Most private Christian and Catholic colleges will readily welcome
Hope and Healing as a paid advertising insert into their student
newspapers. A few may even be willing to insert it at no charge as a service
to their students. It can't hurt to ask.
Because of the nature of this publication, most secular university newspapers
will also be reasonably receptive to accepting it as a advertising insert.
Before you begin to contact college editors, however, it is important to
understand that the abortion debate at these schools is typically discussed
as a women's rights issue both in and out of the classroom.
For most students, abortion is simply a question of a "woman's choice,"
and issues like post-abortion trauma have not entered into their thinking.
What little they do know may be shaped by pro-abortion claims that post-abortion
trauma is merely an "anti-choice scare tactic" and doesn't really exist.
This general ignorance is not a major obstacle, however, because most
campus newspapers are very supportive of free speech. With a little persistence,
most will probably accept the Hope and Healing supplement as a paid
Contacting the Newspaper
Your local library will have a list of private and public colleges and
universities in your state. If the listing does not include the name and
address of the campus newspaper, address your contact letter to the advertising
manager of the campus newspaper. The campus post office will route the
letter to their office.
Click here for a sample contact letter that
will be helpful when you contact the local college or university newspaper.
You may also want to send the insertion order
as part of your initial contact letter. At the very least, you will
need to obtain a signed insertion order
before the insertion can take place.
If you do not receive an affirmative answer within a month, you should
make a phone call and ask them to explain their reasons for not accepting
The most common reasons given for not accepting a pro-life supplement
in a college newspaper are: (1) editorial disagreement over content, (2)
fear of the possible controversy it may cause on campus, and (3) the newspaper
already has too many other supplements being inserted at the same time.
You should immediately send a letter addressing these concerns. This
letter should be addressed to both the editorial staff and the faculty
advisor. The last page of this mailing lists some arguments that may be
helpful when addressing issues about content and possible controversy.
It is very important that your letter be a journalistic
argument only, not a pro-life argument; the content of the supplement will
speak for itself. Experience has shown that the journalistic argument is
more acceptable, and will sometimes sway even the most biased pro-abortion
At this stage, it is also important to draw the faculty advisor into
the discussion since it the advisor's job to teach the students good journalistic
ethics and respect for free speech. Though the faculty advisor may not
be pro-life, he or she may be your best ally. During the interview, suggest
that the staff include an editorial explaining why they chose to accept
Many colleges and universities need to be contacted at least twice during
the school year, as there is a continual change of editorial staff and
different types of advertising supplements are accepted at different times
during the school year.
Most editors will accept the supplement more readily if they are contacted
personally by a pro-life student or pro-life or Christian group on campus.
If they don't accept your supplement, don't be discouraged. Editors
and editorial policies frequently change. Don't be afraid to go to the
faculty advisor, the dean of the college that oversees the journalism department,
even the college president. Find allies in on-campus Christian organizations,
local pro-life groups, churches, doctors and mental health professionals.
You may have to contact some colleges and universities several times before
they agree to accept the supplement.
Keep a list of the colleges and universities that do accept the supplement
and include this list with next year's contact letter. The staff will probably
be more willing to accept your supplement if they see that other schools
are also doing it, since they won't want to be "out of step" with other
The cost for an advertising insert should be in the ball park of $50
per thousand. Occasionally, a hostile editor will try to discourage placement
by asking for an exorbitant advertising fee. Do not submit to blackmail,
especially since this can establish a precedent for similar "gouging" at
Simply go through the same procedures used when placement is rejected.
Respond with arguments focused on journalistic ethics and draw the faculty
advisor or department head into the negotiations as an arbiter.
Once the supplement has been accepted, you need to inform the local
crisis pregnancy centers and post-abortion ministries that they can expect
some additional phone calls inquiring about their services.
Be sure to check that the supplement went into the campus newspaper
on the date agreed upon. It is also a good idea to obtain the next couple
of issues of the newspaper, as letters to the editor will include opinions
from students and faculty about the supplement content.
If you do not live near the college, contact the local pro-life group
or crisis pregnancy center and ask them to do this for you. Keep in touch
with your contact person to make sure they follow up.
Please send copies of any editorial articles or letters to the editor
regarding Hope and Healing to the Elliot Institute. This will help
guide the improvement of later editions as well as provide a resource of
endorsements that can be used to make it easier to gain permission to place
Hope and Healing in other newspapers.
How to Handle Objections to Hope and
Most high school newspapers report on sensitive issues such as teenage
pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, guns in school, and gang violence. Many
states have an organization or publication that serves as a link between
high school newspapers in that state. Contacting the faculty advisor of
the local high school newspaper will help you gain access to the state's
list of high school newspapers.
Getting the Supplement into High School Newspapers
In addition to the local high school newspaper, many students receive
private publications that are distributed at school. The distribution rate
for the high school newspaper and other publications is generally equal
to the student population and is heavily filled with advertisements. The
same procedures used in obtaining placement in a university can be used
You might also recommend Hope and Healing to school counselor,
the principal, the family life teacher, and the special events coordinator
for distribution whenever the newspaper staff covers issues such as teenage
pregnancy, daycare, and parenting.