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How Effective Media Relations
Can Support Advocacy
Presented by Laura Greer and Alissa Von Bargen
Hill+Knowlton Strategies
May 7, 2015
5/8/2015 | 2
Agenda
• Why advocacy?
• Why media relations?
• How to engage effectively with the media
• Using social media in advocacy
• Advocacy in the news: a CCSN example
5/8/2015 | 3
What is Advocacy?
+ Advocacy is acting or speaking in favour of a cause, idea
or policy
+ It is the pursuit of influencing outcomes – including
public policy and resource allocation decisions within
political, economic and social systems and institutions
+ It is telling your story to someone in government so that
they are compelled to do (or not to do) something
5/8/2015 | 4
Why Advocacy?
+ All governments are faced with competing interests and
concerns, as well as policy priorities and fiscal
challenges – those who engage in this process will be
heard
+ If you choose not to engage, your viewpoint will not be
heard and decisions will be made without taking this
viewpoint into account
5/8/2015 | 5
Why Media Relations?
• Media is a conduit to have your voice
heard
• Everyone listens to the news
• Media coverage gets the attention of
decision-makers
• May compel them to do (or not to
do) something
• Brings issue to the forefront
• The media a powerful tool that, if
utilized properly, can result in the
ability to affect change
5/8/2015 | 6
What Do We Mean by the “Media”?
• Print publications, e.g. local, regional or national newspapers,
magazines
• Broadcast stations, e.g. television, radio
• Online news channels, e.g. Yahoo!, MSN
5/8/2015 | 7
Working Effectively with the Media
Understand how the media work,
and what compels them to cover a
story.
5/8/2015 | 8
How to Effectively Engage the Media
To cut through the clutter, ensure your story is:
1. Timely and new
2. Interesting and relevant
3. Incorporates a human interest angle
5/8/2015 | 9
1. Timely and New
• Timely and new
 You need a “news hook” on which to hang your story
 This is something that will the make the story new &/or timely
 Examples: new research, an event, a major milestone
5/8/2015 | 10
5/8/2015 | 11
2. Interesting and Relevant
• Your story needs to have some “new” and interesting information
 What’s your news?
 Why should people care about your news – how does it impact
others?
• Media want stories that are relevant for their audience(s)
 How does your story appeal to the audience of the media you are
targeting?
 For example, a national story appeals to a national newspaper or
broadcast station
 A local angle appeals to local media, such as a community newspaper,
radio or TV station
5/8/2015 | 12
5/8/2015 | 13
Human Interest Angle
• Media tend to cover stories with a human interest angle (i.e., a
patient or caregiver’s personal perspective)
 People are drawn to stories of other people
 In the absence of any other information, a really strong personal
story can be the hook the draws media in
5/8/2015 | 14
5/8/2015 | 15
Tips to Effectively Advocate Through the Media
• Effective messages requires thought around…
 What you want to say
 How you want to say it
 What you are ultimately “asking” for from your target audience
• If your key messages and “ask” are not clearly defined then you will not
get your point through
• All activities with the media MUST align with your other advocacy
activities
• Even stories that don’t directly address your issue, but that are related,
can set the stage for new discourse with government
• Ensure the media you are speaking with reach your target audience
5/8/2015 | 16
Some Tactics to Engage the Media
• Issue a news release
• Directly “pitch” a story to an individual reporter who has an
interest in the topic
• Hold a media event (press conference)
• Consider responding to relevant news items with a ‘Letter-to-the-
Editor’
• Author an Opinion-Editorial (Op-Ed) piece
• Meet with the editorial board of a newspaper
5/8/2015 | 17
Who to Approach
 National or regional
newspapers
 Community newspapers
 Television stations
 Radio stations
5/8/2015 | 18
Speaking to the Right Person
• Before reaching out to a media outlet…
 Follow reporters to determine/understand their interests
 Find out which reporter (if any) has been affected by the issue
personally
• When reaching out to the media, understand that…
 Assignment editors are responsible for assigning stories to
journalists
 News editors are responsible for what gets published
 Health reporters are responsible for researching and developing
stories
5/8/2015 | 19
Using Social Media in Advocacy
+ Social media can help to advance your cause
+ Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Vine
+ Direct access to many decision-makers, potential supporters
and advocates
+ Real-time engagement
5/8/2015 | 20
Is it the Right Medium for You?
BE PREPARED!
+ Critical to have a specific goal and a strategy
+ You must understand your social media audience – what
demographics are you trying to reach? What are their online
behaviours?
+ Which channel you want to use depends on the audience and
your engagement goals
+ Do you want to be part of people’s daily lives (Facebook), part
of current events (Twitter), or communicate visually
(Instagram)?
5/8/2015 | 21
Twitter vs Facebook
Twitter
+ Engaging with thought leaders/media, keeping up with current events,
starting debates, conversations with people you may/may not know
+ Typical user: Female, early 30s, university-educated
+ Best practices: Using #hashtags, including @addresses, tweeting photos
Facebook
+ Engaging with friends/family, sharing personal information, connecting with
interests
+ Typical user: Average age increasing (38), checks daily, 229 friends
+ Best practices: Post photos and infographics, calls for action
5/8/2015 | 22
Key Considerations for Social Media
+ If you’ve decided you want to be on social media, consider the
following:
+ Resources – do you have the capacity to monitor social
media channels?
