Winning the Internet

Saving Millions with Earned Media: 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

Adam Green

Adam Green

As we get ready for Netroots Nation 2015, 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 Adam Green of Progressive Change Campaign Committee, who’ll be leading Saving Millions with Earned Media: How to Organize Kick-Ass Press Events and Get Your Campaign Covered.

NN15 Training Session

Saving Millions with Earned Media: 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 yourselves and your experience working with the media.

Adam: In 2009, my co-founder and I started the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, an organization with nearly a million members nationwide that focuses on fighting for bold progressive change. Before that, I worked as Director of Strategic Campaigns and Civic Communications Director for for four years. I also served as the Democratic National Committee’s press secretary in Oregon for the 2004 presidential campaign, communications director for the New Jersey Democratic Party in 2003, and press secretary for the top winning Democratic U.S. Senate race of 2002.

Lacey: I worked on campaigns for ten years, from campaign management to fieldwork to finance reports, before joining the Progressive Change Campaign Committee as their Training Director in 2013. I have always been a “training junkie,” and now I’m excited every day to be able to strengthen the progressive movement by making sure progressives have the skills they need to win. I also currently serve as the Vice President of Communications for the West Virginia Young Democrats.


Q: In your opinion, what is the biggest mistake people make when trying to get earned media? Why do you think organizations sometimes shy away from this?

Lacey: 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 organizing press events?

Adam: 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. 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 trained over 600 people last cycle 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, and follow me personally @ChasingOm and Adam personally @AdamGreen. You can also reach me at LaceyC(at)BoldProgressives(dot)org.


To attend this training, or one of the 39 others at Netroots Nation 2015 in Phoenix, 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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