Media Toolkit for NNAAC Members

NNAAC Members,


We are seeking to create media/press coverage around issues that concern your organization. This media toolkit will offer a foundation to continue conversations and actions that have grown out of Advocacy Week, Service Day and future events.

Media plan

The following steps are useful when you want to attract media related to a specific issue or event that your organization is involved in, for example, Service Day.

  • Create a media contact list for your local and regional media.
  • Send a press release (sample attached) to local and regional media contacts, supporters and funders about your event. Use straightforward, declarative sentences and real-world examples of why this is important.
  • Engage via social media around your projects (create hash tags; write sample Twitter and FB posts that your supporters can cut and paste).
  • Create sample letters to the editor and post them on your website for your supporters to use, or send the letters in an e-blast to your supporters. Don’t forget to include media contact information. It’s also very helpful if you research your newspapers’ letters policies (word count, how to submit, etc., and include that)
  • Write an op-ed for your newspaper – choose a single theme, i.e., our community priorities as reflected during Advocacy Week, Service Day, Elections etc., state your case, use several examples, draw a conclusion and end it. Websites such as the Huffington Post require links embedded in the copy to substantiate assertions or facts.


Sample press release below



YOUR CITY & STATE – Your Name, of Your Org, joined Arab Americans from throughout the United States in Washington last week for four days of advocacy, organizing and strategizing. Participants attended a White House policy briefing and met with administration officials and members of Congress.


Advocacy Week is organized by the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), which represents 23 Arab American organizations in 11 states. NNAAC is leading a national movement to increase Arab Americans’ participation in shaping the nation’s agenda, with a focus this election year on the economy, health care, civil rights, immigration and the arts.

“This 4th annual Arab American National Advocacy Week represents a milestone for grassroots Arab American organizations because it demonstrates a significant and increased capacity on the part of these groups to speak out on behalf of their communities,” said Nadia Tonova, director of the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), which organizes the annual event.

The number of Advocacy Week participants has increased annually, Tonova noted.


“Our issues are American issues that affect our entire nation,” said Linda Sarsour, NNAAC’s National Advocacy Director. “And are working to that our community’s voice is at the forefront of public debates around healthcare, immigration and national security reform.





Architecture of an op-ed (400-500 words)




Opening paragraph: Frame your point, for example: As we approach the 2012 election, ethnic and religious minorities will play a major role at the local and federal level particularly in some key swing states.



Second-fourth paragraphs: Use strong (not over-written) examples to reinforce your thesis. For example:

Draw from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) report documenting the rising political engagement and influence of the American Muslim community.

Draw from the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) report on Muslim youth that highlights important opportunities for increased outreach.


Final paragraph: Re-emphasize your main point

End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) talking points

Budget priority talking points

Please contact Communications CoordinatorAmeerah Gillespie for assistance in writing your press releases and media relations.

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