GLAAD Media Essentials | March 2009
Our world is dominated by the news media. Politicians flood the airwaves with sound bites, talking heads on cable news shows shape public opinion even when they distort the facts and bloggers shine a spotlight on stories that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. In this media-rich environment, advocacy has changed. Organizations and advocates working toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality need to be smart and strategic about working with the media in order to move public opinion. We hope that this guidebook will provide you with the tools to develop and strengthen your media work, no matter how much or how little experience you’ve had with the media in the past.
GLAAD AND OUR MISSION
At the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (glaad), we are in the business of changing people’s hearts and minds through the media. We know that what people watch on TV or read online shapes how they view and treat the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people around them. And we have a responsibility to make sure those media representations foster awareness, understanding
Formed in 1985 to combat the defamatory coverage of the AIDS crisis in the New York Post and other media outlets, glaad has grown into a national organization. We work with news, entertainment and people of color media on national, state and local levels to inform and educate media professionals and to empower individuals and organizations to use media to move public opinion about the LGBT community.
Our mission: GLAAD is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive
representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
THE PURPOSE OF MEDIA ESSENTIALS
Media Essentials is designed to provide individuals and organizations the tools necessary to meet their communications goals through effective media work.
Media Essentials will help you:
- Learn about media opportunities you or your organization can use to expand your base and get your message to your target audience
- Create a communications plan you can use to move public opinion about your issues
- Develop a media vocabulary so you can speak clearly and effectively with journalists
- Build relationships with media professionals
- Become a resource for media outlets
- Learn simple, consistent ways to develop talking points you can shape for different media outlets
- Learn how to write press releases, op-eds, letters to the editor and other kinds of communication with the media
- Get comfortable with print, television and radio interviews