward
    conservation will be changed only through
    government action. Considering the Bush
    administration's environmental record, we're in a
    world of trouble if they're correct. Good thing
    they're wrong.
  • Far from shirking their responsibility to our
    planet, young people are leading the way in the
    fight to stop global warming -- and to open their
    elders' eyes to the crisis.
  • Two examples Students at Western Washington
    University taxed themselves an extra 19 in
    student fees to fund the purchase of renewable
    energy, and students at Pennsylvania State
    University -- where Ms. Flanagan teaches and Ms.
    Wray studies -- gathered more than 4,700 letters
    asking the administration to embrace the Kyoto
    Protocol. They have also secured green building
    standards, a campus wind turbine and a plan to
    have 22 percent of the school's power come from
    renewables by 2012.
  • That is only the tip of the (melting) iceberg.
    Youth is leading government should follow.
  • National Campus Climate Challenge Organizer
  • Sierra Student Coalition
  • Washington

Reporter Coverage
  • There are many ways to get reporter coverage
  • Reporter meeting
  • Inviting them to an event
  • Pitching a story
  • Press conference
  • Lets focus on two Reporter meetings and Events!
  • Note Press conferences arent all that different
    than events, so this advice will apply to both!

Reporter Meetings
  • Why do them?
  • Build relationship
  • Give all relevant info to reporter serve as a
    resource for them
  • Easy lots of bang for your buck
  • Long-term payoff you dont always get the
    article right away, but you almost always get it
  • How to
  • Call and ask.
  • Prepare
  • Show up!
  • This is a remarkably easy way to get coverage-
    its surprising more people dont try it!

  • At the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Carrie
    Wisinski and members of her group held a meeting
    with a reporter from the local newspaper. After
    the meeting, they kept in touch, and several
    weeks later she printed this article about them
  • UW-L students work for cleaner campus
  •  By KATE SCHOTT La Crosse Tribune
  • Students at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
    are getting fired up about renewable
    energy. About 30 students have joined in the
    Campus Climate Challenge, which asks high school
    and college students in the U.S. and Canada to
    get their campuses to use renewable energy. At
    least 330 campuses already have signed on, with a
    goal of 400. At UW-L, the Environmental Council
    student organization is spearheading the
    effort. When we talk about saving the planet,
    were not being facetious, said Kevin Hundt, an
    Environmental Council member. In a few hundred
    years, the planet will be uninhabitable. Who
    possibly could be opposed to stopping that? …
    (more at http//lacrossetribune.com/articles/2006/
  • Other examples?

Event Coverage
  • Why?
  • Great way to generate buzz around our work!
  • 2 birds wholesale and retail education at same
  • Media demand for reporting on whats going on in
    the community
  • Makes an event even more exciting
  • Since were all working on events right now,
    lets go into more depth with this one.

  • What types of media outlets do we want to cover
    our event??
  • Ask yourself
  • Who is our audience?
  • Where do they get their information?

3 Easy Steps to Generating Media at your Event
Step 1 Plan or Die!
  • Plan the event with the media in mind

WHAT What should our event be??
  • Campaign product achieved at same time
  • BE CREATIVE!!! The world is your oyster, have fun

Brainstorm Types of Events
  • Dorm energy contest, award presentation to winner
  • State summit
  • Green fair
  • Concert
  • Green film festival
  • Clean car show priuses, etc
  • Enviro speaker or debate
  • Movie night
  • Climate kegger
  • Kegs not coal
  • Wandering bear
  • Boxing match
  • Dance-off between wind turbine and coal
  • Duel between smokestack and windmill
  • Screening of old capt. Planet episodes
  • Show the waterline with kayaks

Things to think about
  • WHO?
  • a crowd of people!
  • Speakers
  • VIPs
  • WHERE?
  • think proximity
  • think visuals

  • What day of the week is the best? Think of your
  • Coordinate with other campus events
  • When are people most available?
  • Off-campus media
  • What time?
  • When are there a lot of ppl on campus?
  • Ask your top reporters!
  • General rule for off-campus

STEP 2 Pre-event publicity through media outlets
Use media to help publicize your event
  • Again, think of your audience. Where do they get
    their information?
  • Post on facebook, campus website, campus
    calendar, hip weekly paper, local radio, etc.
  • Format of submitting events for calendars will
    vary with each outlet. Call and ask how it works.
  • Give yourself enough time to make sure you make
    the deadline.
  • Dont forget one-on-one contact is still the
    best way to turn people out!

