Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

ATTENTION CHAPTERS - Rally Media Assistance from the FRN
Free Republic Network ^ | Bob J

Posted on 02/20/2003 4:23:28 PM PST by Bob J

These are notes taken from the seminar "How to Handle the Media" that was presented on our 2000 Cruise.

Free Republic Network – On The Care and Feeding of the Media

Goal

Your primary goal when dealing with the media is to get as much positive media coverage for your chapter and events as possible – as often as possible. But before that can or will happen you have to get the reporters and editors that you will be dealing with to take you seriously.

This requires that you present yourself professionally and treat the media professionally. Certainly many print and broadcast journalists are liberals, but treating them as adversaries is counterproductive. We want to make allies. YOU NEED COVERAGE AND THEY NEED A STORY! You don’t have to agree with every story they’ve ever written to make this situation work to your mutual benefit. Offer them a one time deal – treat us fairly, and we’ll bend over backwards to provide you with whatever access and assistance you need. Screw us over, and the reverse is true.

Getting Started – Create a Media List

This is the list of contacts with local newspapers, radio and TV stations and web sites that have an impact on the geographic area or issues that define your FR Network Chapter. In the event that your event connects to a national story, contact the FRN media spokesperson who will work with you to ensure maximum national exposure for your story, including advising you on releases, statements and plans of action.

Note that the Associated Press, UPI and Reuters have local desks where you can make contacts. Don’t overlook weekly newspapers, as they are usually starving for stories. Also check state radio news networks, which will put out just about anything they are given.

Contacting your Contacts: Pick up the phone. Introduce yourself. Say that you are the local contact for the Free Republic Network, and that you’d love to work with them, do interviews, and that you’re available for whatever they may need. Ask them to call whenever they need a conservative viewpoint. Give them your contact information; a phone number and email address at a minimum. Be prepared to return calls quickly – some media outlets use a rotating file of people they talk to. If you aren’t readily available, they’ll just call the next number on their list. If you’d rather not get media calls at home, consider setting up a blind voice box connected to a pager.

Who to target: Go after the subset of your Media List that applies to any given event. This is determined by asking the question: who will care enough about this story to cover it?

Sample Media List

Name Last/First..Title..Company..Phone..Fax...Email

Local TV

Green, Jack..News Director..Channel 10 News..555-555-555..555-555-5555..10newsdirector@TV10

Local Radio

Local Print

National TV

National Radio

National Print

Media Advisory – Quick, Alert the Media!

The purpose of a media advisory is simply to notify the media about your event. This is not a press release intended for the public. Make sure to put it out two or three days in advance.

Media Advisory Contents: See the sample media advisory for examples of the following items.

Masthead: This is a standard header that can be used for all media advisories and press releases. It contains the words “NEWS RELEASE” at the top, the name of your FR Network Chapter, your web site address, the current date, and the contact information for your media spokesperson. It will normally also have a line stating “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE”. On rare occasions, you may want to ‘embargo’ the release of the media advisory until a specified time. Do this when you want to provide the media with an advance copy of a speech, but don’t want the speech released before it is delivered. This gives reporters time to analyze the material and prepare their own responses for release.

Headline and Subheading: Under the words “MEDIA ADVISORY”, place your brief, attention-getting headline. Normally this will describe an upcoming event your chapter is holding. The subheading adds a bit more information about the event.

Dateline: The location of your chapter, followed by a brief statement by your Chapter President announcing the event and its purpose.

Date, Time: Time events and press conferences to maximize the chance of media coverage. Make sure they have time to file their stories before evening deadlines.

Location: Make sure the media can find you. Give explicit directions to avoid any confusion.

Schedule: When will the event start and end? Is there a press conference? What time is it?

Contact Info: In bold. Repeat the contact information for the Chapter spokesperson.

Closing: The AP terms “—30—“ or “XXX” are used to mark the end of the media advisory. In the rare event that your advisory requires a second page, “—More—“ can be substituted, though two-page advisories are not recommended unless you have something earth-shaking to say. If necessary, you can find more detail in the AP Style Book.

