A   C o m p r e h e n s i v e   M a n u a l
(III) Using the Media
campus ROTC programs.  Newsworthy
stories might also include rallies, demon 
One of the most important parts of orga 
strations or forums, as well as the release
nizing around any issue is educating the
of new information about your issue.
public in a way that builds support for our
These are only a small sample of reasons
issue.  This is why using the media is so
why you would want to alert the press.
critical to our ability to win concrete vic 
tories for students.  We can reach thou 
Frame events or "happenings" in such
sands of people with a single article in the
a way that will make them "newswor 
campus or local newspaper or a story on
thy" in the eyes of the press.
the evening news.  Getting the media to
framing a story, think of a good "hook" or
cover your issue doesn t just happen.  You
"peg."  A hook is something to hang your
must make it happen.  This means you
story on.  For instance, if the media has
should incorporate a media strategy into
been focusing on crime or violence, you
every campaign you wage.
may want to use this to talk about work
you are doing on campus to combat vio 
Develop a good list of all the media out 
lence and harassment directed toward
lets (television stations, radio stations,
lgbt people.  Or you may want to respond
newspapers, etc.) in your area.
The list
to a hot political issue.  For instance, how
should contain, at minimum, the name of
do lgbt students feel about the possible
the media outlet, address, phone number,
funding cuts to public education in your
fax number, distribution area, deadlines
state?  In addition to a "hot" media issue,
and the name of the reporter who covers
a peg can be an anniversary, a celebrity
education (or lgbt) issues.  It is important
who is talking about a related issue, a
to have the correct name of the reporter
sporting event or seasonal changes.  Be
because news rooms typically receive
hundreds of news releases each day.  You
Monitor the media.
Watch, listen and
read.  You should, regularly, watch the
Write the release as if you
evening news, read local, campus and
were writing the story to
national newspapers, and listen to the
appear in the next day s
radio.  Having a sense of how issues are
framed by the media, what types of issues
get play and the differences in reporting
want to make sure your release gets to to
styles will help you to frame your issues
the right person.
to the media.  You should also develop a
"clippings file" of articles on your issue
Send a news release when you have a
or related topics.  This will help to keep
newsworthy story you want the press
you and your group up to date on how
to cover.
For instance, send a release if
your issue is being discussed and also to
you are writing letters or postcards to uni 
help you develop strategies for how to get
versity and/or elected officials demand 
media play for your issue.
ing that the campus comply with its own
nondiscrimination policy (if your campus
Send a news release to your media list
has such a policy that covers sexual ori 
at least one week before your event or,
entation) by addressing discrimination in
for late breaking stories, as soon as
B a s i c   S k i l l s     M     8 5


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