While a face-to-face meeting with individual lawmakers is the most direct way to get your voice heard, working with members of the media to reach those lawmakers is just as important. Successfully focus media attention on your issue and reach a much larger audience in order to garner attention and support from like-minded individuals!
Working with the media is easier than you might think. Here are a few helpful tips for successfully collaborating with members of the media:
- Underestimate the value you may hold for the media. Reporters are always searching for facts, data and new perspectives about the issues being discussed, especially if they come from fresh new voices. Help them clarify an important matter… they’ll appreciate it.
- Lie to a reporter about anything. Either the reporter will discover your lie (its part of their job), or worse, a competing media outlet will. This is a fast way to destroy reputations.
- Pester a reporter with repeated calls, emails, texts or voice messages. Nobody likes to be annoyed. State your take on an issue clearly and accurately, and leave the follow-up to the reporters. They’ll contact you if they need more information.
- Forget that cultivating relationships with journalists is one of the best things you can do. Like any meaningful effort, fostering a great rapport with the media takes time and work, but the benefits of free PR coverage can be extraordinarily powerful for you and your brand.
- Disrespect journalists. If you disagree with a certain journalist’s opinions or approach, keep it to yourself. Remember, the goal is to develop a mutual respect so you can work together throughout the legislative session and long thereafter.
A healthy relationship with the media can be beneficial in bringing attention to your issue as well as your brand. Anytime the media mentions you or cites your information, your credibility as an expert on that particular topic skyrockets in the eyes of the public and your brand is reinforced with greater authority.