SAFETY ALERT:

If you are in danger call 911.
Or reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline
at 1­-800-799-7233 or TTY 1­-800-787-3224.
review these safety tips.

  • Bookmark and Share

Only 311 days before the start of DVAM 2015...

Engaging The Media

Media coverage of the complexes and multifaceted issue of domestic violence ranges from helpful to harmful. To successfully educate the public about domestic violence, encourage them to take action to prevent or reduce domestic violence, or ask them to support our efforts, we must work with the media both in response to specific cases and as a proactive measure.

Below you will find information about how people use media today, how to work more effectively with the media, approaches to developing effective media messages, preparing survivors to talk to the media and other resources.

Understanding the Media Today
The overwhelming majority of Americans (92%) use multiple platforms to get news on a typical day including national TV, local TV, the Internet, local newspapers, radio, and national newspapers.1 Overall, 82% of all American adults ages 18 and older use the Internet or email at least occasionally, and 67% do so on a typical day.2 News media help shape public opinion and can focus public attention or increase public awareness on certain issues. To successfully educate the public about domestic violence, encourage them to take action to prevent or reduce domestic violence, or ask them to support our efforts, we must work with the media both in response to specific cases and as a proactive measure.

There are many ways to use the media to disseminate messages about domestic violence to the American public. These include: television and radio news programs; talk shows; newspaper and magazine articles, feature stories, editorials, columns, letters-to­ the-editor and guest editorials; stories in community and ethnic or specialty newspapers; public service announcements (PSAs); and social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, and blog hosting sites, among many others.

Working with Media
Engaging with various media outlets can be challenging at times. The resources and materials provided here are intended to enhance that process by helping advocates be proactive, prepared and knowledgeable.

 

Developing Your Message: 3-Legged Stool Talking Points Forms
Before you or someone you designate participates in an interview, decide on your message. Identify two or three talking points that you most want to make. Each talking point should be clear and brief - no more than two complete sentences. Make your messages compelling. As much as possible, use colorful words. People respond better to things they are familiar with, so use examples, analogies and contemporary references, whenever appropriate. Tangible numbers speak volumes. Say "one in four" rather than citing a huge number. Sample 3-Legged Stool Talking Points Forms are provided below for your use.

 

Learn to Prepare Survivors for a Media Interview and View Other Training Resources

Related DVAM Videos

  • Raising Awareness During DVAM (January 2012)
    At the TCFV Executive Directors' Conference, Kenya Fairley, program director at the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, presented on the organization and facilitation of awareness activities for Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). This short video recaps highlights from that workshop session.
  • Preparing Survivors for Public Speaking (January 2012)
    At the TCFV Executive Directors' Conference, Kenya Fairley, program director at the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, presented guidance for both the survivor speaker (including considerations for unique populations) and victim advocates seeking to maximize survivors' physical and emotional safety and ensure the overall success of the speaking engagement were discussed and presented.
  • The Pentagon Channel Addresses Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October 2011)
    In this video, representatives from leading national anti-violence organizations discuss one of the most insidious and common crimes worldwide: domestic violence.

 

1Purcell, K., Rainie, L., Mitchell, A., Rosenstiel, T., & Olmstead, K. (2010, March). Understanding the participatory news consumer: How Internet and cell phone users have turned news into a social experience. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

2Zickuhr, K., & Madden, M. (June 2012). Older adults and internet use. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.