Publicity and Media Relations

    This is a small sampling of articles related to media relations and publicity in the Connexions Online Library. For more articles, books, films, and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as media relations, publicity, public relations, fundraising, marketing, media coverage, media criticism, cause marketing, and propaganda.
    Media relations and publicity work are usually aspects of a broader organizing strategy. For many additional resources, tools, articles and books. about organizing, see the Connexions Organizing Resources page.

Selected articles

    Grassroots Media Relations: A short introduction to media relations strategies for activist groups
    A guide for groups and organizations looking to get media coverage their cause.

    Is the Media Your Message?
    Mainstream media are good for getting exposure, but they are not necessarily the best avenue for reaching the public about a particular issue. Before setting out to get media attention, you should ask whether, in your particular circumstances, the potential benefits of media coverage outweigh the possible drawbacks.

    Framing the Issues
    George Lakoff explains how conservatives use language to dominate politics, and how the left can fight back.

    Maximizing Coverage in Community Newspapers
    How to get coverage for your cause in community newspapers.

    Media Relations as a Marketing Tool
    Demonstrating that they have sound expertise is an increasingly important part of the marketing mix for many organizations.

    Media Relations: Behaviours Unbecoming
    What not to do when dealing with the media.

    Meeting the media face-to-face
    What to do when a reporter calls or when meeting the media face to face.

    Nurturing your relationships with reporters
    Our relationships with journalists need to be maintained over time in order to be fruitful.

    Talking Back to the Right
    The right’s enormous success in framing public debate is based not just on isolated issues, but on an overall definition of what the debate is about. This guide suggests ways that progressive community-based advocacy groups can reframe the right’s definition of the debate – ways that can connect with deeply-held values and understandings. It is designed to help advocates frame their views for the media, develop educational programs and materials for their constituents, and talk to their fellow citizens in meetings and informal discussions.

    Ten Commandments for Dealing with the Media
    Public relations practitioner Michael Levine offers some advice on dealing with the media.

    There’s no such thing as a slow news day
    The news media are always looking for news.

    Top Ten Questions to Ask When a Reporter Calls You
    Ask these questions before answering their questions.

    What Does a Reporter Want?
    Understanding what reporters want from media spokespersons when they are covering an issue in the news.

    What Makes a Good Story?
    Reporters – and readers – want a good story. The story should be interesting and relevant to the audience, and it must be written clearly enough that it can be quickly and easily understood.

    Letter Writing

    Writing Letters to the Editor
    Writing letters to the editor is an effective and inexpensive way of getting publicity for your point of view, your cause, and your organization.

    Letters to the Editor (2)
    The Letters page is one of the most popular sections of any newspaper, and is therefore a good way to keep your name and your core message in front of the public.

    Writing Letters to Politicians
    A guide to writing letters to politicians, something you may do in parallel with a campaign directed at the media.

    Mailing Lists

    Mailing List Know-How
    Your mailing list is one of the cornerstones of a good communications strategy.

    Media Names & Numbers
    An online directory which lists all Canadian media: newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, online media. Available online, and as a database, with single- and multi-user subscriptions. Annual subscriptions cost $109.95: available here.

    News releases

    News Releases That Work
    Media relations know-how.

    Successful News Releases: 7 Must-Know Tips
    Keep these points in mind when planning a news release..

    The Princess and the Press: How to write a news release that will make you the belle of the ball
    How to write effective press releases.

    Newsroom tips from The Canadian Press
    Media relations know-how.

    Newsletters & Written Materials

    Use your newsletter to communicate
    Tips for producing effective, high quality newsletters.

    Making your marketing brochure a keeper
    The best brochures combine elements of marketing (they sell your organization) and public relations (they educate the reader).


    Seven Things Non-Profits Can Learn From Profits
    Lessons for non-profits form the for-profit sector.

    Shifting the Balance: Ten Tips For Successful Consumer Campaigning
    Advice for consumer advocates.

    Public Relations

    Public Relations Strategy a Valuable Fundraising Tool
    A case study of using public relations to enhance a charity’s fundraising activities.


