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Wellstone Action www.wellstone.org

Earned Media Tips It’s got to be news! Just becausewe think our event is important, doesn’t mean it will make the news. Always ask why the story is of interest to the larger community – that’s your “news hook.” Part of your earned media strategy is thinking up how help a reporter seethat your event/announcement is “news” becauseit meets one of the following: • • • •

Impact. An event that affects many people. Timeliness. A recent or upcoming event with immediacy. Prominence. An event connected to well-known people or institutions. Conflict. An event that reflects a controversy or clash between people or institutions. • Bizarre/intriguing. An event or story that isn’t “normal” or is intriguing or “quirky” • Currency. An event or issue that connects with stories already getting coverage or that fits with other “news.”

Campaign Stories You Can Usually Count on. •

• •

• • •

Campaign announcement . This is your formal campaign announcement. Sometimes you can get two stories – when you first start running and when you formally announce. Campaign Filing . When you formally file for office. Profile story . Most higher visibility races have a profile story written. What stories do you want to tell? What events do you want the reporter to go to? If TV – what is your visual? Week/end before election . There is usually a last week/end before election story. Think of how to get your campaign into it. Primary election night . There is sometimes a story even when you don’t have a contested primary. General election night . Win or lose. If you win how do you want to start your next phase?If you lose – what do you want to leave in voters mind?


Wellstone Action www.wellstone.org

Tips for working with reporters. Tip 1: Create relationships with reporters • •

Like all organizing, fundraising, voter contact – it all comes down to relationships becauseit is all about communications. Knowing them, and them knowing you will often result in more depth to the story, and more likelihood of fair coverage.

Tip 2: Be responsive. • •

If you tell a reporter that you will get back by a certain time – do it. If you need more time, let call them and let them know. Treat reporters with respect. They have a job to do – just as you do.

Tip 3: Nothing is guaranteed off the record. • •

Everything can (and sometimes will) be used – whether by purpose or by accident. Error on the side of caution. It is sometimes very easy to forget or get confused what is “on” and “off” the record

Tip 4: Never, ever, ever lie. • •

You’ll get caught – and if you have to lie to win it’s not a fight worth winning. If you don’t know the answer, say so and get back.

Tip 5: Brevity is a virtue. •

Reporters often use silence (like salesman) to prompt decisions (or more talk). Answer the question, get your points made, and stop talking.

Tip 6: Pivot and stay on message. • •

You don’t have to answer every question asked – stick to telling your story Careful how you answer hypotheticals. Pivot and get back on message.

Tip 7: Help reporters do their job. •

Some reporters are lazy – and the shallownessof their reporting can be aggravating – but they are also often overworked and underpaid. Helping them do their job also often pays off in better coverage

Earned Media Tips  

earned media tips

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