+ Authenticity – are you speaking to your audience in a real
voice?
+ Responsiveness – are you responding to your audience in a
meaningful way?
+ Timeliness – are you on top of the issues, and are you
engaging as events unfold?
ADVOCACY IN THE MEDIA
An Example from the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network
5/8/2015 | 24
Creating an Advocacy Platform
5/8/2015 | 25
Why some stories “work”
5/8/2015 | 26
Summary
• Media can be a powerful conduit to have your messages heard by
your target audiences
• To capture their attention, ensure your story is timely and new,
interesting and relevant and incorporates a human interest angle
• Align media and other advocacy activities
• Be clear with your messages and ask
• Engage media that will reach your key audience(s)
QUESTIONS
5/8/2015 | 28
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
LAURA GREER
VICE-PRESIDENT
Direct Line + 1 416 413 4765
Laura.Greer@hkstrategies.ca
ALISSA VON BARGEN
SENIOR CONSULTANT
Direct Line + 1 416 413 4601
Alissa.VonBargen@hkstrategies.ca
HILL+KNOWLTON STRATEGIES
CANADA
160 Bloor Street East, Suite 800
Toronto, ON Canada
T + 1 416 413 1218
hkstrategies.ca

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How Effective Media Relations Can Support Advocacy

  • 1. How Effective Media Relations Can Support Advocacy Presented by Laura Greer and Alissa Von Bargen Hill+Knowlton Strategies May 7, 2015
  • 2. 5/8/2015 | 2 Agenda • Why advocacy? • Why media relations? • How to engage effectively with the media • Using social media in advocacy • Advocacy in the news: a CCSN example
  • 3. 5/8/2015 | 3 What is Advocacy? + Advocacy is acting or speaking in favour of a cause, idea or policy + It is the pursuit of influencing outcomes – including public policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic and social systems and institutions + It is telling your story to someone in government so that they are compelled to do (or not to do) something
  • 4. 5/8/2015 | 4 Why Advocacy? + All governments are faced with competing interests and concerns, as well as policy priorities and fiscal challenges – those who engage in this process will be heard + If you choose not to engage, your viewpoint will not be heard and decisions will be made without taking this viewpoint into account
  • 5. 5/8/2015 | 5 Why Media Relations? • Media is a conduit to have your voice heard • Everyone listens to the news • Media coverage gets the attention of decision-makers • May compel them to do (or not to do) something • Brings issue to the forefront • The media a powerful tool that, if utilized properly, can result in the ability to affect change
  • 6. 5/8/2015 | 6 What Do We Mean by the “Media”? • Print publications, e.g. local, regional or national newspapers, magazines • Broadcast stations, e.g. television, radio • Online news channels, e.g. Yahoo!, MSN
  • 7. 5/8/2015 | 7 Working Effectively with the Media Understand how the media work, and what compels them to cover a story.
  • 8. 5/8/2015 | 8 How to Effectively Engage the Media To cut through the clutter, ensure your story is: 1. Timely and new 2. Interesting and relevant 3. Incorporates a human interest angle
  • 9. 5/8/2015 | 9 1. Timely and New • Timely and new  You need a “news hook” on which to hang your story  This is something that will the make the story new &/or timely  Examples: new research, an event, a major milestone
  • 11. 5/8/2015 | 11 2. Interesting and Relevant • Your story needs to have some “new” and interesting information  What’s your news?  Why should people care about your news – how does it impact others? • Media want stories that are relevant for their audience(s)  How does your story appeal to the audience of the media you are targeting?  For example, a national story appeals to a national newspaper or broadcast station  A local angle appeals to local media, such as a community newspaper, radio or TV station
  • 13. 5/8/2015 | 13 Human Interest Angle • Media tend to cover stories with a human interest angle (i.e., a patient or caregiver’s personal perspective)  People are drawn to stories of other people  In the absence of any other information, a really strong personal story can be the hook the draws media in
  • 15. 5/8/2015 | 15 Tips to Effectively Advocate Through the Media • Effective messages requires thought around…  What you want to say  How you want to say it  What you are ultimately “asking” for from your target audience • If your key messages and “ask” are not clearly defined then you will not get your point through • All activities with the media MUST align with your other advocacy activities • Even stories that don’t directly address your issue, but that are related, can set the stage for new discourse with government • Ensure the media you are speaking with reach your target audience
  • 16. 5/8/2015 | 16 Some Tactics to Engage the Media • Issue a news release • Directly “pitch” a story to an individual reporter who has an interest in the topic • Hold a media event (press conference) • Consider responding to relevant news items with a ‘Letter-to-the- Editor’ • Author an Opinion-Editorial (Op-Ed) piece • Meet with the editorial board of a newspaper
  • 17. 5/8/2015 | 17 Who to Approach  National or regional newspapers  Community newspapers  Television stations  Radio stations
  • 18. 5/8/2015 | 18 Speaking to the Right Person • Before reaching out to a media outlet…  Follow reporters to determine/understand their interests  Find out which reporter (if any) has been affected by the issue personally • When reaching out to the media, understand that…  Assignment editors are responsible for assigning stories to journalists  News editors are responsible for what gets published  Health reporters are responsible for researching and developing stories
  • 19. 5/8/2015 | 19 Using Social Media in Advocacy + Social media can help to advance your cause + Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Vine + Direct access to many decision-makers, potential supporters and advocates + Real-time engagement
  • 20. 5/8/2015 | 20 Is it the Right Medium for You? BE PREPARED! + Critical to have a specific goal and a strategy + You must understand your social media audience – what demographics are you trying to reach? What are their online behaviours? + Which channel you want to use depends on the audience and your engagement goals + Do you want to be part of people’s daily lives (Facebook), part of current events (Twitter), or communicate visually (Instagram)?
