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Fw: [nygreen] Media Tips for Green party candidates - from GPUS media committee

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  • les evenchick
    Les Evenchick New Orleans piratefish@yahoo.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 22, 2010
      Les Evenchick
      New Orleans

      --- On Tue, 6/22/10, Dunleamark@... <Dunleamark@...> wrote:
      > Media tips for Green candidates
      > The following 'Media Tips' were  prepared by the Media
      > Committee for Green
      > candidates, campaign media directors,  campaign
      > managers, and all Greens
      > working on campaigns or interested in knowing  how to
      > use the media to promote
      > a Green candidate or a local or state Green 
      > Party.  Please forward the
      > Media Tips far and wide among Green campaigns  and
      > Green Parties, and write back
      > to us if you have any questions, comments, or 
      > suggestions. -- Scott
      > McLarty, co-chair of the national Media  Committee
      > Some tips on handling media for Green candidates
      > &  campaigns
      > • Setting up a functioning media operation is essential
      > for  any Green
      > candidate.  Using the media right will give your
      > campaign a  strong public
      > presence.  For a lot of the public, a candidate
      > doesn't  really exist until they
      > see the candidate's name in the newspaper or on 
      > TV.  But if the media
      > doesn't know you exist, you might as well not bother 
      > running.
      > • Get someone to be your media director.  Candidates
      > should  not be their
      > own media directors, just as they should not be their own
      > campaign  managers,
      > volunteer coordinators, treasurers, etc.
      > • Candidates running  for local-level office in the
      > same area can share a
      > single media director, if  one person is willing to do
      > media work for
      > multiple candidates.  Local  Green Parties can
      > help their candidates by having
      > party media directors also  function as campaign media
      > directors.  If a
      > candidate is handling his or  her own media work, all
      > the tips below are still
      > relevant.
      > • Media  directors should compile lists of local
      > reporters & editors (with
      > their  phone numbers & e-mail addresses). 
      > They should also develop a
      > campaign  'relationship' with reporters & editors,
      > which means becoming familiar 
      > enough to be able to call them about the campaign, and
      > they'll know who & 
      > what you're talking about right away.
      > WEB SITE
      > • Set up a web  site and place the address
      > prominently in all party
      > literature &  paraphernalia, including press
      > releases, buttons, posters, flyers,
      > bumper  stickers, etc.
      > • When sending out press releases, campaign
      > announcements,  and other
      > messages on e-mail, always write out the full address so it
      > shows up  as a
      > hyperlink that any reader can click on.  E.g.,
      > use  http://www.Green4Congress.org
      > instead of www.Green4Congress.org or 
      > Green4Congress.org
      > • On the web site, have all the contact
      > information,  especially phone
      > number & e-mail address for your media director, on
      > your  home page.  Don't make
      > reporters have to search your web site for this 
      > information.
      > • Have a professional looking head shot, preferably taken
      > by  a
      > professional or experienced photographer.  Do not use
      > a photo by a friend  in your
      > backyard!  Copies should be included in all press
      > packets.   Upload a jpg of
      > your photo to the home page of your web site, so any
      > reporter  visiting the
      > site can easily download it for publication.
      > • Don't place  your entire campaign platform on your
      > web site home page (or
      > on campaign  literature).  Instead, choose &
      > summarize three of your most
      > prominent  campaign issues.  Reporters (like most
      > visitors to the site) don't
      > have the  patience to read through an entire platform
      > or 12 bullet points. 
      > Make sure  your home page also has a donate button and
      > a volunteer button,
      > so any visitor  to your web site can just click on
      > these links if they want
      > to give you money or  volunteer to help your
      > campaign.
      > • Remember that web sites, like e-mail,  don't reach
      > everyone inside or
      > outside the Green Party.  The Internet is  still
      > a luxury for a lot of people,
      > including some Green Party members, who  can't afford
      > a computer and an
      > Internet account.  Look for ways to ensure  that
      > your supporters who aren't
      > online receive all your literature and campaign 
      > updates.  Suggestion: set up a
      > 'buddy system', pairing Greens who are on  line with
      > people who aren't, with
      > the online Green printing out information for  those
      > not on a computer.
      > • The Media Committee can provide advice and 
      > assistance on video clips,
      > viral video marketing over the Internet, public 
      > access TV, and other
      > important and effective kinds of outreach to the media
      > and  the public upon request.
