Publicity in the U.K.
The recent positive media coverage of poly groups and projects didn't just happen. Often, the people involved made it happen.
The fact is, a lot of what you see throughout the news media gets there because of people and businesses seeking publicity. They offer enticing stories, or story ideas, ready-made on a platter. From the media's viewpoint, this makes it easier and cheaper to fill up a newspaper or air time than by... well... hiring reporters.
This stinks, and it's gotten worse with the corporatization of the news in the last 30 years. But the upside is that if you want free publicity, and are diligent about seeking it, you're likely to get it.
For instance: A few months ago the Seattle Times published a great article about Terisa Greenan and her poly webseries "Family". The reason the article happened is because, Terisa says, "I did a whole press blitz where I sent hundreds of press releases to different organizations all across the country." The Seattle Times article led to the wonderful TV news report in Seattle last week about Terisa, her triad, and "Family." That report in turn got highlighted nationally on ABC News.com. (You can watch Greenan and Matt Bullen talk about making and promoting the show in a video called "Behind The Family"; scroll down to the entry for 23 July 2009.)
Last week the triad who set up Young Milwaukee Poly in January got profiled on Milwaukee TV news deliberately, to make more people aware of Young Milwaukee Poly and what it stands for.
In 2005, Loving More began mailing out press releases about its conferences. These attracted some major-media writers who did excellent work (for instance the Washington Post's long feature article about the 2008 Poly Living Conference). These articles in turn prompted other media to imitate them.
On the other hand, sometimes news media do initiate their own story ideas. Last weekend Graham Nicholls in England launched a new poly website, polyamory.org.uk. An announcement about it, along with an explanation of polyamory, was attractively featured with a photo in the Times of London. Not every new website that someone puts up gets this kind of attention:
Finding monogamy monotonous? Well, now you can escape the world of tiresome twosomes with www.polyamory.org.uk, the UK’s first website dedicated to polyamory [Ed. note: Not so.], the practice of having simultaneous loving relationships with more than one partner.
Wife-swappers and philanderers needn’t bother; “poly” devotees, whether in “triads”, “quads” or — for the truly hyperactive — “clans”, seek openness and “emotional bonds”. They view themselves as part of a boundary-pushing movement that challenges traditional relationships. If you don’t collapse from the stress of remembering who’s who at intimate moments, being polyamorous can bring “a sense of freedom and real love that transcends possessiveness and jealousy”, according to the site’s founder, Graham Nicholls....
Here's an image of the newspaper clip, with photo. It's pretty tongue-in-cheek, but it certainly gets the message out.
This one came about in a roundabout manner, says Nicholls. He was approached by a freelance journalist who wanted to write a full-size article on poly. But the Times didn't want it, "so she decided to tie a small piece in with the launch of my website." In this case, he notes, "the article resulted from general press interest in the subject, not any promotional hype on my part."