  • 21. 5/8/2015 | 21 Twitter vs Facebook Twitter + Engaging with thought leaders/media, keeping up with current events, starting debates, conversations with people you may/may not know + Typical user: Female, early 30s, university-educated + Best practices: Using #hashtags, including @addresses, tweeting photos Facebook + Engaging with friends/family, sharing personal information, connecting with interests + Typical user: Average age increasing (38), checks daily, 229 friends + Best practices: Post photos and infographics, calls for action
  • 22. 5/8/2015 | 22 Key Considerations for Social Media + If you’ve decided you want to be on social media, consider the following: + Resources – do you have the capacity to monitor social media channels? + Authenticity – are you speaking to your audience in a real voice? + Responsiveness – are you responding to your audience in a meaningful way? + Timeliness – are you on top of the issues, and are you engaging as events unfold?
  • 23. ADVOCACY IN THE MEDIA An Example from the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network
  • 24. 5/8/2015 | 24 Creating an Advocacy Platform
  • 25. 5/8/2015 | 25 Why some stories “work”
  • 26. 5/8/2015 | 26 Summary • Media can be a powerful conduit to have your messages heard by your target audiences • To capture their attention, ensure your story is timely and new, interesting and relevant and incorporates a human interest angle • Align media and other advocacy activities • Be clear with your messages and ask • Engage media that will reach your key audience(s)
  • 28. 5/8/2015 | 28 FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: LAURA GREER VICE-PRESIDENT Direct Line + 1 416 413 4765 Laura.Greer@hkstrategies.ca ALISSA VON BARGEN SENIOR CONSULTANT Direct Line + 1 416 413 4601 Alissa.VonBargen@hkstrategies.ca HILL+KNOWLTON STRATEGIES CANADA 160 Bloor Street East, Suite 800 Toronto, ON Canada T + 1 416 413 1218 hkstrategies.ca

Editor's Notes

  1. Don’t just be on Twitter for Twitter’s sake. Having an ineffective social media presence can actually do more harm than good. That’s why you should evaluate why you want to be on social media, and who you are trying to reach to achieve your goal. Are you trying to raise awareness of an issue? Are you trying to persuade a decision-maker? Are you trying to secure media coverage? Is your audience on social media? For example, if you’re in a rural community and trying to influence a town alderperson, it might be easier and more effective to corner her at the Tim Horton’s than to spend your resources trying to buttonhole her on Twitter or Facebook. If you’re trying to wage a provincial campaign to get the Premier to fund an initiative, social media will be much more useful and effective. Which channels work for you? You may want to be on any number of social media channels, but think about your goals first. Do you want to get people to come to a local charity fundraiser? It may be easiest to get buy-in on Facebook, where there are closer personal connections and leverage for action Do you want media coverage of your issue? You can target individual reporters through their Twitter accounts Do you want to get a petition signed? You could use both, especially if it’s an issue with broad appeal.
  2. For example, how do you decide if you want to be on one of the big two social media channels, Facebook or Twitter?
  3. Resources You need to be able to staff your social media channels, and ensure that you have a plan to achieve your goals. You should be engaging daily – ideally at least once in the morning and once in the afternoon. You should use tools such as a social media calendar to help you to plan out your messages, and think ahead about the issues you want to engage in. For example, you know the health minister is making an announcement this week on your issue. You should think ahead Authenticity Are you providing canned messaging, or are you speaking to your audience with genuine emotion and thoughts? (Does your audience feel like there’s a real person talking to them?) Sometimes, individual accounts can be more effective than corporate ones to convey that your message isn’t canned, or they can complement each other. Responsiveness If someone messages you with a question, or query, are you responding to that person? You need to be able to engage, or that person may tune out, or spread a negative impression of you/your issues. Timeliness Do you have something to say when it matters? If a news story related to your issue breaks that morning, you need to be talking about it that day – ideally, within that hour. This helps build your credibility, and shows that you’re paying attention to what matters to you (and hopefully, your followers/friends)