Publishing research findings are a powerful way to get media attention to your cause.

Feeding America  (FA) has been conducting a survey of food banks in its network every four years for 20 years.  The survey gets media attention because of the number of agencies participating and because of its longevity.

The 2014 survey found that 1 in 7 Americans turns to the Feeding America network for food assistance.  That’s more than 46.5 million in the US, including 12 million children.

When PBS NewsHour anchor Gwen Ifill interviewed a Food Bank director, she said the findings are no surprise — that they have been seeing an increase in clients, including active duty military.

The cause for the media attention was the survey and the statistics — not the issue itself.

Tips for getting attention for your research and your issue:

* Partner with credible experts – FA has a technical advisory committee; another option is to have a university conduct the research

* Include lots of infographics; many people won’t read a long report, but graphics convey the information quickly.

* Make experts or people affected by the issue available for interviews. This helps personalize the issue.