RE: CNN coverage
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 1997 08:29:40 -0500
My concern about not being ready is that we have no real organization that 
could take advantage of this opportunity at national exposure. My only 
national TV media experience is with evironmental campaigns, where we had a 
whole set of activities planned and poised, a whole story setup and rehearsed, 
so when the camera was on, we could use to the best advantage, and also get 
the maximum mileage out of it. 

There were several, messages, in the story in USA today that I not sure were 
the greatest, for example, lots of references to communes, resale, prices. 
Granted, some coverage is better than no coverage, but if CNN paints Cohousing 
as a bunch of wacky, communal, hot tubbers, then the coverage will have hurt 
the movement more than helped it. As several people have pointed out, it takes 
some savvy to deal with this stuff to get OUR message out. Which is why most 
organizations that deal with the media have a specialized branch of people 
devoted just to that. Spokespersons and media relation directors who know the 
bites.  There are some very savvy media people in cohousing who really ought 
to be driving this sort of stuff (not me)  Folks like Gary Shifler come to 
mind for instance from Synergy  (Hi Gary, don't you love me volunteering you 
for stuff?), Zev has a good handle as well (Hi Zev!)  There are many others I 
am sure. 

So my notion that this is premature is coming from that point and also that we 
really don't have anyway to capitalize on this nationally. Its great to have 
pictures and soundbites, but, as someone pointed out, 2 million people 
suddenly find out that this is really cool and it actually exists. OHMIGOD! 
where do I get more information....uh.....uh....uh.... Who do I call?  For 
instance do 2 million people call the folks in Atlanta? For their sake, I hope 


From:   cohousing-l [at] on behalf of Fred H Olson
Sent:   Tuesday, July 22, 1997 2:55 PM
Subject:        Re: CNN coverage

While the recent flurry of publicity is noteworthy, it is not the first 
national media publicity - the Twin Cities Cohousing Network has long used
excerpts from TV network and PBS publicity. Lately I've used the RCMA
video.  Hopefully this is not the last.  Rob, do you sense that this 
may be our 15 minutes of fame and we may not get another chance to be
ready to take advantage of it?

My message "Washington..." listed the points I emphasized:  One other
thing I did not mention in my note to cohousing-L was where to get more
information.  The reporter assured me that there would have a "more info"

The three resources I cited were:
1) the Book
2) Cohousing Mag 

Note that I discouraged her from giving cohousing-L major exposure,
folks who look over and are still interested can 
find how to access cohousing-L there.

WRT to Rob's note on not being ready to deal with mass exposure,
at least 2) and 3) have the potential to be updated as times goes by
so referals to new local groups can be updated for example.

BTW the Twin Cities Cohousing Network limps along due (in my opinion) 
the dynamic of the originally active folks getting busy with building
their community (Monterey).  I still hold a slight hope that some of 
those folks will have a second wind one of these days.  In the mean time
I feel limping along (and maintaining a phone number and address)
is better than dying.


Fred H. Olson  fholson [at]    Zipcode: 55411  
(612)588-9532  Amateur radio: WB0YQM          List manager of:
Cohousing-L  See        and      nbhd-tc  the
Twin Cities Neighborhood issues list. See

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