(details coming soon - for now, a rough outline)
why is media important?
This may largely go without saying, but it bears hitting home: if media covers our stories, we have a chance to get our message in front of thousands of people, including influential people who have the power to create and change policies.
think like a reporter.
Don't overthink it. The media isn't some evil monolith out to preserve the interests of the wealthy elite, or at least not always. Mostly, the people creating stories on the ground are just that: people. These are humans who are doing a job, and that job is to create entertainment in the form of news stories. They are looking for stories: controversy, conflicts, visual stunts, novel stories, novel angles to current stories in the news, and so on. Help them cover your work by making your work a story.
understand the different mediums.
TV is especially interested in covering stories with visual components. Print is telling straight up stories, although a good visual photo won't hurt. Radio is interested in longer discussions and reflections about what is happening in the news.
make your animal events newsworthy.
If you're planning a demonstration and your primary goal is to move a message (as opposed to, say, building community, or pressuring a decision maker--although in the latter case, arguably you'll want media there to up the pressure) you want the media there. I'll argue that your time is best spent focusing on one newsworthy demonstration than on multiple demonstrations, for the simple reason that your efforts will go further if you can get the message in front of not only passersby, but many times more people through media stories.
writing media releases and advisories.
coming soon: anatomy of a press release.
timing media releases and advisories.
creating and maintaining a media list.
when and how to pitch stories.