Rally the Troops
Building public support for preservation priorities
Fighting your own battle? Get the ball rolling and generate greater awareness in your community and promote your issue with these tactics.
Create a petition: Creating a petition is a great way to generate and show support for an issue. Here’s a great link to get you started: http://www.ipetitions.com. You may also want to consider hard copy petitions that you can print and then ask your neighbors, family and other community members to sign.
Spread information: Distribute information on our issue around your community. Feel free to use any of the literature from our resources section, like Blue, Gray & Green, an economic impact examining the benefits of battlefield tourism.
Pitch Your Issue to Local Media: Submitting and pitching a special to your local media is easier than you think. Inspiration can strike reporters in many ways – including good tips or pitches from concerned citizens like you.
Be brief: Remember, most journalists don't have a lot of time and are subject to very tight deadlines; therefore be succinct in your pitch.
Read and research: Begin researching local media outlets to see who has covered your issue in the past, then read all articles penned by this journalist on your issue to figure out how best to pitch your issue.
Demonstrate relevance: Make sure your issue or issues are newsworthy, and tie-in your issue into the reporter’s beat. Let them know this is something they don’t want to miss.
Keep it simple: Your message and words should be simple and easy to understand Avoid using inside preservation terminology like “Section 106.” Reporters have plenty of other issues they’re following, and you cannot expect them to be experts on yours.
Regionalize the issue: How does it affect your community, neighbors and friends?
Provide next steps: Help the reporter by providing a clear next step so the trail doesn’t go cold. You can offer information, like the Blue, Gray & Green Report or our one-pager on battlefield preservation. Additionally, provide background by sharing stories of battlefield preservation victories at places like Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Slaughter Pen Farm and Princeton.
Attend a local meeting: Lawmakers hold town hall meetings during Congressional recess when they return to their district. Call or write your legislator’s office for more details on their schedule, and then plan accordingly. District visits and town hall meetings offer constituents the chance to express their concerns in-person to their member of Congress in front of their neighbors, friend and community members.
Be social: In today’s political climate, technology is a huge boost for activists like you. Take advantage of these tools, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more, to generate greater support for your issue.
Here are some tools: