CONTACT THE MEDIA

The fastest way to grow our movement from the ground up

Trying to contact Extendpua.org with press inquiries?

How?

Ways to Engage the Press

Speaking to the press brings our need for relief to other people’s attention and hopefully inspires them to join you in action. There is also a chance your legislators will directly see or hear your testimony!

There are many ways to get your story to the media:

 

pitch your story to a local paper

respond to unemployment articles

write a Letter to the editor

Tweet a reporter who may cover the issue

Be interviewed by press  (Interview tips)

 

Guidance for Pitching a story

Think Local

Legislators care how they are perceived by the people in their states (because those are the people who vote for them and also because they’re probably a little vain).

 

Reach out to your local newspaper and TV and radio stations.  Also consider local online presence like web newspapers and even prominent bloggers or businesses in your area.  The more people you pitch, the more likely your story will be covered.

 

Don’t know who your local media is?  Google “______ area newspaper” or similar for other sources.  Also consider any sources you personally consume every day.

How do I reach out?

Most news outlets will have a "Contact Us" page.  If it’s not in an obvious place on their website, check the footer at the bottom.  On their Contact Us page you probably either find:

  • An email address you can submit to.  Great!  Easy!  

  • A submission form.  Also easy!

  • A list of email addresses for different topics. 

    • For this, just make sure you find the most relevant contact and send to them. Do NOT send your email to more than 2 reporters from the same site. It is recommended to just send to one reporter plus a general tip or editorial email.

What do I say?

The most important aspect to emphasize is how the story is relevant to the news outlet and why they should cover it.

Your pitch email should include:

  • Reasons why your story is relevant to the news outlet (how it is affected their audience).

  • The main points of your story.  This doesn’t need to be long, just the main points.  They will write the story, not you, so all you need to cover are the big points (more tips on this below)

  • Your contact information

  • Links to your campaign (feel free to include ExtendPUA.org)

  • Links to any previous news coverage

A few Tips on Telling Your Story Structure

  • A few tips on telling your story with structure...

  • Start with your personal situation. Be specific, honest, and concise.

  • Why is this important right now?  7.5 million people will lose all assistance after up to a year and a half of struggling with unemployment right in the middle of the Delta surge. These people are in addition to the 4 million that have already lost benefits due to the cruelty of their governors.

  • Please feel free to use any of our other talking points that help you with your pitch.

**We think it is critical for everyone to know about these issues AND for individuals to take action, which is why we created this resource. Please make sure to mention that people can find more information and ways to help at ExtendPUA.org**

Need more help?  Reach out to us.

 
 
 

RESPOND TO EXISTING ARTICLES

Don't just read; get involved

There are a lot of articles coming out about unemployment and the looming end of programs on September 6. Reporters are VERY interested in personal stories surrounding this issue.

Did the article you read contain personal stories?

Did the article you read mention the advocacy workers are taking part in to push for more robust relief?

If it didn't do both of these things, you should reach out and ask them for a follow up piece. 

respond directly to news articles

Respond directly in the website's comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter. Thank them for their work and encourage other readers to join our movement.

 

"Thank you for covering the upcoming end of pandemic unemployment relief programs. I personally am unemployed and facing this cliff and would love to speak with you about it. I am advocating for further relief with ExtendPUA.org."

 

If you're targeting a reader instead of a reporter add "We won't get relief unless we demand it. Join us!" 

OR

"Wondering what you can do to help? Get involved at ExtendPUA.org."

Pitch your story to a news organization

To pitch the news organization, follow our pitch steps above.

Or Reach out to their reporters

Most major news organizations will have a reporter linked in the byline. Clicking on their name will usually take you to a contact page. Sometimes these have email addresses, but if not, they often have twitter accounts.

Once you have a way to contact the reporter:

 

Send them a quick note thanking them for their piece and offering them a deeper look into the issue. 

An example, that you should tailor to be true to you:

"Thank you for covering the upcoming end of pandemic unemployment relief programs. I personally am unemployed and facing this cliff and would love to speak with you about it. I am advocating for further relief with ExtendPUA.org."

If you'd like to write a little bit of a longer pitch, please see our pitch tips here.

Need more help?  Reach out to us.

 
 

Interview tips

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What to say to gain momentum

So you have an interview. What now?

First, don't be nervous - reporters are on our side about this issue. They want to help you tell your story. Everyone we have interacted with has been incredibly kind and easy to talk to.

Tips for your interview:

  • Tell your personal story in detail.

    • How long have you been unemployed? What is your benefit amount? What have you lost? How is daily life different? ​What challenges have you faced becoming reemployed? How will the complete cut off of programs affect you? How did the other program "cliffs" affect you? (FPUC cut off in July 2020, cut offs in December of 2020, last minute extensions, etc.)

  • Talk about the greater scope of the problem.

    • You are part of millions of unemployed. Is your whole industry closed? This affects a wide community of Americans.

    • We need to be able to stay safe during this virus and as the job market recovers and we need government support to do that.

  • If they mention programs being a "disincentive to work" or there being a "labor shortage and many jobs."

    • There is significant proof that the programs aren't a disincentive to work. States ending benefits early did not see reemployment surges.​

    • There is not a labor shortage, there is a shortage of good, full time, jobs with fair wages.

    • We still haven't recovered all of the jobs lost in this crisis.

    • Availability of jobs is not the only barrier to reemployment: child care, lack of response to applications, Delta surge, etc are all other reasons.

  • Mention your specific legislators and call on them to help you

  • Talk about what we need:

    • Extension of all federal pandemic UI programs based on the REAL unemployment rate and full recovery of pre-pandemic jobs numbers (instead of arbitrary dates that lead to these cliffs.)

    • Continued healthcare and rent relief.

    • A serious plan to overhaul the UI system and provide fair benefits available to all workers. #FixUI

  • Talk about your advocacy with ExtendPUA.org - we are not just sad stories, we are advocating for ourselves and that is IMPORTANT. We need to offer others the same hope we have in advocacy and bring them in.

    • You are taking action on this with ExtendPUA.org

      • ​we've had more than 40 meetings with Senators discussing specific relief asks and policy suggestions. We call, write, tweet, and speak to reporters.

      • People who want to do something about this can join us at ExtendPUA.org​.

    • We need to grow the people power behind the movement to get the relief we deserve.
  • Tell everyone watching (or reading) to join the movement.

    • They should call their US Senators and Representatives. Script and contact info at ExtendPUA.org​.

    • For more actions, check @ExtendPUA and ExtendPUA.org.

Need more help?  Reach out to us.