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General Guideline and Tips for Publicizing Athletic Training

General Guideline and Tips for Publicizing Athletic Training

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Cata Media Training Handbook Cata Media Training Handbook Document Transcript

  • Athletic Trainers Media Training Handbook Presented by JWalcher Communications April 17, 2009
  • Just WHAT is Public Relations?: Public Relations (PR) is an ongoing communications strategy designed to enhance the image of a business, organization, product, service, or person in the minds of its various target audiences: community-at-large, business and civic leaders (called “key influencers”) and news media. It traditionally uses the editorial side of the media to raise awareness of a subject – in this case, the athletic training industry and role of certified athletic trainers. The end goal, of course, is to elevate the awareness and recognition of athletic trainers in the minds of consumers and key influencers (those that may give you jobs or pass a bill that benefits the profession). PR is not advertising, and the results of media publicity are harder to measure than a newspaper ad or television commercial. Having the profession of athletic training or athletic trainers in the news (newspaper, magazine, TV/radio, internet) provides a powerful third-party endorsement that boosts credibility for your profession and its services. The cost is significantly lower than advertising, but you have less control over the message and the timing. You can never guarantee or control when and where news items and articles referring to your team, facility or school will appear in the media. A final decision as to when and where material supplied by you or an outside PR agency will be used is made by the media based on its needs and the availability of editorial time and space. What PR Can Do For Certified Athletic Trainers: • Build credibility for the profession • Build knowledge and job scope of certified athletic trainers vs. non-certified athletic trainers, personal trainers, physical therapists, etc. • Create a great understanding for the need of certified athletic trainers in schools, on teams, etc. • Establish certified athlete trainers as experts who can speak on topics such as health/fitness, sports injury, exercise safety, etc. • Provide a venue through which you can educate people about athletic trainers, what they do, what their credentials are, where they work and more • Provide strong third-party “testimonial” • Connect with your appropriate target audiences in an economically viable manner • Support paid advertising What PR Cannot Do • PR cannot and should not be expected to provide a direct sales pitch for athletic trainers or the industry • You cannot dictate results of media publicity 2
  • • Media publicity and promotion are a matter of strategy and negotiation, and outcomes cannot be guaranteed, vs. paid advertising, which is guaranteed to appear or be heard exactly as dictated How to Work with the Media: The five types of media: 1. Newspapers 2. Magazines 3. Radio 4. Television 5. Internet (Online): Web sites, bloggers, Social Media Networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) Guidelines to Follow- Researching Appropriate Media: • Who are the reporters that cover your area? • Does your newspaper have a health, sports or lifestyle reporter? Is there someone who regularly covers health or related sports subjects? (research on the newspaper Web site) • Is there a TV reporter who covers health, general lifestyle stories or sports on your local TV station? How about a reporter who regularly covers a college or pro sports team? • Is there a radio station that reaches your target audience? • What Web sites or bloggers regularly write about your industry or provide a consumer resource? Refer to the Internet to find the names, addresses and phone numbers of appropriate newspapers, radio, TV stations in your area. Call each one to identify the correct contact person. It will most likely be one of the following: • Newspapers: Health or sports writer, or city desk (they decide what local event/stories will get covered). At small or weekly newspapers, the release should go to the managing editor • Radio Stations: News director • TV Stations: Health or sports reporters or producers; also “assignment desk” or morning show producers. Familiarize yourself with their work and watch what they cover; it will help you develop the correct approach • Internet: For top bloggers in your area or expertise, search on http://technorati.com/blogs/ directory/ . You can also become a blogger and post relevant/timely information, tips, exercises or advice on the ongoing CATA Active.com blog named “Stay Active, Stay Safe” 3
  • http://community.active.com/blogs/CATA (contact JWalcher - see contact info at end of document - to be added as a contributor) 4
