Prepare your media systems and gear for your big day
Credit: Leard Blockade. Also see the Counteract Media Checklist for Actions
Day/Night Before the Action
□ Identify media spokesperson – (ideally they should be involved in writing the media release)
□ Identify the social media team – Do they have appropriate access to Facebook, Twitter, website, youtube? Will there be an opportunity for Live Tweeting? Ensure the Live Tweeter has a Power Bank battery.
□ Identify the HQ comms point and action comms point – check you have their number and they have yours – have a conversation about communicating about a successful deployment and how that will be communicated and to whom. Ensure inside comms point has a Power Bank battery.
□ Identify photo coordinator – view role guide here
□ Identify the action photographer remind them that SMILING activists trend the best – ask them to take portrait shot of the event participants now and get the image file ASAP to the social media team.
□ Ask action contact for details of the action – only need to know stuff:
- Where is the action? (NOT TOO SPECIFIC – remember security culture) (eg – inside the mine, rail spur etc.)
- What is happening? (eg- lock on, banner drop etc.)
- What is the equipment being delayed? (eg – blast rig, grader etc.)
□ Interview the event participant
- Get event participant’s permission to use their name and images in media
- What is their name? (get their legal name to ensure the contact point also has access to it)
- Where are they from?
- What is their age?
- What is their occupation?
- Why are they taking direct action? (If there is a certain media angle then try to get their perspective on the angle)
- Ask if they would be prepared to give an interview via phone from the action – offer them use of a camp phone and advise camp contact point if need arises.
□ Organise a photographer to take an image of the event participant now – explain it is for social media use.
□ Write a media release
- Incorporate quotes from the event participant and your spokesperson
- The media release is from your group
- Make sure you have identified the event ask (what are you asking for during the day) and build it into a spokesperson quote – eg – Greg Hunt to make a determination in relation to Lawler’s Well.
□ Check you have access to your media and journalist contact list
- If the action is particularly newsworthy, consider calling Prime 7 and NBN the day before. If you do, let the reporter know a few detail (number of people, interesting aspect, what time to meet) and suggest that they meet at a point (camp for example) and then they can be taken to the action. Emphasise discretion and do not give away locations. So far, they have never foiled an action.
Day of the Action
□ Get up about 5am with media spokesperson and review key points and media release
□ When word comes from the action contact, edit the media release as necessary and save the document.
□ Send the media release via email to breakfast radio contacts only first with no picture.
□ Call breakfast radio journalists to ensure that they are aware of the release.
□ Put the media release as a ‘Post’ on frontlineaction.org
□ Tweet the media release and post on Facebook as a link to the Post on frontlineaction.org
□ As pictures come through (only post good quality, empowering images – smiling activists trend the best – or ‘green steel’)
- Tweet images with snippets from media release
- Facebook images with snippets from the media release
- Build asks into the Facebook action update posts – eg- Share if you agree with this, contact Pru Goward, come to camp
- Put GOOD images on the media release post on frontlineaction.org
- Put images into the media wrap up and monitor any media coming out and compile for a slideshow wrap up.
□ When the key image for the day (the ‘money shot’) has arrived, send the media release via the FLAC email to other media outlets on the list (hopefully this will be about 9am or so – don’t wait all day!
□ Media Wrangler – Call the journalists and news desks to check they have received the media release
□ Use image of the bunny with quotes to fill in the quiet times on Facebook and Twitter
□ As updates come through:
- use secondary images for tweets and Facebook posts
- Put updates into the frontlineaction.org media release post
- Do you need to send an update media release – for major activity only – consult others.
□ Always end the day with a wrap up of what happened – every story needs a beginning, middle AND END!
Social Media Tips
- Remember every Facebook and Twitter post should use #YourHashTag
- Facebook should be limited to 5 posts a day maximum- the 6am, the 9am, the lunch post, the 4pm, the evening post – go crazy on Twitter and experiment with #hashtags and DMs.
- EVERY Facebook post should have a link to a page on frontlineaction.org – even if it is a secondary link on the post.
- Always presume that people don’t know the campaign. They may share a photo and someone totally new may see it. For example: Explicitly state Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek coal mine in the Leard State Forest on Facebook.
- Don’t be scared to make infographics and memes in down time with the great pictures – test them on Twitter first – i.e. – post them all on Twitter and then only post the most successful (retweets and favourites) on Facebook.
- Interesting (smiling activists!) pictures and videos are the key to viral content
- Don’t forget to join the conversation! Social media is about conversation, not just transmission of information.