Getting Started

How to lay the groundwork for an effective press strategy, create a media plan, and prepare a press kit.

Table of Contents

Developing a Press Strategy

Preparing a Press Kit

Developing a Press Strategy

1. Consider Campaign Objectives

Think about any long-term press strategies you’d like to employ, such as focusing on a particular angle that has polled well with voters (e.g. harm to workers), and consider how to weave that into your press outreach throughout the campaign. It’s also important to think about your publicity goals for each phase of the campaign.

2. Focus on Target Audiences

Consider the key demographics and communities you want to reach through the press, focusing on persuadable voters. Think about which publications best reach these demographics, and prepare messaging that’s shown to be effective for that group.

3. Use Key Campaign Messages

Craft concise, compelling messages that both align with the campaign’s goals and resonate with target audiences. Consider which messaging frameworks will be most effective with the specific demographics you are trying to reach through the press.

4. Create a Press Timeline

Develop a timeline for your press outreach activities, aligning them with key milestones of the campaign. Advisories and press releases should be sent out for all major campaign milestones, as well as other campaign-adjacent events such as protests.

5. Analyze the Media Landscape

Research which media outlets, journalists, and influencers have a significant following in the community where the campaign is running, and particularly those that will best reach your target audiences.

Preparing a Press Kit

How to get ready for a media event by creating a press kit with templates, graphics, and photos to make sure you’re ready for press outreach.

What should your press kit include?

Each linked template directs to an example PAF press outreach document, which can be copied (Right click > “Make a Copy”), customized and used for your own press outreach.

A media advisory is used to invite local reporters to cover an upcoming event such as a rally, protest, or political milestone such as ballot submission. Your goal is to preview the upcoming event to reporters, make it sound interesting and newsworthy, and persuade the press to cover the event.

  • Focus: Journalists want visuals and ‘characters’ through which to tell their stories. Suggest things that they could see at the event, potential photos that could be shot, and any people of interest that will be present (e.g. an expert that can be interviewed, a former slaughterhouse worker, etc).

  • Timeline: An event should be pitched ~2 weeks in advance so journalists can prepare to attend.

A press release is an official statement delivered to members of the media to get them to pick up a story that has already happened.

  • Focus: It’s used to provide information, create an official statement, or make an announcement directed for public release. Your press release may be published word-for-word, so make sure you tell your story in the exact way you want it to be presented.

  • Timeline: A press release details current or past events, and should be sent to your press list ASAP. For particularly compelling stories, providing outlets with a breaking story as it’s happening can be more enticing for them to cover.

Having easily accessible photos and videos of the campaign (ie. petitioning in action, submission of ballots, protest photos, etc.) helps facilitate press submissions, as including photos more effectively captures the media’s attention. Sorting them into folders helps when trying to find photos of specific events.

4. Press Page

You should have a “Press” section on the website that you can direct journalists to that will show all of the coverage we have received. Separately, it’s helpful to create an internal spreadsheet to track all pieces published in regards to the campaign, including opposition.

You can find a pitch timeline that lays out when you should be sending your press outreach on the Pitching the Press page.

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