On this page, we've assembled materials you'll need to get good media coverage for your November 3 event. This includes:
-The Basics: New to organizing? Check this out.
-Step It Up Talking Points: Punchy sentences that describe Nov. 3.
-Pitching 101: Tools for contacting members of the press.
-Custom Letter to the Editor: Get published in your local papers.
-Custom Media Advisory: Send these out a few days before your event.
-New! State by state contact info for local reporters!
West: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY
Midwest: IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, OK, SD, WI
Northeast: CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA, VT, WV
South: AL, AR, DC, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX
1) Make it News-y (a.k.a. "They don't call it a newspaper for nothing!")
Newspapers and other media loves covering news
(surprise, surprise). Think about what makes your Nov. 3rd event unique
and exciting. We've found that this often makes the event more fun, as
well - we've all signed petitions and heard speeches before, but have
we seen George Washington rescue a snowman, or a polar bear dressed in
a bikini? We certainly hope to on November 3rd.
2) Get a Hook
love a narrative, a story line that let's them understand why something
is new and different. Think about using a superlative when you make
your pitch, is your event the "biggest," or the "first" of its kind. Or
try playing into the old "David vs. Goliath" story - there's no need to
try and appear slick, emphasize that your event is somewhat homemade
and you'll probably get more coverage. And finally, think about using
the "strange bedfellows" angle: by bringing together unlikely allies,
you're creating a story onto itself.
3) Create a Relationship:
you've got your storyline down, it's time to turn to the care and
feeding of your reporter list. In early to mid-October, give your paper
a call and ask to set up a 10 minute meeting or call with the editor.
When you talk with him or her, act friendly, give them a short pitch on
your story, and tell them you'll keep in touch.
It's rarely too early to start creating some
buzz about your local event. Try getting on some local blogs, give the
community radio station a call, write an LTE, and get in touch with the
locally owned papers in your community to see if they'll help you
spread the word about your event. Then, when the big day comes, you'll
know who to call for the final coverage!
4) Build last minute buzz:
few days before the event, make sure to send out your media advisory
and give your pitch to reporters over the phone. Remember to emphasize
the creativity and unique angle of your event! On the day of, designate
one person you're working with (maybe a spouse, child, or friend) to be
the media contact for that day - it'll be their responsibility to give
every TV and newspaper a final call and be on hand for interviews. Then
it's time to do your event and hope for the best!
Step It Up Talking Points:
From melting ice caps to erratic weather, we already see the impact of global warming. Americans are demanding real solutions that will reduce carbon emissions and stop global warming before it is too late.
So far it's been enough for politicians to say: I care. Now, one year out from a pivotal global warming election, it's time to see who's going to lead.
Step It Up is organizing a national event on November 3, 2007 to call for leadership on global warming. This builds on Step It Up’s April rally that was the largest global warming event in U.S. history.
The events across the country—held one year before the 2008 election— will show the contrast between the intense concern of ordinary Americans and the leadership vacuum in Washington.
At many of the rallies, people will cover their index finger in green ink, a pledge they will cast their vote next fall with the environment in mind.
While Step It Up rallies issue a call for action from local communities, thousands of youth will gather at the University of Maryland at College Park, calling for change at the November 2-5 Powershift 2007 conference.
ABOUT STEP IT UP 2
The November 3 rallies will be organized using the same decentralized Web 2.0 approach by a core team of committed youth in New Hampshire and hundreds of independent organizers across the country.
Participants in rallies will call for real leadership on global warming including the 1Sky priorities: (1) no new coal plants, (2) 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, and (3) 5 million new green jobs.
Print Media (i.e. newspapers)
• PRINT reporters are looking for a compelling narrative arc for a story.
• Specific local interest, and the “man bites dog” newsworthiness – why is this different from the everyday?
• Call between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., because reporters will most likely not be in planning meetings or working against a 5:00 p.m. deadline.
• Try to pitch at least a day before the event, though two days is fine with a reminder email the day-of.
• For T.V., visuals are the #1 concern.
• Describe visuals in the first sentence of your pitch.
• Visuals should encapsulate a local connection.
• On event day, call the assignment desk early, between 6 and 8:30 AM (prior to morning meeting), to confirm they received your advisory.
• Ask for and pitch the Assignment Editor.
• If pitching before day of, call assignment desk or the beat reporter between 10 AM – 12 PM, and 1 PM –3:00 PM
• Pitching for NEWS RADIO is mostly similar to print pitching.
• Pitching for TALK RADIO is all about relationships – esp. the compelling back and forth between host and guest.
• Best time to call is early—around 7:30 - 8:30 a.m., and then again after 10:00 a.m.
• News directors, reporters and producers are often gone by the afternoon.
• If a reporter is not able to attend the event, offer to have one of your speakers or interviewees do a taped interview.
Custom Letter to the Editor
Writing an "LTE" is a great way to spread the word about your event. Here are the two steps to making it a success:
1) Keep an eye out for articles about global warming or energy issues. Your LTE is more likely to be published if you write it ASAP following the printing of the
article and reference it in your letter. 2) Check your paper’s opinion page on their website to find which
email accepts LTEs and make sure to include your contact info with
daytime phone # in the email. Please insert the title of the applicable
article at the top where instructed and include a personalized line
about your local event.
(click here to download a word document of this letter)
In “INSERT RECENT ARTICLE TITLE,” INCLUDE HERE ONE LINE SUMMARIZING USE OF GLOBAL WARMING IN ARTICLE.
we are going to combat global warming the best science tells us that we
have barely a decade before there is irreversible damage to our planet.
This means our politicians need to move beyond saying the right thing
and start doing the right thing when it comes to leading our country
towards a much-needed transformation in our energy economy.
On November 3rd, one year before the 2008 election,
Step It Up will host a national day of action to call for real
leadership on global warming. In LOCATION, INSERT ONE LINE ABOUT LOCAL
RALLY. The citizens involved in this movement recognize that while
changing out an inefficient light bulb is important; changing out
inefficient federal policy to deal with global warming is crucial. In
rallies across the country ordinary Americans will show that they are
doing their part, and now they are holding our politicians accountable
to do theirs. One year out from a pivotal global warming election, it's
time to see who's going to lead.
Custom Media Advisory
(click here to download a word document of the media advisory)
media advisory should be sent 3 to 4 days before your event (think
about sending it out on Halloween). Follow the link above to download a
custom media advisory to promote your event to your local paper. Fill
in the details about your event, and your contact information, and send