This is What We Do

Elena Kagan at ABA / Georgetown Law event.

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan at ABA / Georgetown Law event

  • Consult on your communications goals, advise on approaches and develop media plans.
  • Develop, distribute and place media advisories, press releases, op-eds and other media content.
  • Credential and register reporters for entity programs and events.
  • Provide guidance for on-site management of media attending events.
  • Publicize entity programs and events on our website.
  • Promote newsworthy products and programs in ABA publications.
  • Promote interested ABA members to the media as subject matter experts through our media referral service.
  • Develop and manage reporter relationships on behalf of entities.
  • Provide multimedia services — including video, audio, graphics and photography — for newsworthy programs and events, as our availability allows.
  • Provide media training in advance of interviews with the media.

Tips for Getting More
Media Attention

  1. Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson

    Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson

    Plan programs, events and reports that touch on current issues and provide immediate news value.

  2. Plan events that include well-known speakers and panelists, such as high-ranking government officials, Supreme Court justices, prominent attorneys or celebrities.
  3. Studies, reports and trends attract media attention and provide reporters fresh story ideas and topics to cover. If the topic is not timely — or was previously reported — look for a new angle to promote.

Spokesperson Policy

Procedures: Speaking for or about the ABA

Section 25.1 of the ABA By-laws states: “The President or a person designated by the president shall express the policy of the Association determined by the House of Delegates.”

Section 25.3 states: “A member who, when making a public utterance, permits himself or herself to be identified as having an official connection with the Association or one of its sections or committees shall, if the policy of the Association on the subject matter of the utterance has been determined by the House of Delegates, fairly state that policy and, if expressing a view at variance with it, clearly identify the variance as the member’s personal view.”

Open Meetings Policy

In accordance with the association’s Open Meetings Policy, members of the media are welcome at all programs, events and meetings, except for executive/business sessions.

No ABA entity is permitted to enter into a contract with a speaker or other participant that restricts media coverage, including coverage by TV, radio, print and electronic reporters and photographers.

Media should receive complimentary sets of printed materials to help them provide informed coverage.

When food is provided at a function, media should be included in the meal, if possible. If this is not financially feasible, seating should be made available for media.

For events where digital media will be present, the Media Relations and Strategic Communications Division will work with you to facilitate coverage.

Former U.S. Attorney General, Jeffery Rosen, at ABA Antitrust Law event
Former U.S. Attorney General Jeffery Rosen at ABA Antitrust Law event

If You're Contacted by the Media...

All media calls should be referred immediately to Media Relations.  Please do not answer reporters’ questions without consulting with Media Relations.

The ABA president is the official spokesperson for the ABA. Media Relations will work with the ABA president to ensure reporters’ queries are answered accurately and on deadline.

We will let you know if we want you to work with the media. In such cases, we will be happy to prepare you for the experience.

European Trade Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, at ABA event
European Trade Commissioner Margrethe Vestager at ABA Antitrust event

Media Referral Service

Our media referral service connects ABA members with journalists seeking information, such as data or interviews, for news coverage.

Entities should keep in mind:

  • All contact with the media is arranged by our offices.
  • Direct calls from the media should be immediately referred to our offices.
  • Members referred to the media communicate in their own capacity as subject-matter experts. They do not speak on behalf of the ABA and should not talk about ABA policy without the advance approval of the ABA president. Those authorized by the president to speak on behalf of the ABA will be briefed on relevant policy by MRSC staff.
  • Media inquiries should be answered by the reporter’s deadline.
  • Entity staff or members may be asked by MRSC to speak to a reporter on background. This means the journalist should not use the individual’s name, either in direct quotes or as the source of information in the piece. Although the MRSC staff will brief the reporter, members should reinforce this stipulation before starting the interview.
Bryan Stevenson at ABA Annual Meeting event

Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, Bryan Stevenson, at ABA Annual Meeting event

MRSC Staff

Carol Stevens, Associate Executive Director
202-662-1095 / carol.stevens@americanbar.org

Jacqueline Salmon, Principal Media Strategist
202-662-1096 / jacqueline.salmon@americanbar.org

Betsy Adeboyejo, Senior Writer, Journalist
202-662-1039 / betsy.adeboyejo@americanbar.org

Julie Brown, Broadcast and Communications Manager
312-988-6133 / julie.brown@americanbar.org

Bill Choyke, Senior Strategist, Writer
202-662-1864 / bill.choyke@americanbar.org

Matt Cimento, Communications Manager
202-662-1092 / matthew.cimento@americanbar.org

Marc Davis, Communications Manager
202-662-1773 / marc.davis@americanbar.org

Jason Fujioka, News Director
312-988-6128 / jason.fujioka@americanbar.org

John Glynn, Web Producer
312-988-6243 / john.glynn@americanbar.org

Mitch Higgins, Multimedia Specialist
202-662-1997 / mitch.higgins@americanbar.org

Jennifer Kildee, Senior Public Relations Specialist
202-662-1732 / jennifer.kildee@americanbar.org

Robert Robinson, Communications Manager
202-662-1097 / robert.robinson@americanbar.org

Irma Romero, Administrative Assistant
312-988-6134 / irma.romero@americanbar.org

Priscilla Totten, Director of Entities and Sections
202-662-1094 / priscilla.totten@americanbar.org

Barbranda Walls, Communications Manager
202-662-1091 / barbranda.walls@americanbar.org

Visit our website: www.ambar.org/news

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @ABANews

Glossary:

OP-ED — Persuasive or informative commentaries submitted to newspapers that address news events or subjects of public concern. Op-eds are written by people with expertise or special insight into the subject being addressed. The best op-eds have a strong thesis supported by facts and acknowledge the arguments of the other side. Op-eds usually run 600 to 700 words.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR — Letters written to a media outlet in response to an article, editorial or op-ed published in that publication. They are easiest to place when written and submitted within days of publication of the original article and reference the original article in some way. Letters to the editor run about 150 to 250 words.

MEDIA ADVISORY, ALERT OR PRESS RELEASE — Written announcements of upcoming ABA entity events and activities used to encourage the attendance of news reporters and editors. These are written and distributed by MRSC in consultation with the entity.