Media advocacy—the strategic use of mass media to support community-driven efforts that advance social justice or public health campaigns—connects with newsmakers to narrate social policy issues through an engaging lens, broadening the default frame from individual behaviors to call for long-lasting public health improvements.
PHI offers a wide array of skilled expertise in media advocacy in a variety of pressing public health issues, including violence prevention, affordable housing, emerging practices in obesity prevention such soda taxes and local ordinances, and more. Our media advocacy support can help your campaign raise public awareness, garner support from allies and partners, and put pressure on decision-makers to take action.
Our expertise includes:
- Media strategy development: PHI staff can work with you to develop successful media strategies by analyzing the media and public perception, then effectively reframing your issue.
- Get your issue—and message—in the news: Work with us on pitching and placing media stories, and learn how to create strategic, newsworthy media opportunities.
- Coaching: Our staff is available to provide speaking coaching to help organizational leadership and community advocates speak confidently with the media.
- Using new media effectively: PHI staff provides technical support and trainings to help your team use social media, and other emerging technological tools to engage reporters, allies, and policymakers.
HOW CAN WE WORK TOGETHER? SEND US AN EMAIL.
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Resources and Tools
- New Media Relations Toolkit for Community Advocates from California Convergence
- News for a change: An advocate's guide to working with the media
- Struggling to breathe: How a health department is working with community members to reduce air pollution and improve health equity in Oakland
- Tips for writing effective letters to the editor
- What's missing from the news on sexual violence? An analysis of coverage, 2011-2013
Alcohol Research Group
Berkeley Media Studies Group
Here's How We're Making a Difference
Communicating for Change
The Berkeley Media Studies Group’s Communicating for Change training program helps community health advocates build media advocacy skills to make their case effectively for policy changes in hotly contested public debates. The Communicating for Change curriculum has provided training in core media advocacy skills to 600 California Endowment grantees, including learning to frame issues from a public health perspective, to package the important issue as a newsworthy story, and to argue the case effectively even in the face of opposition.
Following the training series, the Los Angeles County Violence Prevention Coalition Director, Kaile Shilling, reported a series of successful media “hits” that she attributed in large part to how prepared she felt from the training.
Protecting SNAP-Ed During Federal Farm Bill Negotiations
During the last round of federal Farm Bill negotiations critical funding for SNAP-Ed, the health education component of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), was on the verge of getting cut. PHI's advocacy team helped lead a national effort that protected SNAP-Ed programs not only in California, but across the U.S. Today, these programs continue to provide vital nutrition education to support low-income families in living healthy lifestyles.
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