Homeless Awareness Month | Media Relations
An important component of HAM is publicity. The outcome of your event will depend largely on your ability to publicize leading up to the event. A good use of the media will get people in your community to start thinking about homelessness and inspire them to take part in the event during the month. In order to get the word out and involve the community as much as possible, you need to alert your local media early on in your organizing process. It is important to notify a wide range of community media sources and let them know about your event.
How to Utilize the Media
- Target multiple traditional media outlets in your community such as TV, newspaper and radio.
- Urge media to publish/run/air educational information as well as stories from people who are now or have previously been homeless, and social service agencies.
Have your your HAM events published.
One week before the activity, step up the publicity to make sure that it is on everyone’s mind. During the month, continue to work full force with the media to gather as many participants as possible for the events. Please see the sample news release we have included as a guide.
- It is helpful to be creative in advertising your activities. Some suggestions are T-shirts, posters, bookmarks, or door hangers.
- The graphics department at a local school or business may be willing to help you create flyers and posters for the events and fact sheets with information about homelessness.
- Great places to hang flyers and posters include: local restaurants, businesses, college campuses, and service organizations. Make sure to get permission.
- Social network sites such as Facebook are another great way to get the word out.
“Create an event” and invite people.
- Continue to post about your event as a constant reminder.
- Distribute your information (fact sheets and overview of the month’s events) to community organizations and ask them to help disseminate through their networks.
- E-mail can be a great reminder tool as Homeless Awareness Month draws closer. Urge each community organization to participate—promoting HAM within their
organization, and sending at least a few representatives to each event.
Utilize Schools and Universities
- Another idea for publicity, which is inexpensive and effective, is to enlist students or community residents to announce Homeless Awareness Month and the events to their classes or at work. Professors and employers are usually very supportive of this idea and should not mind giving a couple of minutes of class time to promote Homeless Awareness Month.
- If you are on a college campus, using chalk on well-traveled sidewalks is another great way to publicize to a large number of people.