This section of the toolkit focuses on critical components of your campaign: garnering media coverage and creating your own media. Media coverage has a variety of strategic uses: elevating your issue in the public eye, recruiting new allies, and creating new points of public pressure to move key targets. Different media outlets will reach different audiences, and we recommend being strategic about finding out what media reaches your targets and tailoring your plans accordingly.
Creating your own publicity, particularly through social media is also critical for engaging the public, sharing information about events and the campaign’s progress, and to create and control your own narrative.
Included in this section are:
- News Articles and Coverage: These clippings are good examples of the types of coverage your coalition can garner, and serve as examples of how to memorialize your coverage for use in your campaign.
- Press Releases and Advisories: Also used to get media coverage.
- Sample Media Plan: This is a sample plan to organize our efforts for media coverage and ensure they aligned with key campaign dates. It can be adapted by your coalition.
- Sample Messaging Tip Sheet: Includes key talking points about RTC, which can be adapted for use by your coalition.
- Social Media Plan: For strategic social media use.
- Sample Social Media Calendar/Schedule: This sample can be used to guide your social media planning.
- Interview Guide to Create Tenant Profiles: Interviews are a great way to put a face to the issue and they can be shared on social media to amplify tenant voices and share their stories.
News Articles and Coverage
The following is a sample of our campaign’s media coverage. These are helpful examples of the types of media outlets you might want to target and the kinds of coverage your coalition can receive. They also serve as an example of how to memorialize and publicize the press coverage you do receive. Media coverage is an important part of elevating your issues, making the case for Right to Counsel, and exerting pressure on your targets.
We want to emphasize the importance of knowing which media outlets will reach your targets. For example, very localized news outlets reach local residents and local elected officials, while larger and national outlets reach the Mayor. We recommend taking the time to find out what your elected officials read and which outlets are targeted to community members. Target your media according to who you want to educate, inform and move to action.
Press Releases and Advisories
The following are press releases and advisories from the Coalition that can be adapted for your campaign. Writing press releases and advisories is key to getting media attention for the campaign. Your coalition can develop a list of media outlets and reporters to target, and you can then send your press advisories and releases to them in advance of a press event, as follow up or as a way to generate press without an event.
Sample Media Plan
A media plan ensures that your coalition is thoughtful and strategic about how it will leverage the media. Seeking media coverage should tie both to key moments in your campaign, such as the release of a new report, as well as to key moments in your city or state, such as the release of a city budget. Larger public events can also be leveraged: for example, on Veteran’s Day our campaign planned to pitch an op-ed from a veteran who lost a housing court case. Each month, your coalition could identify such moments, which give opportunities to demonstrate why Right to Counsel is relevant, timely and newsworthy.
We have provided a month-by-month media plan from our coalition that we invite you to adapt to your coalition and local context.
Sample Messaging Tip Sheet
This tip sheet was designed by the coalition to ensure that our messaging about the campaign, our coalition and the Right to Counsel were consistent and strategic. Messaging guides like this one help ensure that your public message aligns with your overall coalition goals.
Sample Social Media Calendar/Schedule
Here is an example of a monthly Twitter calendar that we used. Twitter is great for building publicity for a particular event and it’s a useful tool to keep the buzz going and for staying on people’s radar during the quieter moments of a campaign. We used hashtags like #FactFriday and #TenantTuesday to share engaging bits of information with followers, even when we didn’t have a campaign event. Social media calendars are helpful to ensure the use of social media is strategic, aligned, and planned in advance. You will see that the calendar includes introductory language so that everyone who it is shared with will understand why it is important and how to use it.
This particular social media plan has a lot of videos. An organizer went through all of our video content from press conferences, town halls, meetings, etc. to pull certain clips highlighting different voices and arguments for RTC. This is another way that recording the different events you hold can serve different purposes!