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Media Relations

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Do you want more people to know about your group?
Want to reach a larger audience?
You've come to the right place!

Jesse on CNN

This page is here to offer you a short guide on:

  • General Media Relations
  • Using Social Media
  • Writing and Using Press Releases
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Crafting Talking Points and Message Clarification

General Media Relations

Want to know the basics of media relations and how to get noticed? Kelley Freeman, the SSA Communications Associate, gave a talk at the 2015 SSA Annual Conference on "Working with Traditional Media" 

Too long; didn't watch?

  • Be newsworthy
  • Target the correct outlets (campus, local, national, etc.)
  • Have a compelling message
  • Prepare
  • Deliver it properly
  • Using Social Media

Using Social Media

Almost everyone uses some form of social media today. Communications Associate Kelley Freeman covers how to best use social media at our 2015 Annual Conference.

Too long; didn't watch?

  • Social media = Internet word of mouth.
  • Why use social media? Because that's where everyone is.
  • Start with just one good social media outlet-- less is more. 
  • Tell your own story.
  • Share info with relevant groups-- if a speaker is coming to your campus, tell the campus newspaper or departments on campus, not r/atheism.
  • Change up your content-- people are more likely to pay attention if every post isn't just when your meetings are.
  • Take pictures of your events! It puts a face to the group & people can share their own pictures.

Writing & Using Press ReleasesJesse and Hemant Mehta on CNN

When your group officially begins, an introductory press release may get you some initial media coverage, and at the very least will get reporters familiar with who you are. We've put together a sample press release to send out, and also some tips on how to craft a good press release.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor are a great way to generate buzz about your group, your activities, and your issues. Newspapers who see a lot of them are more likely to report on those topics; politicians and local leaders also read them to see what their constituents think. We've prepared a great introduction to writing snappy, attention-grabbing letters that will get you published and noticed! It's also a good idea to get together and write letters as a group, here's an activity packet about that.

Crafting Talking Points & Message Clarification

Pew Research on CNNOnce you have media attention, you want to know not just what you want to say, but how you're going to say it; this will make sure that your points come across clearly, accurately, and vividly. Fred Edwords has prepared two guides that can help you with this. The message clarification worksheet will help you develop your message, as well as generate sub-topics and defenses to questions. The talking point & sound-bite planner will help you come up with quick quips and witty remarks that will ensure you get quoted. Both are great tools for any media interaction, such as interviews and press releases; they can also be very helpful to use while planning an event or campaign!

Need help crafting your message or want a second set of eyes on your press release? Send us an email at communications@secularstudents.org!

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