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Feeding the Media. APTA Legislative Conference Release of Ridership Numbers National radio media tour for transit system GMs across 20 markets Radio segments.

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Presentation on theme: "Feeding the Media. APTA Legislative Conference Release of Ridership Numbers National radio media tour for transit system GMs across 20 markets Radio segments."— Presentation transcript:

1 Feeding the Media

2 APTA Legislative Conference Release of Ridership Numbers National radio media tour for transit system GMs across 20 markets Radio segments aired on 1,887 stations in cities from Los Angeles to Atlanta – reaching more than 12,000,000 listeners nationwide National & local print and broadcast stories Tools/tactics: Advisories, pitches, release and talking points focusing on impact of gas prices on transit usage Mass transit use rises as gas prices soar Money Minute: High gas prices drive more to take the bus Ridership up on light rail, down on Denver buses Public transportation use up across the nation in 2011

3 National Dump the Pump Day – June 16, 2011 Outstanding local media coverage due to the work of APTA Members Helped place op-ed on behalf of APTA, the Sierra Club, and the National Resource Defense Council in Huffington Post Issued national press release detailing involvement by over 100 transit systems Created and pitched to a top tier, national media distribution list Pitched local DC media about local businesses supporting WMATA’s National Dump the Pump Day efforts More than 125 public transit agencies participate in 'Dump the Pump Day' - June 17, 2011 Tri-Rail breaks ridership record on Dump the Pump Day - June 17, 2011

4 Don’t X Out Public Transit APTA led a coalition of partners – including Amalgamated Transit Union, National Association of Public Transportation Advocates in Action, Reconnecting America, Transportation for American, Transportation Equity Network, Transportation Workers Union of America and other local partners – around the country Brought direct attention to the dire situation of public transit systems around the country facing additional budget cuts

5 National Day of Rallies Quickly launched a campaign website to serve as hub for coalition partners, leveraged existing social media and partner networks Rally events held in more than a dozen locations, including major hubs at Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, and Providence Hosted media conference call to target national, regional, and trade media Media coverage included The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Hill, Streetsblog, and Progressive Railroading

6 Results

7 Upcoming Gas Prices Report (April) International Bus Rodeo and Conference (May) International Rail Rodeo (May) Dump the Pump Day (June) Rail Conference 2012 (June) UIC World Congress on High Speed Rail (July) APTA Annual Meeting (October) Launch of APTA/Transportation blog (TBD) Updates of economic and social impact data (TBD)

8 Reporters are looking for what’s new and different, for what’s controversial News media bias is often pegged as liberal or conservative But it’s actually persuasively negative About the Media

9 1. Stay current Be aware of what the media is covering, and, likewise, be aware of which reporters are covering the issue. Reporters change jobs and beats frequently. It’s good to update your media list every three months. 2. Get to know your reporters and editors Rapport with reporters is the single most effective method of ensuring your press releases, op-eds, etc., get the attention they deserve As new reporters come on the beat, or if you’ve got a reporter who always gets your information, but never writes about it, ask to meet them for coffee. Build and nurture these relationships 6 Golden Rules

10 3. Always return a reporter’s phone call Flake on a reporter once, and you’ll be off their list forever Even if you can’t talk right away, return the reporter’s call and let them know when you will be available And call back when you say you’ll call back 4. Give them something to work with Most reporters are overwhelmed long before your press release shows up Make sure you send newsworthy items, and offer to suggest ways your information could be helpful in developing a larger story, why readers should car or know about this issue, etc 6 Golden Rules

11 5. Follow up Following up not only calls attention to your information, it also helps build rapport Often the only difference between coverage and the circular file is a simple follow up call 6. Offer to help Reporters are always looking for more sources on stories Sending a reporter a note about how you can be a source on an issue you know they’ll be covering can make you part of the story Likewise, offering additional sources, information and other assistance can turn you into a reporter’s “new best friend ” 6 Golden Rules

12 A + B = PP Acknowledge question Bridge to your answer Make your Positive Point For Example: “What I’m saying is…” “Sure it’s a problem, that’s why…” “Absolutely. We must…” Control Your Message You maintain the best control of your “story” when you know exactly what you want to say and stick to it

13 Don’t wait for a direct question Chances are, it won’t be asked Give the answer you want to give Flip-flop everything you’ve been taught about making your case State your main point first, then offer supporting arguments and statements Keep it short – 1 thing in 10 seconds = Control, 10 things in 30 seconds = No Control Draft and carry 3-5 messages you want to stress in the interview You have a right to bring notes with you and to use them Enhance your message by appealing to emotion whenever possible Use colorful examples, words and comparisons Avoid jargon and difficult-to-understand concepts Control Your Message

14 Never argue with your interviewer Never repeat a reporter’s negative statement – he or she is fishing for a quote. Don’t guess, because if you’re wrong, you will lose credibility Similarly, always tell the truth If the questioning goes into an area you can’t or don’t want to discuss, it’s better to say, “I don’t know,” or “I can’t go into that” You do not have to answer personal or confidential questions Don’t say “no comment.” Instead, say, “I don’t know” or “I’ll find out” Last interview tip – Practice, practice, practice! Control Your Message

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