STEP 3 Get Media to Cover Your Event!
Alert the Media! Step 1. Press Advisory
  • Press Advisory
  • Send to all reporters you speak to
  • Email and/or fax to any other media outlet you
    want to come
  • 2-3 days prior to event
  • Format
  • One page with
  • Your Contact info
  • Headline and Sub-header
  • What
  • Who
  • When
  • Where
  • Visuals

Sample Press Advisory
  • Media Advisory Contact Amit Rana, phone
  • For immediate release amit.rana_at_sierraclub.o
  • Sierra Club gives Crenshaw High School Eco-Club
    30,000 Grant
  • Inner-city students get their first outdoor
  • WHAT Sierra Club Building Bridges to the
    Outdoors project presents 30,000 check to
    Crenshaw High School Eco-Club to give inner-city
    kids first outdoor experience.
  • WHO
  • Martin LeBlanc, National Youth Education
    Director, Sierra Club, presents Sierra Club grant
    to Crenshaw HS
  • Bill Vanderberg, Dean of Students, Crenshaw HS,
    receives check from Sierra Club
  • More than 100 students from Crenshaw and other
    area High Schools experience nature for the first
  • VIPs
  • Honorable Kevin Murray, California State
    Senator-District 26
  • Honorable Karen Bass, California State Assembly
    member-District 47
  • Yvonne Burke, Supervisor, Los Angles County
    Second District
  • Bernard Parks, Los Angeles City
    Councilmember-District 8
  • WHERE Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area
  • 4100 South La Cienega Boulevard
  • Los Angeles, CA 90056

Alert the Media! 2. Pitch Calls
  • Call to invite reporters to cover the event
  • Find name and phone of appropriate reporter
    local, environmental, etc.
  • Prep script very brief
  • Call em up!
  • Call 2-3 days before event
  • Call day before to remind
  • Call day of to confirm anyone that said yes.

Sample pitch call Calling Joe, the reporter that
covers local news for the local paper
  • Ask for the specific reporter
  • Introduce yourself. Explain what SSC is
  • Let them know youre inviting them to an event
    this Wednesday
  • Paint an exciting picture of the event
  • Be sure to describe visuals
  • Who will be there theyll be available for
  • 5. Ask if theyll come cover the event
  • 6. Set up a follow-up plan

Sample Pitch Call Script
  • Hi, this is _______ with the Sierra Student
    Coalition. May I please speak with Joe?
  • Hi Joe, this is ___ with the Sierra Student
    Coalition. Do you have a quick minute or are you
    on deadline?
  • Great. Well, the SSC is a student group working
    to fight climate change around the country. Here
    at Local university, were working to get the
    administration to cut our campus global warming
    emissions. Im calling to let you know about a
    really exciting event happening this Wednesday.
  • As Im sure you know, global warming is a major
    threat to Florida, because of rising sea levels.
    Well, this Wednesday, we will be demonstrating
    the future sea level in Miami in 100 years if
    global warming is not curbed. Well have a tape
    outline about 15 feet off the ground going around
    the major buildings on campus.
  • There promises to be a ton of students gathered
    to find out more at informational tables. Also
    available for interviews are several Student
    leaders and our groups advisor, Prof Smith, an
    expert in climate change.
  • Do you think youll be able to cover the event?
  • I can send you an advisory with all the details
    and my contact info. is email ok? Whens a good
    time for me to give you a call back?
  • Great. Thanks, and talk to you then!

