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Module 6 - Media and Communications


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If your target audience doesn't know about your campaign, you might as well not be campaigning. This deck from WAN takes you through the basics of gaining visibility for your campaign, as well as tips on engaging a variety of media outlets. More can always be found on our free Strategic Advocacy Course, available here:

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Module 6 - Media and Communications

  1. 1. Media & Communications Module 6
  2. 2. Mass Communication The media is the only effective method of mass communication Which is vital when you need to achieve ‘critical mass’ for your issue
  3. 3. Media Importance The media – press, radio and television (TV) – shapes public opinion It is probably the single most effective vehicle for spreading social change messages It is the most effective way of reaching mass audiences Which enables the animal protection movement to reach new supporters (and move towards critical mass) It should be a leading priority for a campaigning organization
  4. 4. Media Strategy It is important to establish a media strategy to enable the organization to work the media proactively, as well as reactively Effective forward planning can ensure that you use the media for your own mission, rather than be used by media to fit their own agenda
  5. 5. Proactive Media - Examples Using research and investigations for in-depth investigative programs Lobby for program covering own work Planning press conferences, demos, events, campaign actions, photo-calls, celebrity occasions etc. Write/place feature articles (draft key points for target media)
  6. 6. Reactive Media Reactive media work can also be useful But approach and extent still need to be planned Priorities need to be established and resource constraints considered
  7. 7. Media Aims Set an agenda Put decision makers 'on notice' Get people thinking Soften the ground Stimulate debate & awareness of your issues Turn concern into desire to ACT
  8. 8. Media Planning Carefully plan the time and place of press conferences and media events Include visual impacts in planning Decide the extent and limits of your search for media (e.g. What is appropriate to your organization’s image and your message?) Develop and use a celebrity strategy Include media in research and investigations planning
  9. 9. Media Planning cont. Analyze audiences and target relevant media Prepare and maintain a media contacts list, including details of interests and past coverage N.B. Commercial databases exist in some countries Rank media and lobby the most important systematically Plan so the media has regular, but not too persistent, approaches - with variety Link to major world events, where possible If seeking a high level of reactive coverage, decide which subjects will be covered and establish a system Use supporters as part of your media strategy – particularly for local media
  10. 10. Methods of Obtaining Coverage Press releases Press conferences/Media packs Letters to editors Writing articles Making footage and photographs available Media worthy demonstrations, events and photo-calls Use of celebrities Advertising Helping documentaries/investigative programs Agreeing to be featured on topical issues Persuading ‘soaps’ to take up your cause/campaign
  11. 11. Media Hits Type of stories that make it into the media: 'We name the guilty' 'We reveal the startling facts' 'The powerless will fight' 'Underdogs win' 'Shock statement' 'Incredible facts' 'Cuddly pets' (the aw factor)
  12. 12. 13 Steps to Successful Coverage 1. Keep it short 2. Think headlines 3. Use consistent slogans/’sound bites’ 4. Do it regularly 5. Be positive 6. Set the agenda
  13. 13. 13 Steps cont. 7. Be visual 8. Appeal to emotions in news stories 9. Entertain 10. Match the medium 11. Limit the campaign segment 12. Use events to boost your release 13. Develop your theme over time
  14. 14. Media Contacts Only put forward ‘newsworthy’ items Always remember the visual In all contacts, give essentials before background Always be factual and accurate Think carefully about media opportunities/requests Respond immediately to media inquiries - deadlines Never lie to a reporter You can protect sources Never use ‘off the record’ briefings! Always be helpful and polite Local media may be easier targets (especially if local angle)
  15. 15. Targeting Target the right: Publication/TV station: Your target groups Column/article Journalist: Position and individual Message: to target groups and media Timing/schedule
  16. 16. Letters to Editors Keep letter tightly composed Use specific examples One point per letter Accurate, up-to-date information Don’t make personal attacks on those opposing your viewpoint Always sign your name Include contact details
  17. 17. Press Releases Consider: the message, the audience, and the desired result Most important information in first paragraph Rest in descending order of importance Heading: short, eye catching, includes main points First paragraph should answer 5W’s: Who What When Where Why
  18. 18. Press Releases cont. Body: Give essentials, then ‘background notes’. Include: One issue only Background on organization One page only – short and to the point Quotes – from credible figure, include ‘sound bites’ that are readily quoted and remembered Photo opportunities Facts only – don’t exaggerate Statistics
  19. 19. Press Releases cont. Background notes include: Contact details Any explanations for clarity but not publication An ‘all hours’ contact and phone number and spokesperson details (If you are doing a national release, try to find local people to be available to speak to local media) Send press releases to named journalist, where possible Follow up with a call afterwards, ostensibly to offer them something further
