Running a stall in your town or village centre with information and ways for people to get involved can be a great way to spread the word.

It’s good to bring flyers with your contact details or sign-up sheets so that you can email people after the event or add them to your mailing list.
 

Location, location, location

Being in the right place at the right time can make all the difference.

  • You might have a favourite spot in town for running a stall, but if you’re combining it with a photo opportunity or media stunt, staging it in front of an iconic building could make all the difference to capturing the media’s attention.

  • If you are collecting signatures, think about where you might find sympathetic audiences, or engage new audiences. You’ll need to find a visible and prominent spot where the flow of people isn’t too fast.

  • If you know which individual councillors will be making the decision about fracking near you, you can target stalls in their particular constituency areas.
     

Creativity counts

Making your stall as eye-catching as possible will help you grab attention. Props, flags, costumes, masks, role plays, music…throwing a pinch of creativity into your action plan can be great for drawing people over for a chat and getting your campaign into the local media.
 

Talk the talk

People’s perception of what you say will be roughly based on the following – seven per cent verbal (the words you actually said), 38 per cent vocal (what you sounded like when you said it) and 55 per cent visual (your body language while talking). You don’t have to be word perfect nor a world expert on the issue, simply talk with conviction and open, confident body language.

Be positive and friendly when approaching people. Listen to what people say and avoid lecturing – all good communication is two way.

Being informed about fracking, answering any questions and having materials that explain the dangers is a good way to build up an awareness of fracking in the community.

You can order these and other free materials here: www.foe.co.uk/page/fracking-materials-order-form
 

top Tip

Make sure you have a polite closing strategy worked out in case you find that you are getting stuck in a conversation which isn’t going anywhere – so you don’t waste too much time.

Being informed about fracking, answering any questions and having materials that explain the dangers is a good way to build up an awareness of fracking in the community.

 

Getting media coverage is one of the best ways to reach people with your message and put pressure on local politicians.

A local paper is read by thousands. Regional radio reaches thousands of homes and a national TV news programme can be watched by millions. 

The trick is to provide timely and engaging stories in a way that they can be easily picked up by local media sources. When you have a story a stunt or an event that you want to share, send copy of your press release to the news desk and to named contacts.

Follow it up with a phone call to check they’ve received it and ask if they would like any other information. This is a good way to build a relationship with your local journalists.

As a rough guide, the best time to contact a daily paper is in the morning or early afternoon – journalists will be busy writing up stories in the late afternoon. For weekly papers that go out on a Friday it’s best to call early in the week.

Whatever your news story is, draw out any elements that are:

  • Timely/topical
  • Building on an existing story
  • Relevant for the audience (e.g. about your local area for local media outlets)
  • Controversial, unusual, unique or humorous
  • Involving a local celebrity could also help you to get coverage.

The more imaginative or eye-catching your story, the more likely you are to get coverage.

For example, when we handed in a petition from Friends of the Earth and Frack Free Lancashire to Lancashire county council on fracking, we dressed up as guinea pigs to hammer the point home that we didn’t want Lancashire to be a ‘fracking guinea pig’ for the UK.

These pictures really helped us to get a lot of media coverage.

Guineapigs_fracking_rally


social media

Social media is also a great way of staying up to date on fracking in the UK and also of finding out what’s happening near you. Facebook is a key communication tool for fracking campaigners and most community anti-fracking groups have their own page for sharing information and publicising events so this is a great place to start.

1.     Join in with discussions on fracking and other climate and energy issues on the Friends of the Earth Climate Facebook group

2.     Frack Off is a network of activists working on fracking and extreme energy issues. They have a great website and a very useful list of all local anti-fracking groups across the UK along with their contact details and their Facebook pages.

3.     Here is another activist-led list of frack free groups and pages with websites which is updated regularly.

Template Press Release

For immediate release: [date] (If you want the media to use the

story as soon as they receive it) or Embargoed for: [time/date] (This

is a good way of giving journalists time to prepare and to ensure

they don’t use it until a specified time)

Headline: (Start with a snappy headline that says what it’s about)

Photo opportunity: (What it is, where it is, when it is and contact

details)

Paragraph 1: Summarise the story – who, what, where, when and

why. All the key information needs to be in this paragraph – which

shouldn’t be more than two sentences long.

Paragraph 2: Put in more details to flesh out the story you have

outlined in the first paragraph.

Paragraph 3: “Quotes from you or someone relevant to the story.”

Don’t try to cram too many points into one quote – each quote

should make one clear point

Paragraph 4: Extra relevant information (try to keep it short)

Ends

Contact: Make sure you supply numbers where you can be reached

day or night. This can make the difference between your story being

covered or not

Name:[type name1]

Tel: [type tel1]

Name:[type name2]

Tel: [type tel2]

Group name

Group address

Group phone number

Group email

Group website