Having identified your audience, developed a set of messages, and trained coalition members, the next step is getting your message to your intended audience. Opportunities to reach your audience will almost certainly include testimony and individuals meetings with decision makers. You will likely utilize the media, both traditional outlets (television, radio, and newspapers) as well as new social media outlets.
Though there are increasingly more media venues through which to communicate our message, earning media coverage starts with a newsworthy story. If you want to attract coverage and get your message in the media, developing good news hook is essential. Examples news hooks could be the release of study on housing, or a current news story that you can connect to the housing trust fund. Be creative, think broadly, and be opportunistic.
Developing relationships with reporters, editorial staff, and bloggers is well worth the time. They can help you understand what kind of stories they would cover and often times are looking for someone with expertise to help them understand housing issues. Becoming a ‘go to’ reference for information on housing is a good strategic move.
For more in depth information about working effectively with media, see The Campaign for Affordable Housing Media Guide and the North Carolina Housing Coalition’s Building a Year Round Communications Campaign.