  20. 20. TV and Radio Don’t forget news directors of radio and TV stations when circulating press releases You will need a visual angle for TV  A picture tells a thousand stories! (Videos should be broadcast quality (Betacam or Mini DV) with separate sound tracks)
  21. 21. TV and Radio Interviews Prepare well for radio and TV interviews Find out the aim and angle of the interview Why you, and who else will be interviewed? Ask for type of questions to be asked, and the first question Live or recorded? Who will be interviewer? Length of interview? Audience?
  22. 22. Interview Preparation Research the issues Research the program Formulate and learn 3 Main ‘points to make’ Consider all possible questions and practice answers Be sure of your facts ‘Off the cuff’ quotes should be well rehearsed
  23. 23. Interview Tips: Dos Dress smartly Be punctual Be relaxed, be yourself Answer crisply and directly, speak slowly and clearly Give ‘sound bites’ of around 20 seconds Get your main points in Always sound reasonable and thoughtful Paint pictures, use examples Be positive and upbeat Mention your organization
  24. 24. Interview Tips: Don’ts Exaggerate Lose your cool Be aggressive, even if challenged Be tricked by leading questions Waffle or ramble on Get side-tracked from your message
  25. 25. Press Conferences Planning should include: Choose chairperson Key ‘points to make’ Good quotes/examples Considering all possible questions beforehand and prepare Ensuring everybody is well briefed Giving media reminder call on day before conference Making certain audio systems are flawless Name plates on the ‘top table’
  26. 26. Press Conferences cont. You will need to know: Location that will attract reporters Hour press most likely to attend How far in advance press to be notified, and best method for notifying Press conference presentations should be brief, with more time for questions Visual evidence presented at the conference should be brief and full of impact
  27. 27. Media Packs Copy Press Release Background information on the organization Background information on the issue Photo CD (or thumbnails of available photos) Details of further information available (e.g. reports, footage/Betacams) NB. Keep list of Press Conference attendees for follow-up
  28. 28. Criticism Get an independent expert speaker to answer the criticism Reclaim the agenda - redefine the issue in a more appropriate light This is hard because once you are responding to criticism you no longer have control over the agenda Divert attention away from the issue by having an event or a press release on a different but related topic You will need a credible and firm spokesperson for each of these options
  29. 29. Mobilizing Media is not just about getting messages or issues across… It is about reaching people emotionally, in order to translate knowledge into action
  30. 30. Media Evaluation Evaluate against objectives Celebrate successes Replicate successful formulas Don’t apportion blame Use as opportunity for improvement Communicate and learn through failures
  31. 31. No ‘One Size Fits All’ The media in each country works differently What makes absolutely no impact in one country may be novel and hit the headlines in another! Factors: The level of press freedom Extent of private media Links to advertisers Most popular media (TV, radio, papers) Relevant magazines, programs etc. The stage of development of animal protection issues Each organization needs to ‘try and test’ approaches, evaluate these, and build successful formulas into media planning.
  32. 32. Communicating Your Message
  33. 33. Communications The 3 W’s Define your purpose WHY? Know your audience WHO? Select content and structure WHAT?
  34. 34. Target Audiences It is vital to identify your target audiences and speak directly to them Make your message a simple campaign against the unacceptable Always give ways to help!
  35. 35. Communications Impact Grab attention Make an impact Compel action Powerful conclusion - memorable 33%60% Approximately 7% depends of words used 33% on voice and intonation 60% on body language 7%
  36. 36. Internet Campaigning The Internet is fast-becoming a major campaigning tool It provides a fast and cheap way to relay information, including pictures and video Can provide instant lobby facility Social media is vital in any media strategy.
  37. 37. Communicating with Supporters
  38. 38. Valuing Supporters Your supporters are vital to your work To gain maximum benefit from them you need to: Communicate with them appropriately Don’t send them inappropriate requests Make them feel special and valued
  39. 39. Targeting Supporters need to be categorized in order to be addressed appropriately e.g.  Activists Letter-writers Media contacters Office volunteers Fundraisers Donors Legacy prospects And also interests noted e.g. which campaigns/projects they support
  40. 40. Supporter Development Just as with fundraising, the aim with supporters should be to move them up the pyramid of involvement e.g. Activists Enquirers Responders Occasional campaigners Occasional protest writers Regular campaigners Regular writers
  41. 41. Engagement To take supporters beyond awareness to engagement you need to: Move the problem up their list of priorities By indicating: seriousness and/or urgency Show them that they can make a difference Make their job easy!
  42. 42. Making Activists The seven-stage model for engagement is: Ignorance Knowledge Motivation Skills/Resources Optimism Facilitation Reinforcement
  43. 43. There’s More! Don’t forget the Module notes which refer to the many advocacy tools on media and various communications!
  44. 44. Public Action/Pressure "Public opinion is everything. With public sentiment nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed." — Abraham Lincoln