Organic Consumers Association and GE-Free Markets Coalition **SUPERMARKET CAMPAIGN** Week of Action – October 26th-November 2nd 2002 TOOLS FOR CHANGE: GUIDELINES FOR LEAFLETTING AND MEDIA OUTREACH Most Americans have no idea that they are eating genetically engineered (GE) food and have little information about the health and environmental risks of this genetic experiment with our food supply. The good news is that when you ask people if they want to know if their food is genetically engineered, over 90% say yes and another 58% say they would avoid GE food if given the option (ABC poll, 2001). One way to spread the word about genetically engineered food, and give people the tools they need to stop GE food is to reach out to them through the Supermarket campaign. Below are some tips on how to organize an event for the Week of Action. OBJECTIVES: To pressure Safeway, Shaw’s and other Supermarket chains around the country to remove GE ingredients from their brand name (Private Label) products. To reach a mass audience with the message of the Supermarkets Campaign by getting local TV, radio, and newspapers all across the country to cover our leafleting and protest during the week of action. To educate thousands of Supermarket shoppers about the hazards of GE foods and how they can protect themselves and their families by taking action. OUTREACH BEFORE THE EVENT: Find out if your local newspaper has a section where you can announce the event. Be aware of deadlines for such notices. Post flyers (enclosed in this packet) about the event on bulletin boards at co-ops and health food stores. Think of other groups or individuals in the area working on related issues (environmental activists, food safety activists, consumer activists and parents, organic farmers, coop/health food store/employees). Contact them and invite them to participate. LEAFLETING The ideal situation for supermarket leafleting and petitioning is a busy supermarket, which has a public sidewalk near the entrance. You will want to visit the store before your event. It is important to know whether or not there is a public sidewalk near the supermarket. Your right to petition in front of a store varies from state to state. Some stores are in quasi-public spaces; others in privately owned shopping centers. You should always plan to do your leafleting and petitioning in front of a store, but be prepared to move to a public sidewalk if you are told to leave. Make sure you bring lots of materials to distribute including petitions for people to sign. EYE- CATCHING SIGNS—SOME SUGGESTIONS “SAY NO TO BOVINE GROWTH HORMONE” "DON'T TEST ON ME" "GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD: UNLABELED, UNTESTED AND YOU'RE EATING IT!" "SAFEWAY -DON'T MESS WITH MY FOOD" MEDIA GUIDELINES If you are interested in contacting local media about your action, an OCA organizer (see list below)can email you a press advisory customized for your leafleting event. They can also mail or email you a list of local media contacts. If you are willing, we ask you to send (by email and/or fax) the Press Advisory to these local media contacts. If you have additional media contacts in your area that you believe may be interested in covering your local leafleting or protest, please contact them as well. Please contact OCA if you have any questions about media outreach. Media Timeline All of October. OCA staff will be pitching the story to national media. October 24th - OCA will send out a final Press Advisory to national target media. 2 Days before the event – Local activists will fax and email the Press Advisory to local media One day before your leafleting event: 9:30 a.m. (This is a generally a good time to get a hold of media contacts.)Make follow-up calls to your local media contacts—daily newspapers, city newsweeklies, and TV are most important. Speaking directly to a person is ideal, but you can also leave a message. Ask if they have received our Press Release by email or fax. If they haven’t received our Press release (they get lots of press releases), offer to fax or email it to them. Check to make sure you have the right number/email address. Ask politely if they are planning on covering the story. If they are, confirm the details of the event with them and if not, briefly explain that this is a major event taking place in front of hundreds of supermarkets across the country. If they cannot make it, find out if there is someone else on staff that might be interested. The day of your leafleting event: 9 a.m. Make a second follow up call to find out if they will be covering the story. Doing this at the start of the day gives them time to prepare. If they are undecided about covering it, fill them in with details of the event. If someone has committed to attending don’t call again unless you have new information for them. Day of Action/Leafleting Events can range all the way from just one or two people leafleting, to a picket line, to a full-blown protest or press conference. Tell any volunteers helping you leaflet or picket to arrive 30 minutes before the event actually starts so things start promptly at the set time (i.e. tell activists to arrive at 11:30 a.m. if you are doing a noon event). Give a copy of the press packet, or at least the leaflet to the manager or person in charge of Supermarket. Greet any media that show up and give them a copy of the press packet enclosed in this mailing so they have the correct background information for their stories. Have the media sign their names and the name of their news organization on a media contact sheet, also in this mailing. This is very important for our record keeping. Direct the media to your local Campaign spokesperson. This way your leafleters can continue leafleting while the spokesperson handles media inquiries, making your action more efficient. Be able to answer questions about why we are leafleting Supermarkets. Prepare beforehand with the enclosed “Frequently Asked Questions” sheet and by reading the background info on our website http://www.organicconsumers.org/supermarket/ Petition signatures - make sure you have people sign the petition to Congress for labeling of GE foods. 100 signatures at each event will add up to 20,000 signatures!! After the event: After the Week of Action, please email us to let us know how your event went. Please also send completed petitions to: 6101 Cliff Estate Rd, Little Marais, MN 55614. The Supermarket Campaign is on-going, we encourage you and others in your community to continue to leaflet and gather petition signatures, meet with store managers, host call-in days, etc. If we keep up the pressure, we can win this campaign.
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