      > • Make sure the  candidates' name, office he or she
      > is seeking, location,
      > contact information,  and web site are at the top of
      > every release.  The
      > campaign media  director's name, phone number, and
      > e-mail address should also be
      > listed as a  contact.
      > • Releases are NOT op-ed columns, position papers,
      > manifestos,  or graduate
      > dissertations.  They are short, concise announcements
      > about the  candidate,
      > a position taken by the candidate, or a campaign action
      > or  event.
      > • The chief topic of every release is the
      > candidate.  Don't  write a
      > release on rent control or recycling, write a press release
      > on the  candidate's
      > position on rent control or recycling.  The
      > candidate's name  needs to be in
      > the e-mail subject line, the heading, and in the first line
      > of  the first
      > paragraph.
      > • Quotes: Have at least one quote from the
      > candidate  in every release. 
      > The quote should be 'quotable' -- a really good line
      > or  two that a reporter
      > or editor can lift from the release and use in a news 
      > article.
      > • Use releases to emphasize what distinguishes your
      > campaign  from all the
      > others.  If other candidates also support recycling or
      > rent  control, show
      > what makes your support for recycling or rent control
      > different  and more
      > significant than their support.  Stand out from
      > the  crowd.
      > • Don't send out too many releases.  If you send one
      > out  every day, or
      > more than one a day, it starts to look like spam.  One
      > or two  a week is good. 
      > (If the candidate is the focus of an ongoing news
      > story,  then more is
      > fine.)
      > • Check and recheck all facts, grammar,
      > punctuation,  spelling, etc. in the
      > release.  Don't send out sloppy work.
      > •  Distribution: Distribute releases not only to
      > major newspapers, TV &
      > radio  stations, news web sites, etc. in your area,
      > but also to small
      > publications,  specialty & niche media, on-line
      > community bulletin boards, etc.   
      > Sometimes the small publications will give you coverage
      > when the major media 
      > ignore you.  Don't hesitate to send releases to
      > conservative publications. 
      > Always treat all reporters as 'friends', and remember that
      > (whatever the
      > reason)  sometimes conservative publications give
      > Greens publicity when
      > progressive &  liberal publications won't. Don't
      > send attachments to reporters, they
      > won't open  them.
      > • Distribute your releases to lists of Green supporters
      > &  campaign
      > volunteers, too, and encourage them to forward all your
      > releases (as  well as
      > campaign announcements) far & wide.
      > • Follow-up calls: After  you've sent out a release
      > announcing a campaign
      > event, action, or press  conference, call reporters
      > & editors to talk about
      > the event and answer any  questions they might
      > have.  It's not necessary to
      > call reporters for all  releases, but if it's a
      > newsworthy event, you want to
      > be sure they know about  it.  Make sure you call
      > the right news desk.  A
      > reporter whose beat is  national news isn't interested
      > in a city council
      > campaign.  Use your  judgement -- if you call a
      > reporter too often, it'll seem
      > like  harassment.
      > • Pitching stories: You can also call reporters &
      > editors  to pitch stories
      > that they might want to cover, such as a rally at which
      > the  candidate is
      > speaking, a candidate's unique personal involvement on a
      > particular  issue, a
      > project the candidate is working on -- whatever might
      > be  newsworthy.  Try
      > to think like a journalist: what you might consider 
      > newsworthy might not be
      > what most reporters consider newsworthy. 
      > Remember  that, as important as
      > the Green Party is to all of us, reporters are
      > usually  more interested in
      > candidates than in political parties.  Make sure
      > you  don't give an
      > 'exclusive' to more than one reporter.
      > • Lead time: Make  sure you pay attention to 'lead
      > time', i.e., you get
      > your press release, ads,  announcements, etc. out to
      > the press early enough. 
      > For a press conference  or other newsworthy event, I
      > recommend sending out at
      > least two releases: (1)  7-9 days before the event;
      > (2) 1-2 days before the
      > event.
      > • Don't send  out releases on Friday or Saturday,
      > except in rare
      > circumstances (breaking  newsworthy story; ongoing
      > story in which the candidate is
      > already getting lots  of coverage).
      > • Set up a release page on the campaign web site, where
      > all  releases are
      > archived.  Do not place your releases on the web site
      > in pdf  format, which
      > discourages reporters and other visitors from clicking on
      > the  link.
