Winning the Internet

How to organize kick-ass press events and get your campaign covered

After a great run, the Winning the Internet blog has been retired. However, you can still keep in touch with New Media Mentors here.

Lacey Connelly

Lacey Connelly

Laura Friedenbach

Laura Friedenbach

As we get ready for Netroots Nation 2014, we’re taking a closer look at some of the convention’s most exciting training sessions. We’re interviewing the trainers and taking you inside some of online activism’s most popular and elusive topics.

Today we’re interviewing Lacey Connelly and Laura Friedenbach of Progressive Change Campaign Committee, who’ll be leading How to organize kick-ass press events and get your campaign covered.

NN14 Training Session

How to organize kick-ass press events and get your campaign covered
Earned media can be one of the most important (free) resources on your campaign, especially when you are strapped for cash. Our exercise-based curriculum will help you learn hands-on how to plan and execute a great press event—and generate thousands of dollars in media for your campaign.


Q: Tell us about yourself and your experience organizing press events.

Laura: I am the Press Secretary for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, where I’ve helped build events nationwide that have been covered on shows such as Rachel Maddow, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and many more. Prior to joining the PCCC, I interned in the U.S. Senate and the British House of Commons and worked on communications and international affairs research in the nonprofit sector.

Lacey: I’ve worked on political campaigns for the past ten years, in both field and finance. I’m currently the Training Director for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and committed to training progressive staffers and activists to be amazing advocates for their candidates. In this instance, you could say that Laura’s the brains of this operation; I’m the brawn.

Q: In your opinion, what is the most common mistake that organizations make when organizing press events?

Laura: Oftentimes on campaigns, the press is viewed as an adversary, to be avoided at all costs. But if you know how to work with reporters and give them positive stories to cover about your candidate or cause, the free coverage can be priceless.

Q: What are the two most important things to keep in mind when planning press events?

Laura: You can use the media to raise awareness about your cause or candidate and to make sure that your message is heard. But you have to start with the message itself! The best way to create news coverage is to do things that are newsworthy. Easier said than done. The second part is execution. We’re holding this training to teach you the nuts-and-bolts of how to build relationships with reporters, find and prepare speakers, gather a crowd for your events, pitch events to the media, and give reporters something newsworthy.

Q: Why should folks attend your session at Netroots Nation, and how can they connect with you?

Lacey: Our P100 Training Program has already trained over 300 progressives this year in field, finance, issue advocacy, and press. We teach through guided exercises that take you through the fundamentals, step-by-step, making sure that people not only learn, but can do. Sign up for updates at, follow us on Twitter @BoldProgressive, follow me personally @ChasingOm, follow Laura @LFriedenbach, and check out #p100 for Tweets from previous trainings.


To attend this training, or one of the 39 others at Netroots Nation 2014 in Detroit, register now.

About Melissa Foley

Melissa is the Director of Training and Mentoring for Netroots Foundation and New Media Mentors. She aims to use her MBA + nonprofit background to teach organizations to use new media tools strategically.


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