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Making the News: A Guide for Nonprofits and Activists

Overview

With the media increasingly setting political and social agendas, news coverage about a problem can be the first step toward a solution. This handbook, based on interviews with media-savvy activists and twenty-five professional journalists, explains how to generate news coverage about any cause or issue that concerns you. Learn how to stage media events, write press releases, compile media lists, contact reporters, deliver sound bites, book a guest on talk radio, lobby editorial writers, columnists, and ...

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Overview

With the media increasingly setting political and social agendas, news coverage about a problem can be the first step toward a solution. This handbook, based on interviews with media-savvy activists and twenty-five professional journalists, explains how to generate news coverage about any cause or issue that concerns you. Learn how to stage media events, write press releases, compile media lists, contact reporters, deliver sound bites, book a guest on talk radio, lobby editorial writers, columnists, and photographers, and much more. Making the News also contains unique advice on how to create newsworthy visual imagery. Simple, complicated, cheap, funny, flashy—ideas for all kinds of media events are described.

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Editorial Reviews

Columbia Journalism Review
This is a commonsense handbook for activists seeking time and space in the news media for their cases. As such, it offers a compendium of tactics that have worked. But journalists ought to read it too, because it provides a mirror's-eye view of how journalism -- really works.
Matthew Rothschild
Salzman gives you the nitty-grittythe nuts and boltsto complete in the not-so-free marketplace of ideas. —The Progressive
Matthew Rothschild
Salzman gives you the nitty-gritty, the nuts and bolts, to complete in the not-so-free marketplace of ideas. -- The Progressive
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813368986
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 4/16/1998
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Lexile: 1170L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 7.47 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Jason Salzman is president of Cause Communications, which offers media how-to workshops and consulting services to nonprofit organizations, and founder of Rocky Mountain Media Watch. He lives in Denver, CO.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Let the World Know 1
Pt. 1 Stop Being a Bore 7
1 Think Outside the Stratosphere 9
Pt. 2 Landing on Oprah is not a Strategy 51
2 What's Newsworthy? 53
3 Strategic Media Plans 57
4 Starting Your Media Program 63
5 Cultivate Relationships with Journalists 66
6 How and When to Complain About Coverage 70
Pt. 3 How to Stage a Media Event 75
7 First, What's Strategic and Doable? 77
8 As Thoreau Said: Simplify 79
9 Brainstorm Stunt Ideas 81
10 The Best Times to Get Coverage 84
11 Where to Stage a Media Event 90
12 Media Sponsors 94
13 Media Lists 98
14 News Releases 104
15 Distributing a News Release 116
16 Interviews 127
17 It's the Follow-up Call, Stupid 138
18 News Conferences and Media Kits 145
19 Assess 150
Pt. 4 How to Get News Coverage without Staging a Media Event 153
20 Suggest Story Ideas to Journalists 155
21 Hook Your Story to Breaking News 162
22 Influence Editorial Writers and Other Journalists 166
23 Write a Guest Opinion (Op-Ed) 172
24 Publish (or Broadcast) a Letter to the Editor 177
25 Persuade a Columnist to Write About Your Issue 180
26 Influence Newspaper Photographers 183
27 Sway a Cartoonist 185
28 Tune Your Cause to Talk Radio 187
29 Place Your TV Production or Information on Cable 190
30 Use Community Calendars and Public Service Announcements 194
31 Publicize a Report or Academic Paper 197
32 Promote a Story to Journalists at National News Outlets 203
33 Generate News Coverage Abroad 209
34 Hit the Small-Time: Neighborhood and Rural News 214
Pt. 5 Your Cause in Cyberspace 219
35 News on the Web 221
36 Media-Friendly Websites 225
37 Bloggers 228
38 Viral Marketing 231
Pt. 6 Prime-Time Guerrilla Activism 237
39 Civil Disobedience and Surprise Protests 239
40 Street Posters 249
41 Spray, Stick, Cover... 254
42 Wrap Your Local Newspaper in a Fake Front Page 258
43 Guerrilla Activists Hit Cyberspace 262
Pt. 7 Help, Media Frenzy! 267
44 A Media Crisis 269
45 Unsolicited Calls from Journalists 274
Pt. 8 Resources 277
Index 283
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