Generating Earned Media


Laying the Groundwork


Build and Maintain a Media Contact List

Good lists are the backbone of a winning campaign.

  • Contact your state party or caucus to possibly obtain a list or a statewide media guide
  • Include all of the outlets that cover your district:
  • Television stations
  • Local cable outlets
  • Radio stations
  • Daily, weekly and community-based newspapers
  • The “specialty press”

·         Include a column for each datum:

-Outlet name  -Address                                  -Email              -Deadline(s)

-Outlet Type                -Editor/News director -Fax                 -Address

-Key Reporter  -Circulation/Viewership          -Phone

-Frequency                  -Record of Contact                  -Notes


Establish Systems

Systematize activities/divide up each task to establish an effective media routine.

  • Vetting press releases and statements:
  • Have multiple people reviewing and fact checking materials before they are distributed
  • Monitoring clips:
  • Compile clips appearing in local news outlets dealing with you, your opponent or important news in your district
  • Report breaking news immediately and save the others for future use
  • Completing questionnaires:
  • Make campaign manager and press staff aware of questionnaires from organizations that are considering endorsing your candidacy
  • Decide which endorsements are best for the campaign
  • Schedule them to best take advantage of press coverage
  • Rapid response:
  • Respond quickly to breaking news or any statements made by your opponent
  • To be ready on short notice, maintain blast fax and email lists.

Create a Media Kit

  • What to include:
  • Campaign literature
  • Photograph
  • Biography
  • Record of accomplishments
  • List of endorsements
  • Relevant news clips
  • What to do with it:
  • Bring along on interviews and visits with reports
  • Use as information packets for your donors

Meet and Greet

  • Make the rounds early in the campaign (either you or your campaign staffers)
  • Introduce yourself to and visit with reporters
  • Follow up with regular personal contact
  • Guidelines for dealing with the press:
  • Assume you’re always on the record—don’t put yourself in a situation you will regret later
  • Know that reporters are reporters first—establish a friendly relationship, but don’t try to make friends
  • Tell the truth—gaining a reporter’s trust is an important cornerstone of a good relationship
  • Respect a reporter’s time—return phone calls promptly and respect deadlines
  • Be preparednever meet with a reporter without knowing and being prepared to stick to your talking points


Download our Earned Media webinar here for more information.