Recruit Personnel & Press: Build Walk Attendance — Get the Word Out to the Community
Asking men to Walk in high heels may sound like a daunting task. No problem. No harm in asking. After all, the main point of th Walk is to help build a united gender movement to stop rape, sexual assault & gender violence. Not all men will be prepared to go that extra mile in a pair of high heels, but many men are interested in demonstrating against rape and sexual assault. When getting the word out, emphasize that everyone wishes to help stop rape is welcome to join the Walk. Then, gain their commitment and sign them up to attend the Walk.
It will be important to find a contingent of men (even 10 – 15) who will Walk in high heels. These men are not only making a serious statement with their feet about ending rape, sexual assault, and gender violence, they will be the main attraction for local media.
Use Multiple Modes of Communication to Get the Word Out. Here are a few suggestions for spreading the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® message:
Line Up March Personnel and Volunteers
You are going to need volunteers to support your march, no matter the size. All volunteers should be provided some level of training prior to performing their jobs. Some jobs require little training, and, if absolutely necessary, can be plugged in on the day of the Men’s March.
Inform the Media
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®: The Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence is a media-ready campaign. Who would want to pass up a bunch of men walking in high heels carrying anti-rape signs and wearing PUT YOURSELF IN HER SHOES™ tee-shirts? Not many . . . even in large media markets like Los Angeles, the Walks garnered coverage in major newspapers, news radio, and most local and national television news outlets.
Prepare press releases, and public service announcements (read only) to help interest media in your local Walk. Contact supportive reporters and talk show hosts first to give them a scoop or first opportunity for the story. Then, make sure to distribute media materials at least six-to-eight weeks in advance. Materials can be faxed or mailed to media representatives. Once sent, follow up with every media outlet to make sure your materials were actually received. Do this by checking with the media outlet’s City Desk Editor (print media) or Assignment Desk (electronic/radio and video/television).
Plan Your Program
Make your program dynamic, inspiring, and relatively brief. Remember, the Walk is the point of the event and will take some time to complete. Try to limit your program to about 20 minutes in length MAX.
Identify public figures and organizational leaders who are charismatic speakers and invite them to speak on one of suggested topics. Be specific about their suggested topic area and the length of time they will have to speak.
Once your speakers are confirmed verbally, confirm them again in writing. Make sure you include the date, time, location, parking arrangements, who they should meet on site, and any other important information they need to know to be able to participate in your event. Clarify if the speaker will also be participating in the Walk, and how they will be participating (i.e., if a man, will he be wearing high heels?).
When contacting elected officials, discuss the possibility of a proclamation in support of the Walk. Mention all proclamations received, along with the official or official body issuing the proclamation, from the podium during the program. Make sure that there is someone checking the crowd and the registration area for elected officials so they can be mentioned from the podium – thanked for their participation.
Select a strong emcee to make sure your program moves along smoothly. Someone who can start and end the program on time, and who can diplomatically, but resolutely, help a lengthy speaker draw his or her remarks to a close.
Be kind to your speakers. Make sure there is water on the podium, and a place for them to sit on or near the stage when they are not delivering their remarks. And, CHECK THE SOUND SYSTEM IN ADVANCE.