    Dressing for TV
    Advice for what to wear when you are going to be interviewed on television.


    How to Make Your B-roll Work
    Organizations can sometimes increase their TV impact by producing their own video of events.

    Website Design and Search Engine Optimization

    Is your Web site media-friendly?
    How to make your Web site media-friendly.

    Selected Websites and Organizations

    A tool that helps lead the media to you when they are doing a story on the issues you are concerned about. Used by hundreds of associations to help get their message out.
    Articles and resources about media relations, publicity, public relations, fundraising, and related topics from experts in the field.

    Selected Books and Book Reviews

    The Activists’ Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Participatory Democracy
    By Aidan Ricketts. A guide to grassroots activism. Practical tools, methods and strategies needed for a successful campaign.

    The Art of Cause Marketing
    Richard Earl explains how to craft a public service campaign.

    Autonomous Media: Activating Resistance & Dissent
    By Andrea Langlois & Frederic Dubois. Autonomous media are vehicles of social movements that attempts to subvert the social order by reclaiming the means of communication.

    Building Media Relationships: How to Establish, Maintain, and Develop Long-Term Relationships
    How media can be used to raise an organization’s public profile and improve its connection with the target market.

    The Canadian Guide to Managing the Media
    Every aspect of media relations is covered including crisis management, handling an interview, planting a story and mastering the tools of the trade (media kits, releases, videos, conferences)..

    Don’t Think of an Elephant
    Author George Lakoff explains how conservatives think, and how to counter their arguments. He breaks down the ways in which conservatives have framed the issues, and provides examples of how progressives can reframe the debate.

    Getting Publicity: A Do-It-Yourself Guide for Small Business and Non-Profit Groups
    A detailed how-to guide.

    Guerilla P.R. Wired: Waging a Successful Publicity Campaign Online, Offline, and Everywhere In Between.
    A guide for small companies who cannot afford a PR firm and do all their own marketing.

    Guide to Media Relations
    A quick, concise reference book, a practical, reader-friendly guide to media relations.

    How to Interview: The Art of the Media Interview
    A guide to good interviewing with experiences of professionals as examples of how to go about it.

    How to Make the Most of Every Media Appearance
    The tone is very showbiz and very Hollywood, with lots of celebrity references, but the advice for handling interviews is first-rate.

    In the News: The Practice of Media Relations in Canada
    William Wray Carney provides thorough explanations of who the media are, how they work and how to approach them with stories..

    Making the News: A Guide for Activists and Nonprofits
    Jason Salzman explores ways in which organizers can be creative and innovative in using the media to publicize their cause..

    Media Relations
    A book that helps you conquer the challenges of dealing effectively with the media.

    Publicity, Newsletters, and Press Releases
    Focuses on how to effectively use words to generate publicity.

    Good Books for Publicity Seekers
    A review of eight good resources for people working on getting publicity for their cause.

    Media for Social Change Bibliography
    The bibliography for Media for Social Change

    Selected Video and Audio Resources

    Coming Soon.

    Resources for Activists

    The Connexions Calendar
    The Connexions Calendar is a national calendar listing events related to social justice, human rights, democratization, and grassroots groups and movements generally. Listing your events in the Connexions Calendar is free, and is a good way to publicize your activities. The submission form is here. You need a username and password, which you can get for free by contacting Connexions here.

    Other calendars you can use to publicize your events include rabble, PlanetFriendly (environment-related only), and Sources (designed to inform editors and reporters about events for which media coverage is desired; ability to post events is included in Sources membership). Local newspapers and their websites also often have calendars lists events in their community.

    Media Names & Numbers
    An online directory which lists all Canadian media: newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, online media. Available online, and as a database, with single- and multi-user subscriptions. Annual subscriptions cost $109.95: available here.

    Alternative Media List
    While the mainstream media are important because they reach so many people, alternative and non-mainstream media are also be important because they are more likely to actually report on your issues – and their reports are more likely to be accurate and sympathetic. This is a selected list of alternative media compiled for Connexions.

    Media Training
    Media training can help you prepare for the challenge of meeting the media.

    The 80-20 Law.