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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
- Online advocacy training: This training gives participants a tour of online advocacy and social media tools, so they can tailor their online communications to effectively engage specific audiences and reach strategic advocacy goals.
tools for advocates
recent groups we've worked with
Arizona Department of Health Services
Merced County Department of Health
Berkeley Healthy Child Initiative Coalition
California Food Policy Advocates
Families in Schools
First 5 Contra Costa
The KNOW Youth Media
Canada Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Kansas Health Foundation
Latino Coalition for a Healthy CA
Marin County-HIAP (Health in All Policies)
Minnesota Department of Health
Network for a Healthy California
Santa Clara County Public Health Department
Sierra Health Foundation
UCSF Pediatrics Leadership for the Underserved (PLUS)
Putting the community at the center of conversations about violence
On January 11, Berkeley Media Studies Group and the Prevention Institute delivered a joint webinar to members of the Healing Justice Alliance, a group dedicated to supporting young male survivors of violence. During this 90-minute, interactive session, participants learned a framework for understanding violence and trauma at the community level and strategies for elevating this framework in the public conversation. Most interventions to address violence — and most media coverage of it — focuses on individuals. Therefore, many members of the public and policymakers have a limited understanding of what needs to be done to prevent violence and promote health and safety. This webinar aimed to help advocates broaden the conversation about violence to reveal how trauma harms communities and to highlight the role that we all must play to prevent trauma.