Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How to Take Advantage of TV Storylines

Last night's Boston Legal provided those in the end-of-life care movement with a wonderful opportunity for leveraging the drama's discussion about assisted suicide to call attention to their work to improve how we die in America. This Sunday night, "Sweet Nothing in My Ear," the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie that explores the little understood deaf culture, gives organizations serving the deaf community a news peg they can use to communicate their important messages to the public through the media.

There are a number of ways nonprofits and others can leverage storylines in TV dramas to their advantage; here are just a few:
  • Pitch the news assignment editor at the local network affiliate that airs the show (ABC for Boston Legal; CBS for this Sunday's Hall of Fame movie) on a local angle to that story by explaining what your organization is doing locally to, for example, make sure individuals' end-of-life care wishes are respected.

  • Write an op-ed to run in your daily or weekly newspaper's editorial page the day after the show airs.

  • Use the show as background information for a reporter you hope to educate about your issues. Invite the reporter to watch the show with you; as the story unfolds, offer your organization's viewpoint on the information, opinions, or controversy in the storyline.
How have you used TV dramas to educate and inform the media or your stakeholders? Please tell us about it.


Yen said...

Great idea -- we usually pitch based on news stories, but this makes sense too!

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