      > • Press clippings: Keep 'clippings' of media coverage of
      > your  campaign,
      > post or link positive articles about the campaign on your
      > web site and 
      > forward them to your supporters.
      > • Hold  press conferences when you have something
      > newsworthy to announce --
      > something  REALLY newsworthy, not just to tell them
      > you support recycling
      > or rent  control.  Reporters prefer not to attend
      > press conferences if they
      > don't  have to.  Some good reasons for press
      > conferences: announcement of
      > your  campaign; you organized 300 tenants to march on
      > City Hall for rent
      > control;  you've filed a lawsuit against an unfair
      > election policy in your
      > district.   If you can make the press
      > conference visually interesting (unique
      > location;  people in unusual costumes; catchy graphics
      > or props on display), let
      > reporters  know, especially TV reporters, who look for
      > stimulating images to
      > fill up  newscasts.
      > • Campaign announcement press conferences should
      > focus  exclusively (or
      > nearly so) on the candidate, not on other people. 
      > Don't  talk about your
      > competition, talk about yourself.  Make sure the issue
      > to  be addressed at the
      > press conference is relevant -- city council
      > candidates  shouldn't talk about
      > the Middle East; school board candidates shouldn't
      > talk  about global
      > warming.
      > • Tips for the press conference program: Have 
      > someone else briefly
      > introduce the candidate, then let the candidate talk for
      > a  few minutes.  Keep
      > everything as concise as possible.  Two minutes
      > of  really good, memorable,
      > quotable lines is better than a 15 minute
      > lecture.   Be specific, not abstract,
      > and be relevant to the state or town in which you're 
      > running.  Don't recite
      > your platform -- reporters aren't interested in 
      > laundry lists, which is
      > what platforms sound like when read aloud.  Be 
      > personal -- tell a story about
      > how health care policies have affected
      > you.   Don't hesitate to talk about
      > mundane neighborhood issues that are nevertheless 
      > important to voters, like
      > constituent services, which often make or break a 
      > campaign.  Say something
      > funny.  Make eye contact with your 
      > audience.  Speak out, don't mumble. 
      > Set aside politics for a moment  and study what made
      > Ronald Reagan & Bill
      > Clinton effective speakers.   Follow the
      > candidate's presentation with a
      > Q&A period for  reporters.  Know your
      > material and prepare for challenges. 
      > If you  don't know something, say "I don't know --
      > I'll get back to you on
      > that" instead  of fumbling for words.  (Make sure
      > you get back to them.) 
      > Practice  your speech and hold a press conference
      > rehearsal.
      > • Appearance: Look  professional -- dress
      > conservatively (jacket & tie for
      > men, suit or dress  for women).  Don't wear jeans
      > or other casual clothing. 
      > If you don't  dress up, people (especially the media)
      > will not consider you
      > a credible  candidate.  Don't give anyone an
      > excuse not to take you
      > seriously.   (Exceptions: certain on-site
      > press conferences, e.g., if you hold a
      > press  conference at a landfill or a community garden
      > where you're helping 
      > out.)
      > • Press kits: Have a 'press kit' available for
      > reporters.  It  should
      > contain an introductory statement with a list of talking
      > points on the  issue
      > addressed in the press conference; a couple of recent press
      > releases; a  bio of
      > the candidate; and (if it's a campaign kick-off press
      > conference) the 
      > candidate's photo.
      > • Remember that a press conference is for the
      > media,  campaign rallies are
      > for supporters.  Only reporters should be allowed
      > to  ask questions at a
      > press conference.  Your supporters, if they attend
      > the  press conference,
      > should not applaud or ask questions.
      > VIDEO
      > •  One of the best ways to reach people is through
      > online video.  You can 
      > produce something simple, like a three-minute video of you
      > introducing
      > yourself  as a candidate and discussing an important
      > local issue.  Or you can
      > create  something more elaborate, with flashy
      > graphics, music, lots of editing,
      > other  people speaking, etc., depending on your
      > resources.  If you produce
      > a truly  imaginative video clip that people want to
      > watch, you might 'go
      > viral' and reach  thousands of people.  Seeing
      > you on video will make you more
      > 'real' to  people than just seeing your name or your
      > photo.
