Getting 'Free Press' for Free

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  • 1. Getting 'Free Press' for Free
    • Letters to the Editor
    • Op Eds
    • Press release
    • Working with the Media
    • Q&A
    “ For a politician to complain about the press is like a ship's captain complaining about the sea” – Enoch Powell
  • 2. Libertarian Communications Failure #1
    • Throwing the Book at Them
  • 3. Libertarian Communications Failure #2
    • Felony Label Grabbing
  • 4. Libertarian Communications Failure #3
    • Insulting Your Audience
  • 5. Libertarian Communications Failure #4
    • Not Knowing the Issues
  • 6. Libertarian Communications Failure #5
    • Not Listening
  • 7. Letters to the Editor
    • Most effective tool to promote libertarian ideas
      • Most read part of newspaper
      • No filter, VFR direct to readers
    • Research newspapers guidelines & stick to them .
    • Do not use boilerplate or form letters.
    • Weeklys welcome “fresh” views & articles
  • 8. Technical Points
    • Use website or email (letter in body)
    • Do not send handwritten letters. Type them: 2X or 3x space, 1 side, 1page
    • Include name, address, day-time phone number
    • Hand delivery, meet staff
  • 9. How to Write
    • Be positive . Don't get personal, attack. That's what Republicans & Democrats do
    • Focus on ways America will be better with small government – don’t dwell on wrongs
    • Sell liberty . Appeal to self-interest. Don't preach & expect sudden conversion
  • 10. Identify & Focus
    • Identify with social goals of issue – show how those goals can never be achieved by government, but will be well served in a free society.
    • Keep returning to the central point: how much better off the individual will be in a free society.
    • Give practical examples. Show me.
  • 11. What to Write About
    • Reply to editorials & op eds
    • Best use: discuss a local issue.
    • Pick issue important to you – don’t be afraid of passion
    • If refuting article – do it now
  • 12. LTE Style
    • State argument you're rebutting or responding to as briefly as possible
    • Stick to a single subject
    • Don't be shrill or abusive
    • Logical organization: Define issue, give your argument, present evidence. Close
    • Use facts, figures and expert testimony
  • 13. LTE Final Thoughts
    • Proofread carefully for spelling, punctuation and grammar.
    • Sit on it 24 hours
    • View letter from reader's perspective.
    • Be persistent
    • Write
  • 14. Op Eds
    • Expanded LTE
    • Rebuttal op ed
    • 500-800 words
    • Same guidelines LTE
    • “ Credentials” help
    • Discuss with editor
  • 15. Press Releases
    • Not college paper, thesis or speech
    • A press release is a resume
    • Source of information or news tip
    • Be prepared for reporters questions
    • Newspaper, TV & radio need different things
  • 16. Press Release Format
    • Inverted pyramid
    • Use newspaper style
    • Slug
    • Strong lead
    • 5 Ws&H
    • 400-500 words
    • For more information information
  • 17. Press Release Writing Tips
    • Key points first
    • Use quotes
    • Use clear, concise, vivid language
    • Short sentences & paragraphs
    • Check grammar, spelling, punctuation
    • Be timely, meet deadlines
  • 18. Working with the Media
    • Be not afraid
    • Nothing's "off the record"
    • Don’t feel obligated to accept reporter’s facts and figures
    • Don’t answer hypotheticals
    • Don’t be afraid to ask a reporter to repeat a question
    • Answer question reporter does not ask
  • 19. Working with the Media
    • Be friendly
    • Interview is opportunity to educate
    • Make your answer relevant
    • Be honest, straightforward
    • Use colorful language, clear examples
    • Don’t be badgered or harassed
    • Beware of buzz words. Don’t let reporter put words in your mouth
  • 20. Summary
    • LTEs most effective way to communicate libertarian ideas
    • Op eds are expanded LTEs
    • Press releases are resumes
    • Avoiding reporters does not communicate libertarian ideas
    • Feed the media
    • Be not afraid
  • 21. “ Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter” - Thomas Jefferson