Ever wonder how one person out here in rural America can have a voice in today’s 24/7, story-of-the-minute media world? This year I’ve worked with Center staffers Traci Bruckner and Virginia Meyer to hold a series of public policy trainings across Nebraska.
I handled the media training and hope to share some of that here. I encourage anyone interested to contact me and find out more about speaking out on rural America’s most crucial issues.
First and foremost, having an impact through the media requires building relationships with members of the media. The editor of your local newspaper, the station manager at your local radio station, the reporters and broadcasters you read and listen to every day are members of your community. Give them a call. Get to know them. Let them know about the issues you care about.
Remember, you are the world’s expert on your own, personal circumstance. Tell your story. Tell the story of your community. Share how your experience relates to the issue you want to impact. Facts and figures help, but the media will always be more interested in your story.
Keep it short. Keep it simple. Write down one or two (never more than three!) talking points to get across. No matter what else happens in your media conversations, make those points. And while you’re talking to media, smile. It makes you sound more interesting, more intelligent, and more knowledgeable. (Silly, I know, but it works.)
Questions? Contact me, John Crabtree, firstname.lastname@example.org or 402.687.2103 ext 1010.