Working With the Media: How to Reach the Widest Audience Possible


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A talk given by myself and Paula Spreitzer at the 2007 NHPCO conference.

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  • Working With the Media: How to Reach the Widest Audience Possible

    1. 1. Working With the Media: How to Reach the Widest Audience Possible Christian Sinclair, MD Paula Spreitzer Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care
    2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>From the Journalists’ Perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Practical Tips for Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Success Stories </li></ul>
    3. 3. What are the benefits? <ul><li>Public education for hospice </li></ul><ul><li>Increased exposure for your hospice and palliative medicine program </li></ul><ul><li>Highlighting staff and volunteers who do good work </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing meaning and purpose to a patient </li></ul>
    4. 4. What are the risks? <ul><li>Possible errors in communicating information to the public </li></ul><ul><li>Appearing uninformed or unprofessional </li></ul><ul><li>Time and money to work with media </li></ul>
    5. 5. What is news? <ul><li>Consider: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Timeliness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proximity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prominence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unusual-ness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recurrence </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Journalists’ Constraints <ul><li>Work time </li></ul><ul><li>Print space/air time </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul><ul><li>News flow </li></ul>
    7. 7. Types of Coverage <ul><li>News </li></ul><ul><li>Features </li></ul><ul><li>Editorials </li></ul><ul><li>Calendar listings </li></ul>
    8. 8. Inverted Pyramid
    9. 9. Examples
    10. 17. Media Outlets
    11. 18. Newspapers <ul><li>Large dailies vs. small weeklies </li></ul><ul><li>Words, details, photos </li></ul><ul><li>Press releases, tip sheets, </li></ul><ul><li>columns </li></ul><ul><li>Editors </li></ul><ul><li>Beat reporters </li></ul><ul><li>Short deadlines </li></ul>
    12. 20. Magazines <ul><li>Consumer, business, association </li></ul><ul><li>Words, details, photos </li></ul><ul><li>Press releases, tip sheets </li></ul><ul><li>Editors </li></ul><ul><li>Free-lance writers </li></ul><ul><li>Longer deadlines </li></ul>
    13. 22. Radio <ul><li>Interview programs </li></ul><ul><li>Sound </li></ul><ul><li>Pitch letters, PSAs, press releases </li></ul><ul><li>Producers </li></ul><ul><li>News directors </li></ul><ul><li>Public affairs directors </li></ul><ul><li>Deadlines vary </li></ul>
    14. 24. Television <ul><li>Producers </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment editors </li></ul><ul><li>Health reporters </li></ul><ul><li>Deadlines vary, usually short </li></ul><ul><li>News vs. interview formats </li></ul><ul><li>Visuals, sound </li></ul><ul><li>Press releases, pitch letters </li></ul>
    15. 25. Internet <ul><li>Often driven by </li></ul><ul><li>other media </li></ul><ul><li>Words, details, photos, </li></ul><ul><li>video, sound </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>E-newsletters </li></ul><ul><li>Deadline is now </li></ul>
    16. 26.
    17. 28. Practical Tips - Overview <ul><li>Know your audience </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid technical words </li></ul><ul><li>Make the story about </li></ul><ul><li>somebody </li></ul><ul><li>Important facts first </li></ul><ul><li>HIPAA – Release form </li></ul>
    18. 29. Practical Tips - Overview <ul><li>Do not argue </li></ul><ul><li>Never say “No comment” </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t exaggerate </li></ul><ul><li>Tell the truth </li></ul>
    19. 30. Practical Tips for Interviews <ul><li>Television - Appearance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nonverbal communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No stripes, blue/navy is a safe choice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid flashy jewelry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think props </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lights are HOT!!!! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Makeup (not just for women) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look at the interviewer </li></ul></ul>
    20. 31. Practical Tips for Interviews <ul><li>Broadcast </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Watch for gestures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid fidgeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control verbal ticks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tape yourself to learn for next time </li></ul></ul>
    21. 32. Practical Tips for Interviews <ul><li>In General </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Printed information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Know when to STOP! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be conversational but not condescending </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advance notice of questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Good question” </li></ul></ul>
    22. 33. Practical Tips - Other <ul><li>Call in to radio shows </li></ul><ul><li>Always be looking for topics </li></ul>
    23. 34. Europe wrestles with child euthanasia
    24. 36. Practical Tips – Writing Op-Ed Pieces <ul><li>Have a clear message – controversy is good </li></ul><ul><li>Show how topic affects readers </li></ul><ul><li>Explain scope </li></ul><ul><li>Describe problem </li></ul><ul><li>Describe your solution </li></ul><ul><li>End with call to action or reinforce your message </li></ul>
    25. 37. Practical Tips – Writing Op-Ed Pieces <ul><li>Find a topic </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Read the paper often </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Think broadly </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Respond quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for input from your agency </li></ul><ul><li>Enlist a ghost writer </li></ul>
    26. 38. <ul><li>From Letters, The Kansas City Star , 7/4/05 </li></ul><ul><li>Terri Schiavo case </li></ul><ul><li>Right on, Leonard Pitts Jr. (6/28, Opinion, “Governor adds insult to injury”). And peace be to Michael Schiavo. This has been a mess of unbelievable proportions and an invasion into the life and death of a private citizen. It causes me concern for my basic freedoms as we seem to slip from “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Our brave are dying far from home while the politicians toil over one man’s right to make decisions for his critically/chronically ill wife. Shame on Jeb Bush, shame on George W. Bush, shame on the Republicans! </li></ul><ul><li>Beverly Kemper, RN Johnson County Nursing Center Olathe </li></ul>
    27. 40. Professional Journals <ul><li>Think about the different tiers </li></ul><ul><li>Regional versus national </li></ul><ul><li>Another form of media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Letters to the editor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Original articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Correspondence </li></ul></ul>
    28. 41. Bibliography <ul><li>AAP Communications Handbook (membership required) </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>htm </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Television Interview (inactive) </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
    29. 42. Share Your Success Stories! Christian Sinclair, MD [email_address] Paula Spreitzer [email_address]