Local journalists are always looking for stories from the area, and will probably be keen to cover an event like yours that brings together different community groups and your local MP.

The website of your local paper or radio station will probably list an email address you can use to let them know about your event. There might also be phone numbers listed there, which can be a more effective way of getting in touch and not getting lost in a pile of other emails.

As with contacting your MP, you should try to keep your email to the journalist as brief as possible, and make sure your subject line is short and punchy. Consider something like: “Locals plant Family Tree to fight for rights of divided families.”

As for the content of your email, try to follow the format below:

<First paragraph> Who, what, when, where and why – give details of who is taking part, say that you’re coming together to plant a Family Tree in support of families divided by cruel immigration rules,  give the location, date and time, and reflect briefly on why you are taking action against rules that separate British people and settled residents from their partners and families based purely on what they earn

<Second paragraph> Brief background about the rules as they stand. Include a few statistics, such as:

  • Nearly half of us don’t earn enough to live in the UK with a partner from outside the EU
  • Over 15,000 children are growing up getting to know one of their parents via Skype because of the family’s income
  • Hundreds of thousands of NHS staff, care workers and teaching assistants don’t earn enough to build a life here with a loved one from certain countries

<Quote from yourself / someone else who will be at the tree-planting ceremony, or somebody who has been affected by the rules, to give a personal perspective on the impact the current rules have on families, and why it is so important to fight against them>

Once the journalist gets back to you to ask for more details, let them know that they can contact JCWI if they would like a comment from our organisation.