(c) Robert Schaeffer, Public Policy Communications, 1988
I. Determine if topic is worth a news conference or if a news release is sufficient
A. Are you clear about goals, audience(s) and message? B. Do you have a visual component for TV (e.g. backdrop, graphics) and/or sound for radio? C. Is there sufficient time to organize event coverage? D. Does story gain credibility by bringing media together? E. Can spokespeople handle question-and-answer format?
"Without local activists pushing the media, it wou1d have been impossible to defeat exteemist attacks on thr environment in the guise of 'regulatory reform.' Grassroots efforts resulted in editorials in key Congressional Districts denouncing the Congressional rollbacks. Those editorials gave us powerful evidence in keeping 'Takings' legislation off the Senate floor in 1995." - Gary Bass, OMB Watch
A successful effort on your part to interest a news organization in a story will almost always present you with the opportunity to provide someone for the reporter to interview. From the point of view of reporters and editors, your story suggestion or your news release are the starting points of the story. They advance the story by interviewing people involved, people who are experts, people who are responsible, people who benefit, or sometimes just people who have seen the events of the story as witnesses.