      > • Make sure the video  shows you in the best
      > light.  Look your best and use
      > good lighting.   At the bottom of the screen
      > have your name, the office
      > you're running for, and  your campaign web site
      > link.  Make it as easy as
      > possible for people to  enjoy watching you, remember
      > you, and learn more about
      > you and your  campaign.
      > • Place your video clip on the campaign home page and
      > send an  announcement
      > about it to other Greens, all your friends & neighbors,
      > and  even some
      > reporters.  Urge them to forward the link to their own
      > friends,  neighbors, etc.
      > You want as many people as possible to see your
      > video.   Send it to local,
      > state, & national Green Party lists, too.
      > • The  Media Committee and other Greens who do video
      > work can assist you. 
      > Please  contact us.
      > • The campaign media  director should work on
      > setting up interviews with
      > reporters & editors for  the candidate.  This
      > is especially important to
      > introduce candidates to  newspapers that are
      > considering endorsements.  If a
      > face-to-face meeting  with an editor or reporter can
      > be arranged, it's more
      > likely to warm them up to  the candidate.
      > • Good way to get the candidate's name in the news:
      > guest  op-ed columns,
      > articles, letters to the editor written by the candidate
      > on  timely topics. 
      > The media director can help submit them.  If
      > major  newspapers refuse to
      > publish them, then submit them to smaller community 
      > papers.  You'll reach
      > hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands of 
      > people.
      > • Get your information into newspapers, web sites, etc.
      > that  provide a
      > 'candidates' page' during election years.  Here are
      > two good web  sites that
      > reporters and voters visit for information about candidates
      > &  elected
      > officials: Vote-USA (http://www.vote-usa.org); Project Vote
      > Smart 
      > (http://www.vote-smart.org/index.htm).  Your
      > campaign should also be listed  on the Green
      > Party's candidate pages (http://www.gp.org/elections.shtml) 
      > (http://www.greens.org/elections).
      > • Remember that politics is, to a  great extent,
      > theater.  Look for
      > 'theatrical' events -- public occasions,  rallies,
      > demos, etc. that help define
      > your campaign.  Do something daring  &
      > imaginative and create your own media
      > events.  In DC, we responded to  the Washington
      > Post's refusal to cover our
      > local candidates in 2002 by holding a  press
      > conference on the sidewalk in
      > front of the Post's front door.  One DC 
      > candidate, Adam Eidinger, suspended a
      > giant banner from overpasses over local  freeways.
      > • Media Committee of the Green  Party:
      > http://www.gp.org/committees/media
      > http://www.gp.org/press.html
      > The  national Media Committee can answer questions and
      > provide all sorts of
      > help for  Green campaigns.  We also have an 'A-V'
      > (audio-vieo) subcommittee
      > that can  provide help for Greens preparing video for
      > broadcast over the
      > airwaves, cable,  and Internet, radio ads, and related
      > forms of media. 
      > Contact the Media  Committee co-chairs, Scott McLarty
      > (mclarty@...)
      > and
      > Starlene Rankin  (starlene@...). 
      > Visit also the Green Party's Coordinated
      > Campaign  Committee page (http://www.gp.org/committees/campaign), which has
      > lots of  valuable resources for candidates.
      > • Media & Publicity for Green  candidates,
      > courtesy of the Green Party of
      > California: http://www.cagreens.org/  -- click
      > on Organizing Resources for
      > Greens http://cagreens.org/grow/  --  click on Media
      > & Publicity
      > http://cagreens.org/grow/media.html
      > •  "Dare to Win", article by Phil Tajitsu Nash,
      > CommonDreams.org, March 22,
      > 2006  http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0322-25.htm
      > • Using the Internet for  political campaigns:
      > Winning Campaigns Online: Strategies for Candidates 
      > and Causes.  Book by
      > by Emilienne Ireland & Phil Tajitsu
      > Nash.   Science Writers Pr; 2nd edition,
      > 2001.  Web site:  http://www.campaignadvantage.com
      > Web site: Campaign Creator  http://www.campaigncreator.org
      > • Don't Think of an Elephant! Know your  values and
      > frame the debate.  Book
      > by George Lakoff (Chelsea Green  Publishing, 2004).
      > • Toastmasters: site for improving your
      > communications  skills, especially
      > public speaking
      > http://www.toastmasters.org
      > • The  Candidate's  Handbook
      > http://www.candidateshandbook.com
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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