Freedom from Toxic Fracking Waste: National Rally Day
To: Rally Coordinators
IMPORTANT: Hopefully by now you have your permits for your rally or your letters stating that you do not need a permit. (Please see Update 2 for more on this topic. If you don’t have Update 2, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward it to you). Please remember to keep these permits and letters with you at your actual rally. If you haven't gotten your permit yet, you might want to take care of this as soon as possible as our target date is approaching.
One suggestion for your event is that you might want to consider having someone with a mini DV cam (miniature digital video camera) record your local event so you have a record of your rally that you can share with others in the future. Of course, this is optional.
We also urge you to please continue to keep the names of all people who contact you to participate in or to help with your event, so they can be called upon for future vigils, events, or rallies. Keep their names, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers in your 3-ring binder or notebook that you may be using to keep your event organized. (Please see Update 2 for more on this.)
We posted a press release (Update 4, which is on the home page at www.frackfreeamerica.org ) that you can use to send to media: print, radio, and television in your local area to inform them of your local rally or event, and to perhaps inspire media stories before or after your rally and/or attendance by reporters at your event.
You might also want to send the news release to legislators in your community. (Remember, if media or legislators want more information, you can also send Update 1 (located on the homepage at www.frackfreeamerica.org ), or Update 3, the recruiting flyer (also located on the home page), which are available to you.)
Some of you are experienced with dealing with the media and may have already begun media contacts. If you need assistance with contacting media would you please let us know? If you want a speaker to speak with media whom you contact, would you please call us at 234-201-8007 or e-mail us at email@example.com. If you want help with this, please feel free to call or e-mail us.
Since we are so close to the rally date, obviously it will be best to e-mail the news release at this point. Suggestions for sending the release are below. Some media will ask for the news release to be sent to them in an e-mail message rather than a fax. This seems to vary, so just go with what the media person suggests is the best way to do this or what they prefer.
Prepare the news release in Update 4 with your local rally info and contact info in it. (The press release is on the homepage and can either be copied and pasted into an e-mail message, or a Word document can be downloaded so you can make your additions to it.)
It’s best to send the press release in the body of an e-mail message rather than as an attachment. It is best not to send the press release as an attachment. Attachments may not be read. Just copy and paste your press release into a regular e-mail message.
IMPORTANT: Please make sure you include a local contact person's name in the Contact section of the news release so the media know who to call regarding the news release. You may also put your name and phone number at the top of your e-mail message, so a reporter can contact you. Include your name and a telephone number (and perhaps your e-mail address) where someone is likely to get the message or phone call as promptly as possible. When media call, it is helpful if you can attend to their call as soon as possible. You may be more likely to get into print if they are able to reach you promptly.
Don't worry if your news release is not perfectly formatted. Just do your best. It is much more important that we get the information out.
When should you start sending out the release?
You can start as soon as you have the press release. Some of you may have already begun sending out your own releases. You might want to follow up with phone calls closer to the date of the rally to remind editors of your event, and to invite reporters to attend. At that point they might ask you to fax or send (perhaps via e-mail) the news release again.
After emailing the release, follow up with a brief phone call to the newsrooms, just to let the media know that you e-mailed it and to confirm that they have the information.
On the day of your rally, call the media newsrooms in the morning and let them know that your rally will be taking place – time and place, or they may already know, since you will have e-mailed your press release to them previously.
Where and how to send the news release:
You will want to e-mail your press release to the following places. It might look complicated, but really it is only about 10 places --the local Associated Press, your daily newspaper, your weekly community newspaper, 2 local radio stations, your 4 local television stations, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox, and your public TV station. You might want to check www.patch.com to see if they have a local editor who might be interested in writing something about your event.
You can usually find contact information on the Internet for the above.
Important: It is extremely helpful if you can get coverage by your regional Associated Press. Call The Associated Press (AP) in your area. Many large cities have an AP bureau. Call the one closest to you to get the correct fax number or address and who to send the news release to. They may tell you to address it to the news desk, the city desk, or perhaps a specific person. Look in your telephone directory under "news service" for the AP phone number. If it isn't listed in the phone book, call directory assistance and ask for the local Associated Press. Or, go to www.ap.org and look under "contact" to find your local AP Bureau contact info.
E-mail your press release to the Managing Editor of your newspaper. Don't send it to more than one department at the same newspaper; let the Managing Editor decide what department might want to use it.
E-mail your press release to the Editor of your local community newspaper. These newspapers are often free and are read by many people in your community. I would get a copy of one from the library or grocery store, or wherever they are distributed, and call the Editor, who should be listed in the newspaper. Let the editor know about your event, and ask permission to fax it or send it to him/her. If the deadline has already passed for your press release for your weekly paper, you might want to consider doing a release that describes your rally after you have it. Contact us for more information after your rally if you want to go this route.
E-mail your release to your large radio station in your area. 50,000 watt stations have a larger coverage area, but some 5,000 watt stations have great coverage too and will help you to reach people in your community. Look in your phone book under "television and broadcast stations" or "radio and broadcast stations" for phone numbers to request e-mail addresses, fax numbers, and who to send your release to. Or google your radio station and search for contact information to use.
For radio stations, you might want to send it to the Assignment Editor. Just put: Attention: Assignment Editor. You don't have to use a specific name, unless the person you talk to at the station tells you to do so. If you are trying to get on a specific radio talk show, call and ask who is the producer of the show and e-mail it to that person rather than the host of the show. (Sometimes the host is the producer).
E-mail the news release to your 4 local television affiliates. Address it to the Assignment Editor. Perhaps they will want to interview someone for a report and/or to attend your event.
Of course, always be courteous and considerate when dealing with the media. People in the media are frequently on a deadline and may not have much time to talk. Therefore, when you pitch your idea to an editor or reporter, try to be concise and to the point. You may not have a lot of time to talk. Be brief.
Again, if you need help, please let us know. If you get media coverage or requests of any kind, would you please let us know so we can keep track of our collective progress? We also might have background information or newspaper reports that would be relevant for your local area that we could share with you or the reporter.
If a reporter wants to talk to someone from Frackfree America National Coalition or NEOGAP, would you please get their name and number and we will call them, or they can call us at 234-201-8007 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions about these guidelines, please e-mail us at email@example.com or give us a call at 234-201-8007.
As always, a heartfelt Thanks to all for your help! We are all succeeding in getting the word out!
TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Please spread the word and encourage others to join our National Rally Day... Let's keep going!