Media Resources for ActivistsMartin Luther King Jr. had a favorite saying regarding the importance of the sound bite and televison coverage: "One tiny little minute, just 60 seconds in it. I can't refuse it. I dare not abuse it. It's up to me to use it."
King realized the importance of not only what they were doing locally, but of the greater importance of what the rest of the nation perceived each day. He realized that in order to pass a National Civil Rights Bill he had to use the media to affect public opinion and pressure Congress.
As social justice activists we need to learn public relations skills and work with the media if we are to be successful in our endeavors.
If you want to:
GW Associates: www.peterwirth.net - This web site contains resources based on generating press coverage for 35 years of social justice activism. Learn how to organize coverage for events, speaking tours and delegations; how to get guests on radio and TV talk shows; arrange editorial board meetings and place op-ed pieces and letters to-the-editor. Read how a Middle East 17 day speaking tour to 10 US cities reached over 200 million people or a delegation experience that generated over 40 press interviews in a ten week period. Learn about a new 60 minute audio, media training CD - Living Media with 35 pages of text resources or visit other web sites for resources for national and international press work.
Fenton Communications: www.fenton.com - Their web site has some excellent resources and articles that will help you get your message before the public. Check out their free "Ten Tips to Get More Ink on Your Next Report" document and their Resource section for some great articles and must read "Thought" pieces to help you understand why the progressive activist community has to get better at public relations.
Spin Project: www.spinproject.org - Another excellent web site with great resources. The SPIN Project publishes books, articles, workbooks and a monthly e-newsletter dealing with aspects of strategic communications. They also offer a broad range of free online resources to grow the communications capacity of your organization and introduce you to the basics of strategic communications. For example, their web site allows you to create a full communications plan for your organization or campaign by filling in a simple web-based form and get feedback on your plan, free of charge, from a SPIN Project Strategist.
Communications Consortium Media Center: www.ccmc.org - This site contains under Media Tips section a list of the top 100 newspapers and instructions on how to place letters to the editor and op-ed pieces.