Campaign Template 6 – Making The Most Of The Media

Consider This…

Journalists are always on the lookout for stories to fill their publications, news bulletins or television segments.

By catering for the needs of the media you want to cover your campaign you stand the best chance of getting a run and reaching the broadest audience.


  • Television media is looking for good images, such as large crowds, eye-catching banners and theatrical actions.
  • Radio wants quick ‘sound-bites’, eg. a couple of self-contained sentences that sum up the main points of the campaign, why it is being run and what you want done.
  • First hand accounts of workers experiences are most likely to attract print media, particularly if local people can be quoted in regional publications.

Aside from adding spice to a campaign, giving members the chance to liase with media is a great way for them to increase their confidence and develop valuable communication skills.


Don’t forget!: Contact your union official before alerting any media so everyone is in agreement on the media strategy and any materials can be approved before they are sent out. If your union has a media officer, they might coordinate a strategy for you.



  • If your union has a media officer, assist the campaign by putting them in touch with workers directly affected by the hazards who are willing to speak about it to the media.
  • Staging an event, such as a theatrical union action gives you something to invite media to, where they can get the full story and get images to run in the press or on television.
  • Tailor media releases to the regions you want it to run in. If workers in Dubbo are participating in the campaign, draft a release for the Dubbo media in which Dubbo safety_reps’ stories are told and local people are quoted.
  • Use media releases to tell journalists about your campaign, where and when your action will be held, and who they can contact to get more information about it. Include some quotes in your media release that can be run in the press. Your union secretary may wish to contribute some quotes as well as a local delegate if you are tailoring your media for regional publications.
  • If you are contacting radio, do not ring on the hour as they will be busy running news bulletins. Ask for the news desk, check if they have received the media release and tell them you would like to supply a grab. Provide just a few sentences that clearly sum up the main points of your campaign.
  • Keep any clippings of media reports so everyone can review them later and see what worked and what didn’t. This will help you when developing future media strategies.


Case Studies

During the Mid West nurses campaign a group of safety_reps brainstormed ideas to include in a media release immediately after deciding what actions they would take and when. Each major town held a campaign launch day to which the media were invited to attend. Safety Reps from the regional centres volunteered to contact their local media.

When State Rail refused to let drivers wear beanies during the cold winter months, the outrageous headgear worn by the bus drivers in protest attracted wide media attention. The Rail, Tram and Bus Union’s campaign made great images for the press and their catchy slogan ‘the meanies won’t let them wear their beanies’ was often quoted throughout the life of the campaign.

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Campaign Template 6 – Making The Most Of The Media

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