GLAAD Media Institute

An Institute Of Change

Three Decades Of Change

GLAAD has learned a lot since its founding in 1985 about the media’s role in changing hearts and minds. GLAAD demonstrated not only media’s powerful influence—impacting how people treat others, how they vote, and their daily decisions—but our own authoritative potential to lead the conversation, reshape the narrative, and ultimately, change the culture.

Now it’s time to share that experience more widely, giving people the tools they need to break barriers, champion acceptance, and amplify media impact in today’s culture.

“We won’t settle for anything less than 100% acceptance.”

– Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO, GLAAD

What We Do

The GLAAD Media Institute enables people to build the core skills and techniques that effectuate positive cultural change. This is accomplished through three pillars:

Training

Spokesperson and media engagement education for effective storytelling

CONSULTING

Serving industries, corporations, and organizations positioned to take a stand for justice

Research

Fielding studies, evaluating data, and developing metrics to strengthen our mission and drive action

Impact

A nationwide network of 10,000 LGBTQ and allied students, activists, and spokespeople who can move hearts and minds in national and local media markets

Accurate, inclusive stories and messages in media outlets that increase and enhance representation of LGBTQ people

More educated Hollywood film and TV show creators to produce compelling, entertaining LGBTQ characters that do not reinforce common stereotypes

Improved reporting and understanding of LGBTQ people and non-discrimination policies by national and local publications and media outlets

A database of research and resources including media guides on best practices, fair and accurate reporting, opposition materials, and responsibility indexes

ACTIVATE NAVIGATE AND INITIATE SOCIAL CHANGE

Nothing is more powerful than the personal stories that humanize our community.

Moving hearts and minds involves so much more than just supporting social justice. It requires the skills to uncover, hone, and communicate your narrative. It demands a keen understanding of your audience and the complexities of today’s media machine. It calls for dedicated follow-up to ensure that your message goes the distance, stays on-target, and is being leveraged and amplified consistently across multiple media platforms.

Using the best practices, tools, and techniques we’ve perfected over the past 30 years, the GLAAD Media Institute turns education into armor for today’s culture war—transforming individuals into compelling storytellers, media-savvy navigators, and mighty ambassadors whose voices break through the noise and incite real change.


Customized Courses
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Identifying Your Audience
  • Learn defining characteristics of Allies, Moveable Middle, and Resisters, as well as personal communities based on religion, class, gender, and geograph
  • How to tailor your message and media to resonate best with your audience
Media Advocacy
  • How to make strategic use of media by establishing credibility, writing strong pitches, offering meaningful insight/metrics, and strengthening interview skills
Framing & Messaging
  • How to build insight and perspective on facts to make an issue relevant to a particular audience
  • The power of connotations and context to harness emotional engagement
Social Media For Activism
  • Build and utilize a social media footprint
  • Tips for navigating social media channels and challenges with authority and confidence
Storytelling
  • What makes an effective story
  • How to develop your own authentic and action-inspiring story

CONSULTING: WE MEAN BUSINESS

Using the best practices, tools, and techniques we’ve perfected over the past 30 years, the GLAAD Media Institute turns education into armor for today’s culture war—transforming individuals into compelling storytellers, media-savvy navigators, and mighty ambassadors whose voices break through the noise and incite real change.


What we do
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Advising

We work with businesses on how to make smart, researched decisions before launching new products, services, and marketing campaigns.

Coaching

We train corporate spokespeople to use best practices on message-making and narrative development.

Behind-the-Scenes

We work with the television and film industries to ensure casting reflects the new realities of this generation, and that LGBTQ character presence is authentic.

Training

We train newsrooms and journalists on appropriate current terminology, and how to report on critical issues including hate crimes, nondiscrimination laws, marriage equality, and HIV.

Courses

The variety of courses offered by the GLAAD Media Institute provides activist, spokesperson, and media engagement training for LGBTQ advocates and allied movements. The GLAAD Media Institute also provides education for media professionals on fair, accurate, and inclusive coverage about the LGBTQ community.


2018 Curriculum
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Telling Your Story: Messaging & Media Tools For Today’s Activist
Engagement 101

Participants will learn the basics about media structure and how to tell their stories in traditional, online, and social media platforms. Equipped with research and best practices gleaned from more than 30 years of experience, GLAAD will work with participants to reach and teach the movable middle about the LGBTQ community through compelling storytelling combined with the best and most upto- date tools and know-how for general activism and media engagement.

Media Advocacy Essentials For Transgender People
Engagement 102

Designed specifically for transgender advocates, participants will learn the basics about media structure and how to tell their stories in traditional, online, and social media outlets. Equipped with research and best practices gleaned from more than 30 years of experience, GLAAD will work with participants to reach and teach the movable middle about the transgender community through compelling storytelling combined with the best and most up-to-date media savvy and know-how.

Telling Your Latinx Story: Messaging & Media For Latinx Activists
Engagement 103

Designed specifically for Spanish speaking and Latinx advocates, participants will learn the basics of media structure, as well as how to tell their stories in traditional, online, and social media outlets. Equipped with research and best practices gleaned from more than 30 years of experience, GLAAD will work with participants to reach and teach people through compelling storytelling combined with the best and most up-to-date media savvy and know-how. One-on-one practice on-camera interviews will help participants become comfortable doing media in Spanish and help build the skills and confidence needed to make themost of our media opportunities.

Media Advocacy for People of Faith
Engagement 104

Designed specifically for faith leaders and people of faith, participants will learn how to leverage the media and articulate their message of LGBTQ acceptance in alignment with their faith. Equipped with research and best practices gleaned from 30 years of experience, the GLAAD Media Institute will work with participants to communicate their message with the movable middle while combatting the often-negative narrative surrounding faith and LGBTQ people.

Building Your Media Strategy
Engagement 201

Following GLAAD’s Engagement 101 course, this intermediate-level training helps advocates and allies sharpen their skills to reshape the mainstream narrative and address the lagging cultural acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ community and other marginalized communities. Participants will receive more specialized one-on-one development with GLAAD’s trainers and take a deeper dive into the tools introduced in GLAAD’s 101 training and how to leverage the media to create change.

Telling Your Story Through Social Media
Engagement 202

Designed for those who are starting to incorporate social media into their advocacy strategy, participants in this specialized course will receive a comprehensive overview of social media platforms, as well as leveraging social media for reaching expanded audiences, deeper storytelling, and accelerating acceptance. This course will teach participants the best practices to make the most of the potential for a variety of social media platforms, while also carefully avoiding pitfalls that exist in the social media sphere.

Research

You can’t move what you can’t measure. The more we know and understand about the state of acceptance, the more effectively GLAAD can fulfill its mission.

GLAAD currently publishes several reports yearly. Since 2014, we’ve partnered with the Harris Poll to track nationwide sentiments and comfortability surrounding the LGBTQ community, sharing the results in the Accelerating Acceptance report. Other key resources include the Where We Are on TV report analyzing diversity across broadcast and cable networks and streaming services, and the GLAAD Studio Responsibility Index (SRI), a road map toward increasing fair, accurate, and inclusive LGBTQ representation in film.

As the GLAAD Media Institute builds a new network of ambassadors nationwide, our ability to collect data at a granular level will improve. With an expanded, enhancedability to field custom research that best meets the needs of our clients and audience, our goal is to create a more robust, proactive research arm that can undergird and inform more impactful work across communities…and beyond.


Partners

Join the ranks of our early Founding Partners, each of whom has made a generous leadership gift to help launch The GLAAD Media Institute. For more information about supporting the GLAAD Media Institute, contact Amhir Hidalgo, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships.

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Founding Partner
Early Partners