Put together a group of influential people–business or community leaders, college presidents, and student leaders–to meet with the editorial board of your local newspaper. If you are well prepared and armed with facts on how increasing federal aid will benefit students, the campus, and the community, you may generate a positive editorial (or lay the groundwork for a future news story). Your members of Congress monitor the editorial page closely as a barometer of their constituents’ opinions.

Work with your campus public relations office to identify the appropriate contacts at local newspapers. No matter who makes the contact with the newspaper, the message–or “pitch”–should remain the same: “Here is why the issue is important to your readers, and here is why [your coalition’s members] are well-equipped to share some insight on the issue.”