Outreach to Media
Your health department may have developed a good relationship with local media over time; you can leverage that relationship into potential coverage of the One & Only Campaign and its goals! Like many healthcare providers, media members may find it difficult to believe that unsafe injection practices are a real concern. With so many health issues competing for attention, you may have to get creative to convince journalists that the answer to the age-old media question “Could it happen here?” is “Yes!” If possible, have someone with experience, such as a Public Information Officer (PIO), tackle this outreach. Should you decide to engage the media, your PIO should work with the SIPC to ensure proper use of the SIPC materials, logos, etc. Don’t have a PIO? The tips below will help you with media relations.
Generally media coverage revolves around timeliness to events in the news
Other suggestions include:
- Patient confidentiality always comes first! However, some people may appreciate the opportunity to tell their story.
- Possible resources for placing a “human face” on the unsafe injections issue may be to consider local appearances by patient advocates such as Evelyn McKnight of HONOReform.
In the event of an outbreak related to unsafe injection practices:
- Should there be a need to notify patients within your jurisdiction that they are at risk of disease because of unsafe injection practices, communicating with the media will present both challenges and opportunities. Be prepared to:
- Determine the extent of the information to convey to the news media.
- Determine when to convey that information.
- Determine who to coordinate with to convey that information.
- React quickly if information is leaked to the media before it is formally announced.
Communication resources include:
- Writing for the Media
- Spokesperson Preparation
- Planning the Release of Media and Notification Letters
- Conducting a Successful Press Conference or Media Opportunity
- Sample Materials: Example Press Releases