Across the United States, many sangats are excited to open the doors of their gurdwaras, get to know their neighbors, and share more about the Sikh faith tradition and experience. Similarly, after a hate crime, vandalism case, or other bias-related incident, one of the best tools a community has is the ability to communicate solutions and raise Sikh awareness to the broader public. Both of these types of situations–positive, proactive outreach as well as rapid-response efforts in times of crisis–require interacting with local media, but getting press attention and managing requests from reporters can be a daunting task for those who aren’t familiar with the field.
Just as we assist members of the press who are covering the Sikh community, the Sikh Coalition works to support sangats nationwide when they want or need to engage the media. Depending on the demands of the situation, we can provide talking points and advice for appearing on-camera, draft and pitch op-eds, assist in publicizing events to the press, and field incoming requests for interviews. When engaging local reporters is necessary, we are here to work with you to ensure that you feel confident and prepared to engage local reporters on the issues that matter to your community.
- local TV stories featuring Sikh community leaders since 2015
- new local news story per week
- positive local stories covering Sikhs’ COVID-19 seva
Our work with individual community members or gurdwaras has ranged from simple, one-off op-ed pieces and promotion for specific community events to wide-ranging efforts to respond to incidents of hate or amplify positive trends uniting sangats across state lines. Our major coordinated promotion efforts have included media coverage of open houses for Guru Nanak’s 550th gurpurab (summarized here), seva efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (summarized here, here, and here), community media support in response to the April 2021 mass shooting in Indianapolis (read more here), and facilitating coverage of the 20th anniversary commemoration of Balbir Singh Sodhi’s death (read more here). Every time Sikhs are featured in local newspapers or on broadcast TV channels helps our long-term effort to increase Sikh awareness, which will in turn make our communities stronger and safer for all.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you are a community member who would like assistance promoting an event to or otherwise engaging your local media, contact our media and communications team at firstname.lastname@example.org.