After your policy passes, it’s time to celebrate! Let your entire community in on the celebration so everyone is aware of the changes to come. Doing it in a celebratory way, keeps the narrative positive and can help overshadow any negativity or backlash.
- Pitch your story to the press (newspaper, radio, tv).
- Be prepared with a written press release and press talking points for volunteers.
- Identify supporters willing to be interviewed or get quotes from volunteers of all ages who attended the meeting, from supportive decision-makers, and from community members or businesses who will be impacted by the policy.
- Gauge your outreach (local, statewide or national) based on the scale of the policy. Explore a list of South Dakota, North Dakota, and Native American press contacts.
- Monitor the internet for media outlets that pick up your story – don’t expect them to let you know.
- Notify specific groups impacted by the policy.
- Draft a memo for the tribe that clearly explains the policy. Send the memo to businesses, tribal, city, and county law enforcement, housing tenants, and provide contact information for anyone who has questions.
- Notify the general public.
- Supporters of Ho Chunk’s Smoke-Free Tribal Casino created a moving celebratory video to spread the good word when the casino went smoke-free.
- If you have funds to hire a campaign manager, check out Haymakers.
No media outlets pick up your story…
- Interview your supporters and make your own video to share online! Go to our digital media page for tips.
You get negative press about your policy…
- Don’t engage with the cynics. Do counter it with as much positive press as possible.
Čaŋlí Coalition Example
The Canli Coalition uses a multimedia approach to announce and celebrate new policies. After all the parks on the reservation went smoke-free we submitted an article to local newspapers titled, “What do all parks on Cheyenne River have in common? They are smoke-free!”
Another press release announcing CRST’s Smoke Free Air Policy was submitted on a larger scale to South Dakota, North Dakota and Native newspapers, radio stations and tv stations. To prepare for a interview on KELOLAND TV, we used these press talking points.
We also make celebratory posts on social media whenever a new policy is passed and share quotes from community members about why they appreciate the policy.
To include cultural lifeways, we… put children and elders front and center in our celebration since they are sacred to the Lakota and ultimately, who we were trying to protect the most with Ordinance 77.