“We’re now going to compete every day, every week, every opportunity for media exposure moving forward. That’s what the Sikh Coalition needs and that’s what the Sikh American community deserves.”
-Mark Reading-Smith, Senior Director of Media & Communications
December 15, 2014 (New York, NY) – Raising the media profile on the issues we work on is a top priority. Increasing the frequency in which we use the news as a sharp tool to share our community's voice to better inform, educate, and influence the American public’s view of the Sikh community is a critical component to our long term success. This Sunday's CBS special, which featured the Sikh Coalition’s Simran Jeet Singh, is just the latest example.
From our school bullying, interfaith education, and hate crimes advocacy to our military and 1984 anniversary campaigns, we worked to ensure that the issues you care about most emerged in media outlets across the country and throughout the world in 2014. We complemented this work with nearly three dozen Op-Eds by staff, board members, and Advocates placed in news outlets across the United States.
We did all of this fantastic work without having one member of our team dedicated to media engagement. In October, with the help of your prior support, we worked to hire Mark Reading-Smith, our first Media and Communications Senior Director. Mark brings over a decade of strategic media experience, relationships, and expertise in communications to our team. Better yet, he understands the issues we work on, having spent the past six years working for the Sikh Coalition as a consultant at ReThink Media.
With your generous support, we are going to become more targeted, strategic, and consistent in our media work through this hire. But that can only continue if you grow your investment in us as we develop strategic communications plans that mirror our goals in all areas of our programmatic work. The results are already showing.
For the first time, education reporters covered our landmark victory in Texas, despite having other more pressing stories to write. In response to a new military lawsuit filed in November, we worked to get an Op-Ed into Newsday (9th largest paper in the country) by Major Kamal Kalsi. His essay ran in four other outlets, with a potential total audience tapping well over one million readers.
When the Department of Justice’s new Racial Profiling Guidance was released last week, we were ahead of the curve. The result: The Associated Press, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Fox News and the Washington Post were some of the 140 news outlets to carry quotes from the Sikh Coalition expressing concern about the guidelines. That important dissenting voice would not have existed otherwise.
This increased engagement could not have happened without your prior support - thank you! With your continued financial investment, we are certain that the Sikh voice in the media will only grow.