Working with Reporters
Reporters need information and often don't have much time to find it. Make yourself— and any reports, statistics, and spokespeople you have—available on a regular basis. However, it’s also important not to bombard reporters with a series of non-newsworthy press releases. Save specific press materials for newsworthy events, but do familiarize reporters with the types of resources you are able to offer them.
Busy reporters rushing against deadline tend to go with the spokespeople you pitch to them. Those spokespeople should embody your narrative, including the values and human consequences at stake, the hard facts and statistics, and the systemic problems and solutions. They should include people with whom your audiences can identify, and where possible, some unexpected voices. In a way, it’s like casting a blockbuster movie: the larger story should drive your individual decisions.
Press releases are more than an opportunity to publicize an event or report. They are also messaging vehicles. Although the main text of the release should be primarily factual, you have a lot of room in the quotes you provide for framing the issue and promoting your narrative.
Writing an Op-Ed
Op-eds are your chance to speak through the news media directly to policymakers, your constituents, and other target audiences. Papers will run op-eds from a range of sources, including experts, community voices, advocates, and those directly affected by issues.
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the editor are a quick and effective way to weigh in on issues that media frequently cover. Often, more people read the letters page than the pages where the original article appeared.
Tips for Working with Creatives
In creating this toolkit we collaborated with New York Times' s bestselling author and artist Gan Golan who brought life to the Toolkit by creating Helvetika Bold. We share our suggestions on collaborating with creatives to tell your story.
See a sample of our tools and resources at the bottom of this page.
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