Once You’ve Outlined Your One Billion Rising Event —
Spend some time on the One Billion Rising website (which you probably already have!). Outline all the key elements of what your One Billion Rising event will look like before you begin your media strategy and write your press release / media alert. Your goal with the press release is to get advance mentions of the One Billion Rising event, including possible interviews beforehand, and coverage at the event itself.
Write A Press Release That Will Summarize Your Event —
Your press release will answer the questions: ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, and ‘when’ — all this information needs to be included.

You can get the latest information, including a “Press Release Template” from the One Billion Rising Toolkit. Here are some tips for creating your event’s press release:

  • Be sure to include a date of release and a contact person’s name listed at the top, along with contact info.
  • Write the release in an inverted pyramid format: Conclusion first, then supporting facts. The lead is used to grab a reporter’s attention, but should also concisely summarize your “news.” You can include a quote from a spokesperson from your group if you like.
  • The first paragraph should explain what your event is, when it is, and that it is part of an international movement of One Billion Rising events across the world in over 200 countries. Then, explain what and who your group is.
  • Don’t forget to include an ‘About One Billion Rising’ paragraph!
  • End with ### to signal to reporters that they have the entire document

Compiling A Media Target List —
Focus on print (newspapers, magazines), television, radio, online outlets, blogs, etc.  Think of all the local newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, and other outlets. Ask friends and other activists if they have media contacts. If you don’t have contact information for an outlet, call them! You can find out their phone number usually online or via information , and ask who to talk to about coverage of an event.  Don’t be shy! 

Contacting TV stations and radio: You will be sending to the assignment / news desk unless there are specific morning or afternoon programs to target, then you are looking for the ‘booker’ or producer who books the show. Ask for the person whose attention a press release about an event should go to (they may just say ‘send to assignment desk’ or ‘send to news desk’) and an email address to send this to.

Contacting print outlets: You are looking for the person who covers local news. It’s good to look at the paper and see if you spot a byline – a person’s name – who covers an event or similar issues to send to specifically.

Contacting blogs & people via twitter: Contact local blogs and compile twitter names of some of the news people and reporters who it might be worth direct tweeting the information.

Your primary media goals:

  • A calendar listing about the event.
  • A story or segment in advance of your event.
  • A free ad for your event (PSA – public service announcement – ad).
  • Coverage of the event itself – invite local tv reporters to the event as well as newspaper reporters, radio reporters, bloggers.
  • Tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos. 

Sending Out The Release —
Send the release out a couple of weeks in advance, and then again a few days before your event.

If you can, call every media outlet to pitch your story and to follow-up after you send the release. You want to get people at your event and raise awareness of the issue!

Ask for the assignment desk (at TV) or the news desk (print and radio) or contact name if you have it. Make sure to include the when, where, and why it’s newsworthy in your pitch on the phone. Offer to send them the press release, even though you’ve already sent it.

Try for advance coverage – column and blog items, newspaper and blog interviews, advance television and radio interviews.

Twitter & Facebook & Instagram: Tweet & share as much as possible and get your followers to do the same!

Plan Out Your Media Strategy For The Event In Advance —
Do press calls again on the day of the event (usually before noon is best).
You may assign one or more people to be spokespeople, someone who knows the ‘message,’ and is comfortable giving an interview. Of course, they will likely interview other people at your event and that is fine.

Other Ways To Get Into The Media —
Letters to the Editor: Make sure it relates to a news item and is very short

Op. Eds – longer opinion pieces (600-800 words) don’t have to relate to a story in the newspaper, but do have to link to a current event You can find out how to submit these to the opinion page editor by looking in your paper or calling the newspaper’s switchboard.

Calendar Listing: To get people to come to your event, you should send a calendar listing to the local event listings, often at least three weeks in advance of the event.

Public Service Advisory (PSA): You can also get a PSA onto your local radio station.  Call them and ask.

Responding To Media Inquiries At Your Event —
Bring press releases with you to hand out. You can ask the press people to meet you in a specific spot and be sure to have their contact information with you.  Introduce the press to people from your group that you want them to talk to or show them where specific things are happening at the event for them to take note of. Someone in your group should be a media liaison at the event and approach (and keep track of) the media, introduce herself and offer to connect key spokespeople to the media as people to interview.