Activism for Newbies

I've been answering a lot of questions lately about what's what and how to do things relating to journalism, publicity, and activism in general. What I've been referring to as 'the emerging men's rights movement' has websites, groups and orgs popping up all over the place, and there appears to be a need for some basic information on how some things are done. We've got some smart, dedicated people out there who only need some pointers toward the right direction. With this section of the DLJ, I intend to provide as much good information as I can to help these orgs on their way by making the best use of things like free publicity, promotions, and their website.

It is not all written by me--I've dug around and found some websites that either do a better job of saying what I would've said anyway, or mention details I've either forgotten or never thought of to begin with. I've done publicity/promo/activism for something or another (including non-profit orgs) for the last 15 years. Most of what I've learned has been learned the hard way, by doing it and making mistakes. There are some misconceptions regarding the media in general, and I hope to clear those up, as well as share a few ideas I've had that seem to work. 

I'll start with the most basic of basic ideas. Any section where you already have 'that part down pat', please go on to another section. I don't have any way of knowing what kind of experience any reader is going to have, so I'm going to follow my first rule of writing I apply to all things: "Never presume the reader knows anything at all about the subject of the piece."

Note: all the links are also arranged on a separate page for easier reference.

Birthing an Org

Here you'll find answers to some interesting questions, like 'does an e-mail list constitute an org or a movement?' The answer is no, and you'll see why not.  There are  some hints on how to write a Letter to the Editor that is most likely to be published, since this is often the first step in deciding to form a group for a specific purpose. Also, some hints on dealing with legislators.

Reaching Out

You've assembled some people of like mind with a website an online discussion group, and maybe even some real-world meetings. How do you get the rest of the world to hear about your org, and maybe join the cause? This includes the media basics, such as what a PSA is, what a press release is, and what's the difference. I've got links with instructions on how to write both. There is also a bit of information on how to handle the media--what do on TV and/or radio, how to act, what to wear, etc. I've also inserted some of my own ideas on running a media campaign. You'll learn about deadlines, possibilities and the realities of media publicity.  

The Website

Some bits and pieces on creating and promoting a website. The days are long past when you could just 'build it and they will come.' Websites need promotion and a lot of hard work, but need not cost a lot of money. You'll find some info on the all-important content here as well; things like the basics of copyrights, and some helpful links to online dictionaries, thesauri, research and style resources. 

The DesertLight Journal 
Intro      Birthing      Reaching Out       Website      Letters      Activist links     

Intro      Birthing      Reaching Out       Website      Letters      Activist links     

Copyright 2001 TW Schuett
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