Promoting your protest
Note: These protest resources were provided for local #ProtestPP leaders planning for the nationwide #DefundPP rally on February 11, 2017, and many resources specifically reference that event. However, you will still find valuable tools, tips and information for hosting a stand-alone protest at a Planned Parenthood facility in your area.
Getting the word out is one of the most important steps you’ll take, and the best way to ensure a great crowd. Use the tools below to let the world know about your protest.
Note: When using any of the sample materials below, be sure to fill in your specific details in all the bracketed sections, and delete any bracketed text that is not applicable to your protest.
- Promoting Your Protest in Church Bulletins
- Promoting Your Protest on Facebook
- Promoting Your Protest Via Email
- Promoting Your Protest with a Customizable Flyer
Promoting Your Protest in Church Bulletins
Send out a bulletin announcement to all the local churches in your area. It’s a fantastic way to get free publicity! You can also send it to diocesan Respect Life or Life and Family coordinators to send to their local contacts. Here is a sample bulletin announcement [Word doc] you can modify for your event.
Announcements are often required to be handed in the Monday before the Sunday you want them in the bulletin, so to get your announcement in the bulletin on Sunday, January 29, you’ll need to submit it by Monday, January 23, and to get it in the bulletin on Sunday, February 5 (the Sunday before the protest), you’ll need to submit it by Monday, January 30.
Promoting Your Protest on Facebook
Facebook has become a powerful tool for promoting pro-life events like your Defund PP Rally. For some local leaders, it has become the primary way to build enthusiasm and boost attendance. Below, you’ll find instructions for creating a Facebook event you can share, promoting your rally with frequent status updates, and even advertising your event on Facebook.
Create a Facebook Event
A “Facebook Event” is a special page you can create for sharing the details of your rally. If you’re not familiar with how to do this, read through the “Creating and Editing Events” page on Facebook. Note: When you create your Facebook event, be sure to make it a Public event.
To help “brand” your event, use this cover photo for your event page. For your event description, use the following text, which you may modify as needed:
On February 11, pro-lifers across the country will hold rallies at Planned Parenthood facilities, calling for an immediate end to the organization’s federal funding.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion chain and receives over $500 million from taxpayers every year. But pro-life leaders in Washington are now moving to end that government subsidy.
Come out on February 11 and raise your voice with tens of thousands of pro-lifers across the country demanding that our government defund Planned Parenthood!
Here in [your area or city], our protest will take place at the Planned Parenthood facility at [PP Facility Address].
Once you’ve set up a Facebook event for your protest, invite all your friends to attend and spread the word, even if they don’t live nearby. Someone in your town may learn about the protest through a mutual Facebook friend.
But don’t just stop with one mention of the event. It’s easy to miss things on Facebook, so make a point of inviting your friends more than once before the February 11 rally. And share the event page regularly on your wall—every day is not too often.
Once you’ve created your Facebook Event, send a link to the he national team so we can add it to the listing for your site. That way, new people can RSVP and then share the event with their friends, too.
Post frequently about defunding PP and the rally effortAs we get closer to the rally, don’t just share your event, but share other content supportive of the defunding effort on both your personal Facebook page and your rally’s event page.
Items worth posting could include articles about the defunding effort or the rally effort, articles exposing Planned Parenthood’s various forms of bad acting, videos on those same topics, and memes like the one at the right that expose Planned Parenthood and call for defunding.
If your rally is being hosted by an organization that has a Facebook page, post on that page, too.
In short, try to post at least one item relevant to the rally every day on all the Facebook pages you have access to. And always include a link to either your Facebook event, or the locations page at ProtestPP.com (http://protestpp.com/locations/).
Advertise your rally on Facebook
One final way to promote your rally on Facebook is through paid advertising, with a picture and ad copy that will draw people to your event. The more money you put behind your ad, the more people Facebook will show it to.
A budget of even $10 or $20 can give your event a lot more reach and get people excited to attend your rally.
To create a Facebook ad, simply find the “Create” section at the bottom of your left sidebar on your Facebook page, and select “Ad”. You’ll then choose the “Engagement” objective and then “Event Responses”. Choose your February 11 rally event page as the event you’d like to advertise, and you’re off.
Next, choose your audience (include people who are interested in other pro-life groups), the picture for your ad, and how much money you would like to spend, and how long you would like the ad to run. We would recommend running an ad a week prior to the rally and end it the day before the event. Here are two images you can use for your ad, or feel free to find your own:
Though Facebook’s ad creation tool is pretty easy to use, you can get step-by-step instructions on how to design and place an ad right here. And if you need further assistance, including photos you can use, contact the national team via email.
Promoting Your Protest Via Email
The national team has provided this sample email invitation so you can let your local contacts know about your protest. Whether you use this sample as is, modify it or write your own, follow these guidelines:
1. Write as if you’re addressing a single person. People are more likely to respond to an individual plea (“Dear Friend”) than one addressed to a whole group (“Dear Friends”). You can also use a service like Mail Chimp that will allow you to personalize your emails with your contacts’ name, which gets much better results than an obvious group email.
2. Avoid using the word “we” to refer to a group that the recipient is not a part of, since that can be subtly alienating. Using “we” to mean “you and I” will help your recipients feel included.
3. Keep paragraphs short—a maximum of 4 lines of normal length.
One Week Out: A week before the protest, email all your contacts again to remind them about the event. The national team will provide a sample “one week out” message you can customize for your email contacts.
Promoting Your Protest with a Customizable Flyer
The national team has prepared a customizable flyer that you can use for this. To use, simply download the flyer and fill in the customizable boxes with the details for your protest. Then save the flyer with a new file name so it will keep your changes, print and distribute!