Archive for January 5th, 2012

5th January
2012
written by Amanda Benton

As we discussed last month, there are plenty of ways to engage the media to raise awareness among the public and decisionmakers about homelessness in your community. Last month, we focused on the opportunity provided by the holidays to highlight the issue. Today, we’d like to discuss an upcoming opportunity to use data to raise awareness.

About a year ago, the Alliance released The State of Homelessness in America 2011. By working with our local partners, we were able to draw more attention to the issue of homelessness and its solutions than we could have working alone. In fact, dozens of local and national media outlets ran stories last January that mentioned the report and focused on how communities were coping with the challenges of the recession and its lingering effects.

The release of new local, state, or national data is often a great opportunity to work with the media and write editorials, submit letters to the editor, or pitch stories. The data provided in the report is the “hook” reporters are looking for, and it provides an opportunity to tell the story about the great work being done locally to address homelessness, despite the challenging economic situation. It is critical to inform the media – and through them, our communities and opinion leaders – about the importance of ending homelessness.

The Alliance is excited to announce another opportunity to collaborate with our partners across the country to do so. Next Thursday, January 12 at 1 p.m. ET, the Alliance will host a webinar to launch a national media campaign to raise awareness about homelessness. The campaign will occur in conjunction with the release of a new Alliance report with national and state data on homelessness, economic indicators of homelessness, and the demographic drivers of homelessness.

During the webinar, presenters will summarize the key findings of the report and discuss strategies for approaching reporters. We’ll even send out sample letters to the editor and other sample materials after the call to make it easier to contact members of the media. With our partners’ help, we can use this new report to educate and persuade decisionmakers about the scope of this problem and ways to implement real solutions.

If you are interested in joining the campaign but are unable to participate in the webinar, please contact Kate Seif at cseif@naeh.org.