If you’re looking for a group with interests similar to yours and near your own community, or you want to target a group of people with a particular interest, consider Meetup.com.
Formed in New York three years ago, the group has spawned smaller groups in 1,432 cities worldwide, including more than 1,200 in the United States. Pick a topic and you’ll probably find a group that’s meeting to discuss it. There’s the Human Rights Meetup in Falworth, Texas; the Knitting Meetup in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and the Chihuahua Meetup in New York City, New York.
What do these groups have to do with publicity?
—If you’re in a Meetup group, let your local media know. Reporters love stories like this one because your group is the local angle to the national story. Be sure to check out the group’s press kit where you’ll find lots of statistics about Meetup.com that you can weave into your pitch.
—If you’re pitching a story and you want to offer journalists contacts for other people who they can interview, you can check the Meetup website and perhaps steer them to a Meetup group.
–Several Meetup.com groups are comprised of people who are advocating a certain cause or issue. There’s no reason why members of those groups can’t write letters to the editor of newspapers and magazines. Just be sure one person signs her name to the letter, then identifies herself as being a member of the Meetup.com group. Never write one letter and ask multiple people to sign it.
If you can’t convince a journalist to cover your story, there’s always the editorial page of your local, regional or national newspapers. “How to Use Newspaper & Magazine Editorial Pages” shows you how to write compelling letters to the editor and op-ed columns, and how to ask for a meeting with the powerful newspaper editorial board, made up of editors who decide what position the newspaper will take in their editorials. It’s available as a CD or electronic transcript that you can download and be reading within minutes.