Once you have issued the media advisory, call every contact on your media list. Tell them about your advisory, why the event is important to the community, and ask them to attend. Ask conservative talk show hosts to consider broadcasting from the event. Try to get a couple of minutes to talk about the event on their show. Radio is easy – you can do it over the phone.

NEWS RELEASE

MAGNOLIA STATE FREE REPUBLIC CHAPTER
www.FreeRepublic.com/Magnolia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Esther Sue Betterthanyou 555-555-5555
OCTOBER 18, 2001

MEDIA ADVISORY

FR NETWORK TO CALL FOR RESIGNATION OF COUNCILMAN SLEEZEBALL

PRESS CONFERENCE AND RALLY SCHEDULED

POSSUM CITY, MAGNOLIA –Billy Bob Broughton, President of the FreeRepublic Network of Magnolia announced today that they will hold a protest rally and press conference to call for the resignation of Councilman Sleezeball tomorrow (on Thursday).

DATE: Wednesday, November 1, 2001 TIME: 1:00 PM

(Never hold a Freep or a press conference before 9:30 am, between 12:00 and 1:00 or after 2:30 pm)

LOCATION: Ronald Reagan Square

1776 Patriot Boulevard

Possum City, Magnolia

The protest will begin at 12:00 noon and the press conference will begin promptly at 1:00 pm. No embargoed statements will be available before 1:00 pm.

For additional information or to schedule an interview with Billy Bob Broughton please contact Esther Sue Betterthanyou at (555) 555-5447.

--30--

--More--

XXX

The Dreaded Press Release

Fear not. This is just a brief, concise statement intended for the public. The purpose is to have your spokesperson take a public position on an issue or event.

Press Release Contents: See the sample press release for examples of the following items.

Masthead: This is a standard header that can be used for all media advisories and press releases. It contains the words “NEWS RELEASE” at the top, the name of your FR Network Chapter, your web site address, the current date, and the contact information for your media spokesperson. It will normally also have a line stating “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE”. On rare occasions, you may want to ‘embargo’ the release of the media advisory until a specified time. Do this when you want to provide the media with an advance copy of a speech, but don’t want the speech released before it is delivered. This gives reporters time to analyze the material and prepare their own responses for release.

Headline and Subheading: Write a brief, attention-getting headline. Normally this will describe a demand by your chapter for some kind of action. The subheading can qualify the headline or add a quote from your Chapter President.

Dateline: The location of your chapter, followed by a brief statement by your Chapter President introducing your position.

Body: Start with a summary of your position, in the form of a two or three sentence quote from your Chapter President that makes a demand. Describe the actions you have taken (delivering a letter, initiating a boycott) to accomplish your objective. Tell them what you did and why. Optionally, follow this with a second, shorter quote, and then close with a paragraph providing more context and detail. In general, put the most important information first.

Contact Info: In bold. Repeat the contact information for the Chapter spokesperson.

Closing: The AP terms “—30—“ or “XXX” are used to mark the end of the media advisory. In the rare event that your advisory requires a second page, “—More—“ can be substituted, though two-page advisories are not recommended unless you have something earth-shaking to say. If necessary, you can find more detail in the AP Style Book.

Once you have sent the press release, call every contact on your media list. Tell them about the press release and why the actions of your Chapter are important to the community.

Press Conference: If you decide to accompany the press release with a press conference, have copies of the press release and any other relevant material available for the media. Have them handed out while the spokesperson lists the main points as bullet items from the podium. Don’t just read the press release out loud. Be ready to summarize the key points in your own words. Look the media in the eye and talk to them directly. If you choose to take questions, look for friendly contacts. If possible, call the members of the media by name. Don’t get dragged into a debate – make your statements, end the press conference and leave.

NEWS RELEASE

MAGNOLIA STATE FREE REPUBLIC CHAPTER www.FreeRepublic.com/Magnolia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Esther Sue Betterthanyou
OCTOBER 18, 2001
555-555-5447

FR NETWORK SAYS “NO” TO COUNCILMAN SLEEZEBALL’S RUN FOR REELECTION

“Scandal ridden term of office requires resignation -- not reelection.”

