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Media Support for your #TogetherWithRefugees Week of Action

Hannah Fox is the media lead at Together With Refugees and she would love to hear from you!

The Together With Refugees Week of Action from 18 October is fast approaching. Hannah is focused on generating coverage about all the planned events and activities to make sure decision makers hear about the huge groundswell of support for refugees across the country – wherever they come and however they get here.

Hannah needs your help!

City of Sanctuary networks are encouraged to email Hannah as soon as possible at [email protected] with your ideas and plans for that week. Hannah will then be in touch with how she can support with regional coverage or feed into national stories. Don’t worry, Hannah won’t talk to any journalists about anything you’re doing without your permission.

Please let Hannah know:

Where (including any relevant connection to the issues or if it is visually interesting) and when the activity is happening (date and time).
What the activity is (even if not yet totally confirmed), with details of what will take place.
Any interesting people or groups attending such as those with lived experienced, local dignitaries and celebrities or local community groups such as the Women’s Institute or a school.
A point of contact for Hannah to liaise with.

Tips on the type of things that appeal to the media

These should help with  your planning. More tools and tips for media will be added to this post soon.  See also the Media and Communications resource page on our website. . 

Visually appealing – bright, colourful, easy to interpret and unusual/out of the ordinary often work for the media for photography and video. See ‘Show Your Heart’ on page 11 of the Together With Refugees campaign pack for inspiration. Perhaps you could organise an event on 20 October to get local people to give their signs of support.

A platform for people with lived experience of being a refugee and/or asylum seekers to share their story (in a responsible and ethical way). There is nothing more important or powerful for the media than people sharing their own experiences.

Famous or high profile people – this could be a local celebrity, sports personality or local dignitary. The more well-known and the less they take part in media activity the more appealing they are to journalists! It’s even better if they are willing to talk to the media or make a statement of support.

Local community groups who are valued by the local area could bring a number of people along to your event, such as a class of school children or older person club. It’s important to show the breadth of people who support refugees – especially as they might not be obvious supporters. School children can also really add to a photo. Make sure you have the right permissions, especially for children and other more vulnerable people.

Getting the timings right – events are usually best held in the morning around 10am so that journalists can cover it for that day for online and broadcast media and that evening or the next day for print.

Tell them in advance! The media like a bit of notice so that they can book to attend or can have time to interview or film people. Sometimes they might not have enough resources to attend your event – always make sure you have good, clear photos and if possible video footage that you can send to them.

Be prepared to talk – they’ll want to speak to somebody who knows all about the activity and the issues.

See also Social Media Guidance from Asylum Matters to help you get the word out about the events and activities you’re taking part in to ensure they’re all linked up as part of a wider movement to stand #TogetherWithRefugees and campaign against the #AntiRefugeeBill.

Template media materials

  1. ‘pre’ press release aimed at getting people to attend your event, such as a rally
  2. An invitation/planning notice to invite the media to attend your event and/or let them know it’s coming
  3. ‘post’ press release to celebrate what happened at your event – aimed at showing decision makers the scale and depth of support from the public in your area

These are generic templates for you to amend to suit the activity you have planned.  If you need additional support with your media materials, please email and title your email ‘Media materials for week of action’.

Thanks to Barbara Forbes from Birmingham City of Sanctuary for the photos in this article.