Media Advocacy Training

BMSG offers strategic communications trainings for advocates, community groups, youth leaders and others interested in shifting the public debate on health or other social justice issues. Our trainings are designed to help participants build the skills and capacity they need to make the case for policies that improve public health. We offer introductory trainings for those new to media advocacy as well as more advanced options for seasoned advocates who want to further build their team's capacity or apply their skills in a targeted media advocacy campaign.

which training is right for you?

BMSG has a range of trainings to choose from, or we can custom-tailor our sessions to meet your team’s specific needs. Trainings are available in English and Spanish and range from one-time, half-day sessions to in-depth series delivered over a year. Read the sample list below to find out which training best suits your group. Or contact us at to discuss custom training options.


Overview of media advocacy: This training introduces how to use media advocacy strategically to advance policy. Participants will learn to recognize the news media's role in shaping debates on community health. They will clarify their overall strategy and learn how it relates to a media strategy, a message strategy, and a media access strategy. In many cases, this will be the basis for subsequent trainings.
Strategic media planning: This training takes participants through each step of developing a media advocacy plan: setting goals and objectives, identifying strategies and tactics, assessing resources, determining timelines and specifying who will do what. Participants will learn to integrate communications planning organizationally and plan for timely, proactive news coverage.
Framing and message development: This training explains framing — what it is and why it matters — and helps participants apply that knowledge to developing messages in advocacy campaigns. Participants will practice framing their issue in the context of policy advocacy.
Creating news: This training explores different news story elements so participants can get access to journalists by emphasizing what is newsworthy about their issue. Participants will explore how to create news, piggyback on breaking news, meet with editorial boards, submit op-eds and letters to the editor, and develop advocacy ads.
Spokesperson training: This training gives participants intensive practice being spokespeople for their issue, including on-camera training. Participants will learn to anticipate and practice answering the tough questions reporters ask. And they’ll learn how to give incisive feedback to one another.
E-advocacy training: This training gives participants a tour of e-advocacy and social media tools, so they can tailor their online communications to effectively engage specific audiences and reach strategic advocacy goals.



Feb. 28, 2015: Making the Case for Health with Media Advocacy, Shaping Public Debate with Framing and Message

— Boyle Heights for Youth Campaign, Los Angeles, CA

BMSG's Julieta Kusnir and Fernando Quintero will provide an introduction to media advocacy, followed by tools for effective communication strategies and message development, to advocates working to increase funding for youth programs in the Boyle Heights section of Los Angeles. The training is organized by the Violence Prevention Coalition, a group BMSG has worked with before in their efforts to support youth leaders as they sought to put an end to unfair truancy policies at Los Angeles Unified School District. The youth, supported by local parent and community groups, were eventually successful in convincing the school district to change its punitive policy.

March 4, 2015: Strategic Communication Training

— Barrios Unidos, Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz-based Barrios Unidos is a consortium of 14 chapters working together to prevent gang and other violence in the community, as well as putting an end to the school-to-prison pipeline that impacts mostly youth of color. BMSG will facilitate a half-day training to help Barrios Unidos staff and leaders from community partnerships better communicate to community stakeholders their efforts to advocate for policies that support youth.



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