As a representative of a new organization that is not well known or has never initiated publicity, you will need to introduce yourself to the media. An effective way to provide journalists with information about you, your coalition and important public transportation issues is to issue a one-page press release announcing the coalition’s formation. (A sample press release is included in this notebook.)
Depending on the size and membership of your coalition, you may also want to host a press conference announcing the formation of the new group. Keep in mind that the media is asked to attend many press conferences each day. You should review the "How to Plan a Media Event" section of this guide to determine if a press conference or media event is the appropriate way to launch your coalition.
A simple, well organized media/information kit should accompany the press release. Journalists will often rely on kits as a quick reference for facts, figures, quotes and contacts when they are researching or writing stories. Over time, it is important to keep the information updated and accurate. If your coalition has a Web presence, these materials should also be posted in an electronic form. The media/information kit should include:
- Press release/background paper explaining the purpose, mission and/or objectives of the coalition
- Fact sheet on public transportation in the community
- Relevant fact sheets and issue papers distributed by the national APTA office
- List of all coalition members and their affiliations/organizations
Brief biography describing your role in the community, involvement in the coalition and any facts to distinguish you as a knowledgeable and objective source of information about public transportation
- Recent editorials or news clips that help convey important messages
- List of contacts for further information, with names, telephone numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses
The press release and media kit should be mailed to your entire media list,, or hand-delivered where appropriate, with a brief personal letter introducing you and the coalition and a promise to follow up by telephone within a few days.