Media Planning and Presswork

Ready to move the message? Use these downloadable samples, worksheets, and tips to help set communications goals, identify audiences, prepare spokespeople, and plan effective press events. These media how-tos give you the basics on crafting and executing an effective media strategy and what you need to advance your issue through the media. This section includes features to help you with your own campaigns.


Displaying 1 to 12 of 12 items.

  • Twitter Basics for Organizers
    Did you know that almost half of journalists use Twitter as a source for a story? These days organizers are using Twitter to build relationships, mobilize people around causes and reach out to journalists. If you're just starting out, take a look at our primer for beginners and get started tweeting.
  • Measuring Impact: An Organizer’s Toolkit to Evaluate Communications Effectiveness
    Use this kit to evaluate the impact of your communications work; improve communications plans; develop winning media strategies; and track gains and change to become powerful media leaders and sources. This toolkit was developed by CMJ in partnership with Charlotte Ryan of the Movement/Media Research and Action Project (MRAP).
  • Spokesperson Tips
    Speaking with the media, especially on camera or radio, can be a stressful experience even for the veteran spokesperson. It doesnʼt have to be! These tips are designed to help you prepare, execute, and follow up on an interview with the media and to look and feel your best throughout the process. Remember, you are the expert!
  • Sample Press Kit
    This press kit was developed by CMJ (then known as the Youth Media Council) for a "save public housing" campaign that was launched to preserve Lafitte Housing Complex in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Letter to the Editor Tips
    A letter to the editor (or an LTE) can be a great way to fight back against media bias, and reach out to potential allies in your community or even across the country. Here are the tips you need to develop a meaningful letter.
  • Sample Letter to the Editor
    A sample letter to the editor that contains a framing of a key community issue, what's at stake for the community, and a potential solution to the issue.
  • Interview Do's and Don'ts
    When interviewing for radio, you’re relying on your voice to set the tone and your words to paint visual pictures for your audience. Compared to TV and print, radio talk shows allow you to convey the most information directly to your audience— so be ready to share anecdotes and stories that support your main points.
  • Sample Press Release
    A press release is a fantastic way to announce a major issue or organization victory, an upcoming or recent event, or even to apply public pressure to those in power. Here's a sample release that you can use to bring media interest to important moments.
  • Press Release Template
    Something big just happened and you need to pull together a professional looking press release in the next 15 minutes? Don't panic! Use this template as a road map to creating your release.
  • Pitch Rap Worksheet
    Reporters used to hang out in the neighborhoods to find good stories. These days, reporters rely more and more on the Internet and on what others bring to their attention. Once you’ve developed your frames, messages, and a good story, use this worksheet to prepare to pitch to journalists.
  • Pitching Dos and Don'ts
    Scared of talking to reporters? Don’t be! Journalists are workers and regular people like us. But they can be busy, and it’s important to be professional and not waste their time (or yours)!
  • Sample Media Plan
    Use this example to help you develop your communications plan.
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