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Generating public excitement around walking and biking should be an important element of your campaign strategy.
 

Campaign Resources

 

Resources for an Oct. 20 Press Release

On October 20, 2008, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy will release to Congress the groundbreaking "Active Transportation for America" report, calling for a greater federal investment in walking and biking. This report presents an outstanding opportunity for communities to release their active transportation case statements on the same day as part of a larger movement to elevate walking, biking and trails as transportation priorities.

The following media resources will aid your effort in engaging the media in your active transportation plans.

A great way to give your press release the weight it needs is to invite members of your congressional delegation to participate. This outreach serves both to attract greater press attention to your case statement release and to engage your elected representatives in your campaign.

See the congressional invite template below.

 

Press Release Resources

Tool When to Use Description
Media Strategy Guide ASAP (Background) A 15-pg. resource on the workings of the media and how to interact with the press (Some of this material may be review).
Building a Media List ASAP Details how to build, maintain and use a media list to develop and capitalize on these relationships.
Letter-to-the-editor (LTE)talking points ASAP By getting LTEs printed in a local paper, you demonstrate broad public support for active transportation. In the process, you warm the paper up to your cause.
"Elevator speech" talking points ASAP Encourage your supporters to use these talking points at town hall meetings, public forums and anywhere where such backing is critical.
Congressional invite template ASAP Tailoring this template (or writing your own invitation) for your congressional member's scheduler will hopefully ensure his or her participation in your press release.
Editorial Board Meeting Guide After an LTE comes out, or ASAP An aid in setting up a meeting with the editorial board of your newspaper. This will inspire the paper to pay attention to your issue and support your viewpoint.
Media Alert 1.5 weeks before release day Send this alert to your media contacts to invite them to attend your release. This "save-the-date" encourages a reporter assignment to cover the meeting.
Media Alert Follow-Up E-mail or call reminder 2-3 days before release Don't forget to remind the community editor, news producer or talk radio station's news director and ensure they are sending someone to your event.
Press Release Release day! Send the press release immediately after the event to your targeted media. Be sure to provide hard copies of the release to hand out to reporters who attend your event.

Additionally, the following media roundup of stories on active transportation may aid your effort to catch the eye of your media market.

  1. Philadelphia Inquirer (front page), "Biking, walking trails planned for Camden" (great story on Camden's campaign activity!)
  2. CBS News, "Pedal Power"
  3. CNN, "U.S. cities scrambling to meet rising mass transit demands"
  4. CBS News, "D.C. SmartBike Revolution"
  5. MSNBC, "Deadly tension on the roads – cars vs. bikes" (controversy article)
  6. Wall Street Journal, "San Francisco Ponders: Could Bike Lanes Cause Pollution?" (controversy article)

For focused assistance on your community's media effort, contact Katie Test, RTC's public relations manager, at 202.974.5152 or katie@railstotrails.org.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Ct., NW
5th Floor
Washington, DC 20037
+1-202-331-9696