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Safe Routes to School Safe Routes to School Making Connections with the Media Presented by Deb Hubsmith, Coordinator Safe Routes to School National Partnership Pro Walk/Pro Bike September 2006 SRTS National Partnership

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safe routes to school

Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School

Making Connections with the Media

Presented by Deb Hubsmith, Coordinator

Safe Routes to School National Partnership

Pro Walk/Pro Bike

September 2006

srts national partnership
SRTS National Partnership

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is a growing coalition of more than 200 non-profits, government agencies, school and professional organizations working to advance the SRTS movement. It’s free to join at

why focus on the media
Why Focus on the Media?
  • Increases the visibility of your program
  • Attracts more volunteers
  • Boosts credibility with politicians and parents
  • Makes “Safe Routes to School” a hot issue
  • Provides opportunities to pursue additional funding
look for media opportunities
Look for Media Opportunities
  • Capitalize on a national or international event
  • Announce new programs or program funding
  • Publicize successes and problems
walk to school day
Walk to School Day

International Walk to School Day is scheduled for Wednesday, October 4, 2006 and provides a fantastic way to secure media attention to help propel your Safe Routes to School program.

marin county ca case study
Marin County, CA Case Study
  • Year 2000 launched SRTS through W2SD
  • Used “Staging Areas” for speeches and got media coverage
  • Visuals: Walking School Buses, Bike Trains, and Kid Signs
  • Treats at School
  • Sign-Up to Volunteer
broome county ny case study
Broome, County NY, Case Study
  • Emphasis on W2SD participation led to media coverage
  • Took photos of kids walking and biking and needed improvements
  • Health Department made presentations to school board and city
  • Now gearing up to apply for a grant from the NY DOT
your media plan
Your Media Plan
  • Get permission from the school in advance
  • Identify key spokespeople including a parent, student, police officer, school official, and politician and provide talking points
  • Create visuals for the event
  • Plan what happens next after W2SD so that you can announce a key meeting or event through the media
types of media
Types of Media
  • Newspapers (calendar, features, news stories, letter to the editor, editorial page)
  • Radio (PSA, news, feature, websites)
  • Television (news, cable, PSA)
  • Grassroots Community News (websites and newsletters of other organizations)
contacting reporters
Contacting Reporters
  • Make a media list
  • Develop your press release
  • Be sensitive to reporter deadlines when you call
  • Let them know why the story is relevant (traffic, safety, health, community)
tips for interviews
Tips for Interviews
  • Prepare and focus on YOUR key issues
  • Be concise
  • Don’t speak too quickly
  • Be friendly and honest
  • Don’t loose your cool
  • There no such thing as “off the record”
  • Don’t be led into hypothetical situations
  • Say your piece and then stop talking
  • Mention where to get more info
  • Turn the negative into a positive
make it real
Make it Real
  • The media loves stories involving children
  • Use local “star power”
  • It’s not real until it’s in the news, so use the media and make every day Walk and Bike to School Day
  • Save your media clips to pursue funding for your program and capital improvements
more information
More Information

(sample press releases, check-lists and registration for W2SD)


(Safe Routes to School National Partnership)


(SRTS Clearinghouse)