Media Checklist

Are you about to try to earn some media coverage? You'll be more likely to succeed if you answer yes to all these questions.


  • Does your organization have a media strategy? Without one, your approach will be random rather than planned.
  • Is the media plan discussed as part of the overall communication strategy plan? It should be, so that your communications program elements reinforce each other.
  • Do you regularly review and revise the media plan as your campaign evolves? It’s a dynamic environment. Keep your head up and your hand on the wheel.


  • Do you have a staff person who is responsible for carrying out the media plan and coordinating all the media efforts in your organization? Centralize the execution and ideally the planning.
  • Do you have a planning calendar of key political events? It may be easier to piggy-back your story on someone else’s event rather than to carve out your own space in the media.
  • Have you identified the primary spokesperson? Reporters prefer to deal with one spokesperson. If there are several, they could contradict each other.
  • Does your spokesperson need media training and preparation? The more your spokesperson understands about reporters’ perspectives and methods, the better your chance of success.
  • Have your board and staff prepared a plan for “rapid response” to an opportunity or a crisis that presents itself with little warning? A prepared response is better than no response.
  • Is the chain of decision-making for media statements clearly designated and understood by everyone within the organization? And what happens if the executive who normally signs off on statements is travelling and unavailable? Got a backup?
  • Does your public policy budget have a media component? Influencing policy sometimes moves outside of the government’s briefing rooms. Have you allocated enough resources in case you need to advocate publicly?


  • Are your media lists current? Do you have the names of editors, reporters, or producers for all media outlets you plan to target?
  • Do you know your media targets’ deadlines? Your information needs to reach them before it’s too late. Deadlines are often much earlier than you might think.
  • Do your lists distinguish include journalists who produce features, editorials, and columns, as well as the daily news? There’s more than one way into the media.
  • Are you in regular contact with the editor and reporters you have designated as key contacts?
  • Is your information media ready? You have fact sheets, backgrounders, spokesperson bios, photos? What about video?
  • Do you have accurate, concise, interesting information about your organization -- its mission, history, programs, and services?
  • Is your message clear, and relevant to your target audience?

How did you do?

If you answered no to any of these questions, and you'd like to improve your odds of success, contact us today for a no-fee consultation.