Write press release
  • This is the perfect story, pre-written for
  • Have it ready at the event to give to any
  • Format
  • One page, no longer
  • First paragraph is summary of entire story
  • Include juicy quotes

Sample Press Release
  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Odette Mucha,
  • Port Gibson, MS The Nuclear Regulatory
    Commission (NRC) is failing to fully and publicly
    address terrorism risks was they consider plans
    for an expansion of the Grand Gulf nuclear
    facility in Port Gibson, according to a
    contention filed by the Sierra Club and other
    groups earlier today with the Atomic Safety
    Licensing Board of the Nuclear Regulatory
    Commission. The groups are calling on the agency
    to evaluate a permit decision in light of a
    recent appeals court decision requiring the
    nuclear agency to fully and publicly address
    terrorism concerns.
  • Americans want to know that their communities
    are safe from terrorism. You don't have to be a
    CIA agent to know that nuclear power plants are
    natural targets, said Rose Johnson, co-chair of
    the Mississippi chapter of the Sierra Club.
    People have a right to know the potential
    dangers they face in their own neighborhoods.
    Thats not only common sense it happens to be
    the law.
  • The Sierra Club, which was joined by the Nuclear
    Information and Resource Service and Public
    Citizen, is urging federal agencies to act in the
    publics best interest and consider the threat of
    terrorist attacks before rather than after the
    decision to build a new reactor is approved.
  • This June, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
    found that the NRC cannot ignore the risks of a
    terrorist attack when evaluating the
    environmental impacts of a nuclear power plant,
    in their decision regarding the planned expansion
    of the Diablo Canyon nuclear facility in San Luis
    Obispo, CA. In light of that ruling, the Nuclear
    Regulatory Commission has the same responsibility
    to consider terrorist risks in evaluating the
    safety of a new Grand Gulf reactor. The Sierra
    Club is calling on the Atomic Safety Licensing
    Board to hold a hearing to address the matter.
  • Currently 2.4 million pounds of extremely
    hazardous nuclear waste is being stored on site
    with more being added every refueling cycle.
    Despite the lack of a long term plan for dealing
    with the nuclear waste and the added security and
    safety risk that additional waste would bring,
    the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has taken
    action to make it easier to license the siting,
    construction and operation of new nuclear
  • It makes sense that we take every precaution to
    protect Americans from terrorism and sabotage,
    commented Pat Gallagher, the Sierra Clubs
    Director of Environmental Law. Protecting
    nuclear plants from potential terrorism attacks
    also protects our communities, our health and our
  • For a copy of the Sierra Club's contention,
    please contact Odette Mucha at odette.mucha_at_sierra

Prepare talking points
  • If you could say three sound-bites about your
    campaign and the event, what would they be?
  • Prep anyone that may be interviewed
  • Example
  • Rutgers administration needs to take on the
    Campus Climate Challenge and reduce our campus
    global warming emissions.
  • Our campus alone emits 300,000lbs of carbon
    dioxide into the air each year
  • Rutgers students want our school to be a leader
    in clean energy solutions

Follow up, Follow up, Follow up!
  • Send release to all outlets after the event has
  • Call radio tell them youre available for an
    interview or to do a feed about the event
  • Call newspapers-- set up a time to meet with the

Collect Your Clips!
  • Keep hard copies of all print coverage web
    links disappear
  • Save radio coverage to CD or mp3 if you can (or
    some other format)
  • Order copies of TV coverage from the TV station
    (cheap) or get someone to tape you when youre on
  • Send copes of all media hits to Challenge
    organizers, so that we can keep track of them,

Examples of Great Event Coverage
  • Clean Energy car show at UMass Amherst
  • http//www.youtube.com/watch?v9KIP1JT4TD8
  • Its getting hot in here carbon neutral
    sorority party at Pomona College
  • http//www.tsl.pomona.edu/index.php?article1859
  • Indiana University, Rewards to Climate-Friendly
  • http//www.idsnews.com/news/story.php?id38327adi
  • Tell us about your media experiences, too!

Stay in Touch!
  • Please send all feedback the good, the bad, the
    interesting to trainings_at_ssc.org
  • Powershift 2007 The hottest event since Global
  • Dont miss it, register now!
  • www.powershift2007.org
  • Thank you for coming! Have fun getting media
    coverage! We cant wait to see your clips!
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