WHY REACH OUT TO YOUR LOCAL MEDIA?
In 1997, a participant conducted a live radio interview with a
her home town while vigiling in front of the Supreme Court. Her
participation was also covered by the local newspaper. Every year
then we have has *some* media attention, but each year is different.
The Fast and Vigil is growing in size and gaining visibility with the
press. You can make the most of your participation by alerting your
media to the fact that you are coming to this event. Think about the
communities you are in. Does your school have a news paper? Does
diocese? Does your major metropolitan newspaper have a "Community"
that invites people to submit their own material?
The bottom line is this: We can't afford to buy advertising to
message, but we can EARN what amounts to free advertising by getting
ourselves covered in the media. If we are lucky they will accurately
portray our perspective. If we are really lucky they will run a
our web page and/or phone number in it. If we are successful in
the local media where YOU are from to cover YOUR participation in
national event, then thousands of people will get our message.
tens of thousands or even millions of people can be exposed to our
message. But if you don't ask, you get nothing.
The Abolitionist Action Committee and the F&V co-sponsors will do our
to attract the national media, but it is up to each participant to
from the local angle. We'll help, but in the end it is up to you....
Please also review the following for suggestions on working with the
"HOW TO STAY ON MESSAGE"
From the Ruckus Society's Media Manual
RUCKUS: Settle on one simple message
Accept it: You are not going to be able to communicate all the main
sub-points, and shades of gray about the issue as you would like to.
action is like a freeway billboard: It is designed to hammer home one
almost always only one - message. If you can't focus on one issue as
main reason you are doing the action, you shouldn't be doing the
action at all.
AAC: Our issue is "The Abolition of the Death Penalty."
RUCKUS: Choose a strong image that clearly communicates the message
Remember the freeway billboard: With one glance it is (or should be)
unmistakable what product or idea is being sold. Ideally, your action
should communicate the message without any words of explanation - and
always in as few words as possible....
If you find yourself saying, "They'll understand it when they read
banner," your message isn't clear enough.
AAC: We have a series of large standing signs (4x8 feet) that
present a longer overall message. These provide great visuals, but
meant more as visuals than "sound bites." Therefore, the following is
important as well:
RUCKUS: Craft sound bites that communicate and enhance the message.
Assemble the media team. Take out a legal pad. Lock the door.
simple, short, declarative sentences that express your message.
that the average sound bite on U.S. TV is less than 10 seconds....
AAC: We've done a lot of this already. You probably have too. We will
a variety of signs and T-shirts that are short and to the point. To
you get "on-message," the T-shirts are available to registered
AT REDUCED PRICES. We urge you to wear the message, because that way,
the media uses your image, even if they misquote you or take you out
context, your message is clear from the image. Here are a few "sound
bites." Please know them, practice them, and use them.
(If you have other suggestions, please feel free to offer them!)
"(Morally, economically and socially,) The Death Penalty is Bad
"Execution is NOT the Solution."
"(What we are saying is) It is wrong to kill people who kill people
that killing is wrong!"
"Don't kill in my name!"
"If we can't trust our government to fill potholes, tax us fairly, or
an election, we shouldn't trust them with the power to kill."
"We seek the total abolition of the death penalty in the United
"97% of murderers who face the death penalty get the alternative of
Without Parole. Why not all of them?"