Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cultivating The Local Media

We as gun owners need to stop seeing the media as a monolithic entity and, more importantly, always assuming that they are against us.

There is the elite media consisting of the networks, the cable news channels, and the major urban daily newspapers. Then there are local TV and radio stations along with the hometown newspapers. While the former is full of those who wish our Second Amendment rights were curtailed, the same can't be said for the latter.

The local media is always on the lookout for a good story and they can be cultivated. If they say something stupid on the air about guns, it is most likely out of youthful ignorance rather than malice. Rather than jumping down their throats when they say the stupid stuff, seek to educate them. The results can be worthwhile.

A case in point. Sean Sorrentino of An NC Gun Blog has become friends with NBC-17 Raleigh's Jackie Faye. After he did a blog post last week on the increase in Concealed Handgun Permits in North Carolina, he sent it along to her. The result was the on-camera story below.

I think Ms. Faye did a very fair story on the topic. If Sean hadn't established a relationship with her earlier, the story about the double digit growth in Concealed Handgun Permits probably would not have been aired.

Thanks are due to Sean for taking the time to build that relationship with a local reporter. More stories like this one is what it will take to re-normalize firearms in American society.


  1. Thanks John. I've come to be a sort of "subject matter expert" for Jackie. She called me out of the blue for the story on the Garner man who shot at the robbers, and that's how I ended up getting interviewed that time.

    We actually met during the whole Ashley Smithwick, knife in school debacle. I explained to her that "tools used solely for maintenance and food preparation" were exempted from the knives in school law.

    I hear from her every once in a while about firearm and self defense related stories.

  2. Sean needs to be applauded for his education. I would like to profess to others to be seriously careful when speaking to reporters. Public relations like this is serious business. Not everyone is as trained as Sean seems to be. If you have a State Org, Like we have FOAC in PA, choose to go through them or contact the NRA, SAF or other professional body. I am the grassroots contact for my local paper, and before I ever give a statement, I get my facts and figures checked and double checked. All reporters are not looking for a fair story!
    I am very happy this story had a very happy ending!

  3. @Dannytheman: I think one of the keys to Sean's success is that he cultivated the relationship over time. The story above didn't just happen overnight.

  4. Thanks John, I knew that, and also know Sean to be knowledgeable in the PR subject. I was just attempting to educate the uninformed!