POSSUM CITY, MAGNOLIA – Earlier today, Billy Bob Broughton, President of the FreeRepublic Network of Magnolia released the following statement on behalf of the organization.

“As residents and voters of the state of Magnolia we are shocked at the announcement by Councilman Sleezeball that he will seek reelection in the November 2002 general election. His term in office has been riddled by continuous scandal that requires he resign immediately from his post and allow the mayor to appoint a replacement to finish out his term.”

The network also delivered a letter to the councilman’s Possum City office that listed their grievances with his administration, including painting his car black in the heat of the summer and flying the Magnolia State Flag at night while failing to light it properly. Additional grievances included, showing up for Sunday School late three times in a row during the month of September and failure to know the names of the original members of the Alan Parsons Project.

“As citizens we expect our elected officials to rise to a higher standard and set an example for the citizens, and more importantly, the children of Magnolia. Today he’s late for Sunday School – tomorrow he will be late for church. The scandal has to end and it has to end now.”

The statement from the FreeRepublic Network of Magnolia came in response to a press conference held by Councilman Sleezeball where he announced he would seek a third term as member of the Possum City Council.

For additional information or to schedule an interview with Billy Bob Broughton please contact Esther Sue Betterthanyou at (555) 555-5447. A copy of the full statement is available on our web site at www.FreeRepublic.com/magnolia.

--30--

--More--

XXX

At The Event Have a handout prepared for the media. Set up a table with a sign-in sheet and press packet for the media. Have a second sign-in sheet for everybody else that shows up. Give each person a handout about your FR Network Chapter or a business card. Get their names and contact information – public events are excellent recruiting tools for new members.

Be prepared to videotape events. This is particularly useful if your group is misquoted or misrepresented and you need to correct the record.

You have to have a spokesperson for every event, and the spokesperson has to be good. To maximize your effectiveness, you can use different people to handle different kinds of events. For example, if the event is about women’s health issues you want your spokesperson to be a woman.

Make sure everyone who shows up knows who the spokesperson is, and make sure they are instructed to refer all reporters to that person. Have someone assigned to do ‘press-spotting’ – to look for people with press credentials and long flip-style notebooks and point them out to the spokesperson.

Personal Appearance: Though you don’t need to dress formally for street protests, it’s important to make sure your appearance matches the occasion. That means neat and tidy ALWAYS. Dark colors. A suit or dress for TV appearances. No silly hats, T-shirts, cleavage or distracting dangly earrings. Remember, you want to be taken seriously.

Staying on Message: Always remember that reporters want to distract you from your intended message and get you to say something dumb and / or outrageous. Make sure everyone involved in any event or activity is prepared to give a reasonable answer to the question “Why are you here?” Beyond that, participants should refer reporters to the Chapter spokesperson, who is better prepared to handle questions about the event and to present detailed information. Also remember that you don’t actually have to answer questions. Instead, change the subject back to the point you want to make. Be concise – at best you’re only going to get a few seconds of air time or a brief quote in the paper.

Rules for Protesting: Keep in mind the guidelines used by the D.C. Chapter during years of successful White House protests: No violence, no threats, no provocations, no racism, no profanity, the law must be obeyed and law enforcement officers must be treated with respect.

After The Event

Write up a summary of the event and go over it with your Chapter. Include a copy of any press reports. Note what things worked well, and what aspects could stand improvement. Post your After-Action Report on Free Republic for additional feedback and well-deserved applause.

Summary Be prepared. Be professional. Make sure your chapter members know what to say and do. Present your message effectively and don’t let yourself be baited off the topic. Build a working relationship with the appropriate media representatives, and learn to use the tools of their trade.


