After finding out your media opportunity options and making contact with the right people, provide each contact person with a packet of information about the event or issue you want to highlight in order to help the media report it accurately. The packet should also contain general information about the PA Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factor Project and your coalition.
Key People to Know - Television and Radio
- Public Service/Community Relations Director - Contact for PSAs, Free Speech Messages, editorial rebuttals, pubic affairs talk shows or community calendar listings.
- Promotion Director (Sometimes Creative Services or Community Relations or Public Affairs Director) - Contact for developing a station-wide promotional campaign for your coalition or series of events. The Promotion Director's job is to promote the station through marketing and community relations, and sometimes works with the Marketing Representative.
- News Director/Assignment Editor - Determines what news goes on the air, news releases.
- Editorial Director - Contact to offer editorial comment or to respond to a station editorial.
- Community Bulletin Board Director - Contact for announcing meetings for other coalition events.
- Program Director - In a large radio or TV station, this person is in charge of all programming except news. For examples, this person is in charge of special documentaries, magazine-type programs.
- Sales Manager - This person is responsible for selling airtime and may be called Marketing Manager.
Key People to Know - Newspaper
- City Editor/Assignment Editor - Like the News Director at a broadcast station, the City Editor at the newspaper determines what news to include in the paper. A larger paper will have a City Desk that includes an Assignment Editor who coordinates the day-to-day job of assigning stories.
- Features Editor - If the newspaper is large enough to have different sections, many of them may be under the overall direction of the Features Editor, with specific editors for different topics.
- Business Editor/Sports Editor - Most newspapers have separate sections for both business and sports. These sections may present new opportunities to focus on cancer or health in general.
- Advertising Director - This person is in charge of all advertising. This person can help you with ideas for your ad design, size selection and mechanical preparation.
Other Key People
- Reporters of certain beats (agriculture, senior citizens)
- Editors of community calendars
- Editor of the op/ed (opposing editorial) page
- Appropriate columnists
Hints for maintaining relationships with key media people
- Be organized. Keep a record of the media contacts in your community.
- Collect or record the coverage of your coalition activities and other cancer issues hat the media covers, if you wish. Include press clippings, and the date, time and station of relevant television, cable or radio broadcasts. Tracking media coverage is important to show them that you are familiar with their previous coverage of your issue.
- Thank those who support your cause. A note or letter of appreciation can mean a lot!
Adapted from Working with Media Gatekeepers and Building a Resource Inventory in the How to Guides on Community Health Promotion