#93 March 1996
Section 188.8.131.52.093.of the Artemis Data Book
The FAX Tree is a distributed publicity and media outreach tool. The Chapters of NSS, in cooperation with and independently of, the national leadership, operate FAX Tree hubs. Each hub is comprised of one or more chapters, depending on the density of chapters, and available volunteer resources.
Retransmission of NSS generated press release material. Independent operation by the chapter for publicity for local chapter events. Other material the chapter finds useful to the promotion of space development. The costs associated with operating a hub of the FAX Tree will be born by the chapter.
A media FAX Tree can raise the level of visibility of those organizing it. The San Diego L5 chapter has been, more-or-less consistently, sending the local San Diego media announcements of their events and policy views for the last two years. At first, their efforts seemed to fall into some gigantic Black Hole, but, by keeping it up, they have started getting significant attention. Last September, a local San Diego news program sent a reporter and crew to cover a normal, regular SDL5 lecture at the Ruben H. Fleet Space Museum and Theater. The SDL5 chapter made the 11 p.m. news!
Although local media singly do not have the same audience numbers as national networks or big city newspapers, together they approach or exceed those numbers. The Los Angeles Times may be the only newspaper you can find in every part of Southern California, but the circulations of the Daily Breeze, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Orange County Register and Los Angeles Daily News are definitely non-trivial. A local chapter Media FAX Tree can enhance the ability of NSS to get its message out to literally millions of people.
With additional effort, the success of SDL5 could be translated to other NSS chapters in the U.S. giving chapters greater local media presence and enhancing the visibility of NSS beyond the national networks. A cooperative effort of local chapters and national leaders could enhance the effects and reduce the time needed to attract the attention of local media.
The National organization provides the following:
A chapter will need to provide the volunteers to:
That will depend on the equipment you use and your telephone company rates. In Southern California, the first activations for OASIS and OCSS cost a bit more than $10 for approximately 60 FAX calls. Costs can be kept to a minimum by letting the computer make the FAX calls during late night or early morning hours when phone rates are lowest.
The best place is the local public library. Look for:
Karen Troshynski-Thomas, Ed., Gale Directory of Publica-tions and Broadcast Media, Gale Research, Inc., 1995. ISBN 0-8103-5655-4.
You can also try the telephone book. One resource that did not prove useful was the ProCD FAX Book CD-ROM. None of the major outlets in Los Angeles were included in its listings. It probably would not include many in your area either.
Organize the list around the kinds of press releases you will be doing. Roughly, there are three kinds of releases and your list should be able to access the proper targets for each kind.
Sometimes an event can use more than one of the above. For example, a meeting notice would be sent to the Community Calendar portion of the list 2- to 3-weeks in advance and a Media Advisory sent to the news editor portion 2- or 3-days before the same event describing why the event should be covered.
Unless you have established a relationship with a particular person in a media organization, address event notices to the Community Calendar Editor and the other two to the News Editor. The people internal to the media organization should route the FAX to the correct person. If a reporter or editor should follow-up with the chapter media contact, then you can add that person to the distribution list.
If you have a question that has not been answered by this FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), send it either to NSS head-quarters at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Craig Ward at email@example.com.
Contact your Regional Organizer or Craig Ward, the Vice President for Chapter Affairs electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (310) 371-7015.
A Media FAX Tree has great potential for both external out-reach and internal development. Local media have, collectively, as great or greater an audience as the nationally known networks and news services. By building a distributed FAX Tree within the chapters, NSS can, at a relatively low cost, begin to reach out to those audiences.
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