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CCL Media Basics

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Description

This training will clarify the role of media itself and of “media managers” in CCL, and it will review the four main ways we recommend engaging with media.


This training is also part of the Core Volunteer Training series.

Breadcrumb
/topics/media-relations
TOC and Guide Section
 
Role of the media

Media is critically important. Ongoing positive media coverage will help build support for the Energy Innovation Act and the work of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. National media, like the New York Times, CNN, NPR, and so on, generally influence public opinion in a broad way. Local media, like your city newspapers and local TV stations, are more directly influential on members of Congress.

Members need support from these outlets for their reelection campaigns, and local coverage helps them keep their finger on the pulse of their district or state. So one way we move the needle is by working to shape the narrative in those local outlets, to which members of Congress and their staffers pay close attention. While it’s tempting to want to focus your energy at the national level now that our bill is in Congress and our policy is getting more attention than ever, it’s really important to keep moving the conversation forward in your local media markets.

There are four key ways we recommend that you engage with the media. If your chapter is big, you might already be doing a lot of these things. If your chapter is small, you might be feeling like you’re not sure where to start or don’t know what all those options are. CCL’s national communications team produces resources that can help guide you and support your activities. This training walks you through all the ways to engage with media and the resources we provide to help you do that.

Media manager role

In CCL chapters, we recommend identifying a point of contact (or several) for your chapter’s media activities. Anyone who wants to help out with media activities in their chapter can be designated as a “media manager.” 

Media managers will receive media materials and opportunities (usually no more than one per month) right in your inbox, as well as occasional training tips and extra support from CCL’s Communications staff, Flannery Winchester and Steve Valk. 

Media managers are not expected to execute every media need for their chapter by themselves—rather, they are volunteers who are informed about media opportunities and can get other members of their chapter involved in taking advantage of those opportunities. (For example: A media manager receives an updated LTE idea from CCL staff. They can organize a letter writing party for several members of their chapter who all write LTEs together.)

To be added as a media manager, you have two options:

OR

  • Ask your Group Leader to designate you as a media manager in your chapter roster on CCL Community. Each chapter in CCL has a group page. Each Group Leader has access to edit the profiles of those in their rosters and can mark you as a media manager.
Overview of media opportunities

There are four key ways that CCL recommends you engage with your local media.

  1. Letters to the editor (LTEs). A letter to the editor is a short reader opinion that usually responds to news or opinion that’s been published in the newspaper. They are often 150-200 words. They’re a great way to get others in your chapter involved in media work. Check out our LTE training here.
  2. Op-eds. An op-ed is an opinion piece, 600-800 words, on a topical issue. These can be written by readers in the community like you. Check out our op-ed training here.
  3. Editorial endorsements. An editorial endorsement is the official view of the newspaper, written by the newspaper’s editorial board. You can build a relationship with your editorial board to ask them to write an editorial endorsement of the Energy Innovation Act. These are the most highly leverageable pieces of media that we can generate. Check out our editorial endorsement training here.
  4. News coverage. News coverage includes any story written or produced by a reporter about CCL members or CCL activities. These may be stories that are printed in newspapers or magazines, published online, or aired on TV or radio. Check out our news coverage training here.
Media resources from CCL staff 

CCL’s Communications staff regularly produces resources to help you engage with media in all of these ways. Here’s an overview of what we provide:

  • LTE opportunities. We provide occasional LTE opportunities in the Monthly Action Sheet and in the “Working with Media” forum on CCL Community. These will be nationally relevant. For example, when Hurricane Dorian was in the national news, we suggested writing an LTE connecting the dots to climate change and the local impacts you’re seeing in your own area.
  • Op-ed templates. We provide time-sensitive op-eds authored by CCL staff. Often, the op-ed will include spots for you to add local details and list yourself as a co-author. You can find the latest op-ed on the “Op-ed Templates” resource page under the Media Relations tab on CCL Community. 
  • Editorial packets. We provide time-sensitive packets (relevant to something happening in the news then) as well as an “evergreen” packet you can use at any time. You can find them on the “Editorial Packets” resource page under the Media Relations tab on CCL Community. 
  • Press release templates. When you’re trying to generate news coverage, a press release is handy. It gives reporters information about timely stories related to CCL and our activities. We provide timely press release templates that you can add local details to and send out to your local reporters. You can find these on the “Local Press Release Templates” resource page under the Media Relations tab on CCL Community. 
  • Interview talking points. When you’re trying to generate news coverage, you may also find that reporters want to interview you or someone in your chapter. To give a good interview, you should have simple, clear talking points in mind. We provide recommended talking points about CCL and climate change to help you feel confident going into an interview, and we update these regularly. You can find them on the “Interview Talking Points” resource page under the Media Relations tab on CCL Community.
Length
Press play to start the video (33m 24s)
https://vimeo.com/showcase/6286929
Video Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Agenda 
(from beginning)

Role of media
(2:22)

Media manager role
(3:30)

Overview of media opportunities
(5:30)

Media resources from CCL staff
(14:26)

Additional Practice & Resources
(30:21)

Instructor(s)
  • Steve Valk
Downloads

Download PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation.

Download the video.
Audio length
Press play to start the audio (33m 24s)
Audio embed code
Audio Outline

To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Agenda 
(from beginning)

Role of media
(2:22)

Media manager role
(3:30)

Overview of media opportunities
(5:30)

Media resources from CCL staff
(14:26)

Additional Practice & Resources
(30:21)

Instructor(s)
  • Steve Valk
Downloads
Go Deeper
Discussion Topic
Share your experience or ask questions related to this training in the Working with the Media forums.
To Print
Instructions for printing this page on Community.
Category
Training
Topics
Media Relations
Format
Audio / Video, Presentation
File Type
Google Slides, PowerPoint (.pptx)
Training Resources

Letters to the Editor (LTEs) 

Op-eds

Editorial Packets

Press Release Templates