ADVOCACY TOOLKIT

Using the Media

The media is a powerful tool for getting word out about your efforts and gaining more supporters.

 

Many avenues are free.

Writing an Opinion Piece or Letter to the Editor

  • When writing to a news outlet, include how this subject affects you personally, your family, or your community. Bring out the local connection to appeal to readers.
     

  • Avoid using industry jargon that most readers won’t know. 
     

  • Use a few stand-out statistics, but not too many. 
     

  • Have a trusted friend check your writing for spelling and grammar.

What's the difference between an
opinion piece and letter to the editor?

A letter to the editor:

  • Responds to a previously published article. 

  • Anyone may submit

  • Brief (length depending on site)

An opinion piece: 

  • Offers new information on a current issue 

  • Written by an expert on the subject

  • A little longer (length depending on site)

Social Media

  • Whether you are acting as an individual or on behalf of an organization, using social media is a quick way for you to reach a wide audience and connect with other organizations. 
     

  • Use photos with every post to grab people’s attention while they’re scrolling. 
     

  • Be brief! Link to longer articles rather than writing long blocks of text. 
     

  • Share other organizations’ content! You don’t have to recreate the wheel - if somebody else has perfectly crafted a message, or has posted important updates, share their content to your page to spread the word.
     

  • The social media algorithms show people content that has more engagements (likes, comments, shares), so have your colleagues or members engage with your content to give it a boost. 
     

  • When using an organizational Facebook or Instagram account, look at the “Insights” into your posts. What kinds of people are seeing your posts? Which type of content is most engaging? When do posts seem to be the most popular? Let this information guide when and how you post so you reach more viewers. 

Your Own Website/Literature

  • With any social media post or news publication, it’s a good idea to link those back to your website to provide a home base for all your information. If you’re sharing your website with decision makers or the public at large, make sure to keep your website updated!
     

  • Always include your contact information and logo if you have one.

ABOUT US >

Founded in 2007, Mass Rivers works to strengthen statewide river policies in four areas: Water quality, stream flow, wildlife habitat, and investment in green infrastructure.

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CONTACT >

gretchenmcclain@massriversalliance.org

617.714.4272

2343 Massachusetts Ave

Cambridge, MA 02140

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