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Breaking News
KEYWORDS: frn; media

1 posted on 02/20/2003 4:23:28 PM PST by Bob J
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Bob J
Make that 2001 cruise...heheh.
2 posted on 02/20/2003 4:54:56 PM PST by Bob J
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bob J
Thanks Bob, I could have used this last week...LOL.

Oh well, we just kind of flew by the seat of our pants and it worked out very well actually. We ended up getting our rally in the paper through no effort of our own. They got my number off the police permit and called me for info.

I ended up calling in on our local conservative talk radio show and we got more people that way. All in all we ended up with 100 people, only about a dozen were FReepers.

Now the same reporter called me today for a statement about their latest poll numbers about the upcoming war that they will be publishing in tomorrow's paper. So I guess I've unofficially become the "Conservative Point of View" for our very liberal, socialist rag of a paper.

Just imagine what I can do if I follow your instructions and actually pursue this publicity, the sky's the limit. Everytime I made sure that they put FR's web address in the article too. : )

MKM

3 posted on 02/20/2003 4:56:20 PM PST by mykdsmom (Let him who desires peace, prepare for war.... Vegetius Renatus (~375 AD)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mykdsmom
Sorry about that mykdsmom. This info was up on the FRN site for a while, but for some reason was taken down (probably a tech problem) and not put back up. Consequently, I felt it best to post. The number of chapters who organized rallies last week took us by surprise. Plus, with CPAC, Leadership Council meetings had been cancelled so our communications broke down. Hopefully, we can make sure that doesn't happen again!

BTW - We have a professional media rep who can also help with specific problems. Since he is a volunteer at this point, he can't do all the individual chapter PR, but he is a resource. If the FRN had more $$, we could hire someone part time to do this for the chapters, but alas!

4 posted on 02/20/2003 5:02:32 PM PST by Bob J
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: mykdsmom
BTW - Make sure you use both FR and FRN eddresses!
5 posted on 02/20/2003 5:03:09 PM PST by Bob J
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Bob J
Thanks, Bob.
6 posted on 02/20/2003 5:39:13 PM PST by Taxman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bob J; SeenTheLight; Drango
BUMP!
7 posted on 02/20/2003 5:41:18 PM PST by Cool Guy (In God We Trust.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Constitution Day; dei23
Bump FYI!
8 posted on 02/20/2003 6:14:17 PM PST by mykdsmom (Let him who desires peace, prepare for war.... Vegetius Renatus (~375 AD)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mykdsmom
Same here! Cool.
9 posted on 02/21/2003 6:31:59 AM PST by Constitution Day
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Bob J
FRiday morning PR bump!
10 posted on 02/21/2003 7:06:13 AM PST by Taxman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bob J
Thx. Bob.
11 posted on 02/21/2003 7:59:50 AM PST by sauropod (It's OK to drive an SUV if it helps you get babes.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sauropod
Thanks for the bump 'Pod!
12 posted on 02/21/2003 8:51:56 AM PST by Bob J
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Az Joe; dittomom; Eat-Mo-Possum; LinnieBeth; conniew; Entropy Squared; bert; calypgin; Peacerose; ..
ping
13 posted on 02/21/2003 10:06:07 AM PST by diotima (GO ON THE FREEPER CRUISE!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Brad C.; Trailer Trash; dittomom; Az Joe; Cool Guy; comwatch; Yossarian; JohnnLee; Excellence; ...
ping
14 posted on 02/21/2003 10:40:40 AM PST by Bob J
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bob J
Thanks Bob. I'm bookmarking these threads for future reference.
15 posted on 02/21/2003 10:46:38 AM PST by DoughtyOne (Freeper Caribbean Cruise May 31-June 6, Staterooms As Low As $610 Per Person For Entire Week!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Bob J
Good post. Thanks for flagging me. I'll proofread it later. :)
16 posted on 02/21/2003 10:47:16 AM PST by Ms. AntiFeminazi (Three rights make a left)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: tarawa; Gracey; TXBubba; basil; TheSarce; The Bat Lady
ping
17 posted on 02/21/2003 10:48:00 AM PST by DrewsDad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Bob J
BobJ is correct as usual, but if your event is a "Spontainious", LOL, counter demonstration, get to know you local permit regs, these differ by State and locale.

