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Getting 'Free Press' for Free


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Getting 'Free Press' for Free

  1. 1. Getting 'Free Press' for Free <ul><li>Letters to the Editor </li></ul><ul><li>Op Eds </li></ul><ul><li>Press release </li></ul><ul><li>Working with the Media </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>“ For a politician to complain about the press is like a ship's captain complaining about the sea” – Enoch Powell
  2. 2. Libertarian Communications Failure #1 <ul><li>Throwing the Book at Them </li></ul>
  3. 3. Libertarian Communications Failure #2 <ul><li>Felony Label Grabbing </li></ul>
  4. 4. Libertarian Communications Failure #3 <ul><li>Insulting Your Audience </li></ul>
  5. 5. Libertarian Communications Failure #4 <ul><li>Not Knowing the Issues </li></ul>
  6. 6. Libertarian Communications Failure #5 <ul><li>Not Listening </li></ul>
  7. 7. Letters to the Editor <ul><li>Most effective tool to promote libertarian ideas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most read part of newspaper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No filter, VFR direct to readers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research newspapers guidelines & stick to them . </li></ul><ul><li>Do not use boilerplate or form letters. </li></ul><ul><li>Weeklys welcome “fresh” views & articles </li></ul>
  8. 8. Technical Points <ul><li>Use website or email (letter in body) </li></ul><ul><li>Do not send handwritten letters. Type them: 2X or 3x space, 1 side, 1page </li></ul><ul><li>Include name, address, day-time phone number </li></ul><ul><li>Hand delivery, meet staff </li></ul>
  9. 9. How to Write <ul><li>Be positive . Don't get personal, attack. That's what Republicans & Democrats do </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on ways America will be better with small government – don’t dwell on wrongs </li></ul><ul><li>Sell liberty . Appeal to self-interest. Don't preach & expect sudden conversion </li></ul>
  10. 10. Identify & Focus <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep returning to the central point: how much better off the individual will be in a free society. </li></ul><ul><li>Give practical examples. Show me. </li></ul>
  11. 11. What to Write About <ul><li>Reply to editorials & op eds </li></ul><ul><li>Best use: discuss a local issue. </li></ul><ul><li>Pick issue important to you – don’t be afraid of passion </li></ul><ul><li>If refuting article – do it now </li></ul>
  12. 12. LTE Style <ul><li>State argument you're rebutting or responding to as briefly as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Stick to a single subject </li></ul><ul><li>Don't be shrill or abusive </li></ul><ul><li>Logical organization: Define issue, give your argument, present evidence. Close </li></ul><ul><li>Use facts, figures and expert testimony </li></ul>
  13. 13. LTE Final Thoughts <ul><li>Proofread carefully for spelling, punctuation and grammar. </li></ul><ul><li>Sit on it 24 hours </li></ul><ul><li>View letter from reader's perspective. </li></ul><ul><li>Be persistent </li></ul><ul><li>Write </li></ul>
  14. 14. Op Eds <ul><li>Expanded LTE </li></ul><ul><li>Rebuttal op ed </li></ul><ul><li>500-800 words </li></ul><ul><li>Same guidelines LTE </li></ul><ul><li>“ Credentials” help </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss with editor </li></ul>
  15. 15. Press Releases <ul><li>Not college paper, thesis or speech </li></ul><ul><li>A press release is a resume </li></ul><ul><li>Source of information or news tip </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared for reporters questions </li></ul><ul><li>Newspaper, TV & radio need different things </li></ul>
  16. 16. Press Release Format <ul><li>Inverted pyramid </li></ul><ul><li>Use newspaper style </li></ul><ul><li>Slug </li></ul><ul><li>Strong lead </li></ul><ul><li>5 Ws&H </li></ul><ul><li>400-500 words </li></ul><ul><li>For more information information </li></ul>
  17. 17. Press Release Writing Tips <ul><li>Key points first </li></ul><ul><li>Use quotes </li></ul><ul><li>Use clear, concise, vivid language </li></ul><ul><li>Short sentences & paragraphs </li></ul><ul><li>Check grammar, spelling, punctuation </li></ul><ul><li>Be timely, meet deadlines </li></ul>
  18. 18. Working with the Media <ul><li>Be not afraid </li></ul><ul><li>Nothing's &quot;off the record&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t feel obligated to accept reporter’s facts and figures </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t answer hypotheticals </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to ask a reporter to repeat a question </li></ul><ul><li>Answer question reporter does not ask </li></ul>
  19. 19. Working with the Media <ul><li>Be friendly </li></ul><ul><li>Interview is opportunity to educate </li></ul><ul><li>Make your answer relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Be honest, straightforward </li></ul><ul><li>Use colorful language, clear examples </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be badgered or harassed </li></ul><ul><li>Beware of buzz words. Don’t let reporter put words in your mouth </li></ul>
  20. 20. Summary <ul><li>LTEs most effective way to communicate libertarian ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Op eds are expanded LTEs </li></ul><ul><li>Press releases are resumes </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding reporters does not communicate libertarian ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Feed the media </li></ul><ul><li>Be not afraid </li></ul>
  21. 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