Quick Guide: Get Media Coverage Of Your Protest
Sunday, August 13, 2017
NOTE: This post was originally published on the Counterfear Facebook page here, where there is some discussion.
Folks, if you are doing Charlottesville protests, vigils, or other resistance today, MAKE SURE local #media know about it.
Quick Guide -
Prioritize television news first, especially to get on first evening news broadcasts. Then contact newspapers and radio.
To start, tag media organizations on Facebook events, or share the FB event or website via Twitter & tag news organizations (this can be cumbersome). Other social media may be active too for that news org, but it's hard to tell what news organizations are monitoring actively or how much volume they have coming in.
Then make calls. Call local TV news stations. Find their news number on their website. When you call, let them know you are calling to report a local news event in ___ city in response to the events in Charlottesville yesterday. It will help if you have an event address, contact name, event name, and some idea of what will happen at the event (vigil, speeches, chants, etc.). Good video opportunity draws coverage.
Follow the same approach for newspaper and radio.
Make sure anyone who has a big email list for your city/town has sent a notification to the list so you get the most people possible to the event.
It is most helpful to publicize an event if there is a Facebook event created that can be shared, and/or a website. Share it as widely as possible.
Anyone can #lead. We've just got to do it.
NOTE: I wrote this based on advice from a Washington, DC insider from the Bush administration, when I was whistleblowing a post-9/11 program. He said that change doesn't happen in Washington unless things get super messy, loud, and impossible to ignore. So that's how we get it done.
UPDATE: We had about 350 people show up at our local central Iowa rally in the city of Ames. We had excellent regional media coverage.
- The local newspaper, the The Ames Tribune, posted video (here and here) and pictures within a few hours.
- The local university student newspaper, The ISU Daily, story is here.
- All 3 regional TV stations mentioned the rally in connection with the Charlottesville story, and two of them carried full stories with video (WHO TV Channel 13 here, and KCCI coverage here).
I was impressed with the coverage. The message connected the local action with updates on the Charlottesville situation and related political reaction, and made clear that racism, Nazism, white supremacy, and violence are not going to be tolerated by our citizens. It was a heartening event, and heartening media coverage. The message is important - and made it out to many folks around the state. The media wouldn't have been there if we hadn't called and in one case Tweeted them. Didn't get to radio this time, but next time we'll have a more efficient plan.
I am touched to be a part of this community I only recently rejoined. It was a spontaneous gathering, and it worked - people pulled off amazing stuff in only a few hours. Because we just did it.
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