In Boston and Mass generally they are very liberal, except for "Sound", you need a permit for that. Have all the FReepers that you know are attending have have their interview answers prepared before hand, reporters zone in on some individuals especially if you are young, being socalist they cannot imagine youg people loving freedon after years of indoctrination.

Last but not least present a contrast, even if you look like the opposition, there are age differences in dress and fashon, be polite, logical, and thoughful.

18 posted on 02/21/2003 11:14:07 AM PST by Little Bill (No Rats, A.N.S.W.E.R (WWP) is a commie front!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Little Bill
Great suggestions Little Bill!
19 posted on 02/21/2003 11:17:45 AM PST by Bob J
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Bob J
Bob: After action observations, the last small FReep that we had on 2/13, ElectricStrawberry and MassExodus were interviewed by the Globe, there was nothing mentioned the next day in the paper , but it points out the fact that you MUST be prepared.

The young woman was only an intern, but she was interested in our turn out, very friendly. Me, I usually get the Indymedia crowd.

20 posted on 02/21/2003 11:34:40 AM PST by Little Bill (No Rats, A.N.S.W.E.R (WWP) is a commie front!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Bob J
bookmarked!
21 posted on 02/21/2003 11:40:28 AM PST by firebrand
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Little Bill
Little Bill, why don't you start a post about "After Rally Notes - Suggestions for Future Chapter Events" or something like that. Get everyone who has held a rally to post their ideas and comments. It can be an ongoing thread/resource that we add to as we go along.
22 posted on 02/21/2003 11:40:44 AM PST by Bob J
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Bob J
OK, after the 3/1 Rally in DC, I agree it is time to put our thoughts together. My main protesting experience is counterprotests, the NYC and DC thing is beyond our resources at this time, I can write a book about ad hoc protesting, but beyond that I have no experience.
23 posted on 02/21/2003 11:55:18 AM PST by Little Bill (No Rats, A.N.S.W.E.R (WWP) is a commie front!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Bob J
OK, after the 3/1 Rally in DC, I agree it is time to put our thoughts together. My main protesting experience is counter protests, the NYC and DC thing is beyond our resources at this time, I can write a book about ad hoc protesting, but beyond that I have no experience.
24 posted on 02/21/2003 11:56:26 AM PST by Little Bill (No Rats, A.N.S.W.E.R (WWP) is a commie front!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Little Bill
LB, if you write up a piece about your ideas for counter protesting, I can post it on the FRN website where all the chapters can benefit from it.
25 posted on 02/21/2003 11:57:31 AM PST by Bob J
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Bob J
OK; If I can remember my password I will post it myself, I will get back to you.
26 posted on 02/21/2003 12:02:46 PM PST by Little Bill (No Rats, A.N.S.W.E.R (WWP) is a commie front!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Bob J
What a great resource! Thank you SO MUCH! Bumpin up for future events!
27 posted on 02/21/2003 4:57:26 PM PST by Republic (tommy daschle is a WEASEL OF MASS DISTORTION (tractorman)-so truthful, it almost HURTS!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bob J
BUMP for evening read.
28 posted on 02/21/2003 5:32:41 PM PST by Libertina
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bob J
By the way, we should mention that these notes were taken during an excellent presentation given on last year's Caribbean cruise by ReaganGirl, who is a professional media consultant in DC.
29 posted on 03/05/2003 8:33:45 PM PST by Interesting Times
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bob J
For those with a few hundred dollars to spare, you can get a current media list from Gebbie Press which includes over 22,000 outlets. They have a hard copy book, a diskette database downloadable to your db, and now a Pro CD which you can fax, email, and print reports from their software.
30 posted on 03/05/2003 9:23:13 PM PST by A Navy Vet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: A Navy Vet
Thanks Roger.
31 posted on 03/06/2003 9:15:55 AM PST by Bob J (Join the FR Network! Educate, Motivate, Activate!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson