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Advertisements in the press

Last edited: January 03, 2012

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Well-designed press advertisements can reach and potentially engage nation-wide audiences. If an organization or alliance has no experience designing mass media advertisements, expert advice should be sought, or sufficient time planned to pre-test the advertisement with the target audiences. Professional public relations firms may offer pro bono time or reduced rates to public interest campaigning: make contact with firms whose commercial advertisements you find appealing, and explain how they can demonstrate social responsibility by supporting your campaign.

It can be expensive not just to design an advertisement but also to get it placed in the press. Print media normally charge fees for advertisement space – the more readers the newspaper or magazine has, the higher the fees.  Some print media however, may occasionally offer free space for public interest advertisements; it may also be possible to convince media contacts to charge a considerably lower fee.

One can also buy advertisement space to publish an open letter, if none of the newspapers contacted is ready to publish it free of charge (either as a letter to the editor or an op-ed. See Tools in Earned Media Coverage. Open letters are common tools in advocacy campaigns. As open letters normally do not use any visual images or eye-catching design, it is not necessary to involve any advertisement specialists.