  • Social Media and PR: The Internet has revolutionized how we communicate and share information with one another. It allows us to share information with millions of people. One method to ensure that your message is being heard is by utilizing Social Media. What is Social Media: Any online technology or practice that people can use to share content, opinions, insights, experiences, perspectives and media, including text, images, audio and video. Social media helps contribute valuable and relevant content and ideas to the gigantic conversation happening on the Web. Be aware though, Social Media does not replace a website, but you can use it to drive people to your website. Why Use Social Media? • Allows you to personally convey a message and correct inaccurate information about the role of athletic trainers or the athletic training industry • It can help build or strengthen your reputation as experts on healthy and safe activity, recruit supporters for a cause and spark discussions about relevant topics • It provides a forum to discuss the important role athletic trainers play in healthcare and allows you to distinguish yourselves from other professionals such as personal trainers and physical therapists • Helps drive traffic to your content - website • It’s free and takes little time to accomplish. 30 minutes each day is plenty (10 minutes in the morning, 10 in the afternoon and 10 minutes in the evening) but even just 10 minutes can go a long way. How to use Social Media: • Participate • Generate Content • Comment The end result is CONVERSATION Social Media Tools: There are several social Media networks, but just because they exist, doesn’t mean you have to use item all. Choose what works best to promote the message you want to convey – whether it’s lobbying for increased AED availability at schools or differentiating between personal trainers, and athletic trainers. You can also link all your social media venues together to increase exposure. The most commonly used Social Media Tools are: 5
  • • Blogs • LinkedIn • Facebook • And Twitter Blogging: Blogs used to be looked at as online diaries, but now they are widely used as yet another venue for open dialogue. Blogs should be relevant, interesting and seen as a valuable source of information A good blog can keep members engaged and coming back for more information while attracting new visitors to the site. Blogs give you, as athletic trainers, the best opportunity to tell your story • who you are • what it is you actually do – a lot of people might not know • and allow you to speak directly to an audience that is visiting your site because they are either interested in your industry – or curious about it What Makes a Good Blog? Blogs thrives on a healthy mix of written and visual content – tips, thoughts, ideas, opinions on a specific subject, daily musings, images, video, and so forth The objective with a blog is to produce a piece of remarkable content that will gain attention, spread virally and naturally collect links. For example: The California Athletic Trainers’ Association has a blog on Active.com called Stay Active, Stay Safe: Active.com already has thousands of users, so the idea with the CATA blog is to leverage the site to get their blog posts out there for more users to see. A popular piece of content on this site may be seen by thousands of eager bloggers and even reporters looking for content to write about. Social Media Networks: Participating in Social Media Networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn is an effective way to reach people and share your knowledge, experience and goals. As athletic trainers, you can use these networks to shed light on issues that arise in the news or to educate followers about safe exercise practices and habits. If you’re using a social networking medium, it’s important to be social! Otherwise, you’re missing the point. 6
  • It’s not about preaching to the public, it’s about interacting with the followers who “opted” to converse with you and sharing information in a virtual social setting. A witty comment, interesting video or funny picture go a long way at making people want to see what you have to say. Different types of Social Media Networks: 1. LinkedIn: Is the most professional social network and content is all business- related. It’s basically modeled after “six degrees of separation” “I know you, you know him – can you refer or introduce me to him?” LinkedIn let’s you get right down to business. It’s essentially an online resume where you can establish your expertise. Also since individuals and companies are searchable by specific interests – anyone, including journalists, looking for an expert on “sports injuries” can easily find you to talk about that specific topic or issue. This is the best venue to establish yourselves as experts in the healthcare industry because you can post your resume, get recommendations from colleagues and clients, and respond to questions that are directly related to you area of expertise. For networking purposes – LinkedIn works best. 2. Facebook: With Facebook Business pages you can create a professional online presence that looks and behaves like user profiles to connect and engage with your audience. As people opt-in to interact with your Page, a News Feed keeps driving word-of-mouth to a wider circle of users allowing your online voice to be amplified. As opposed to LinkedIn, Facebook is more about community. It’s about creating messages, sharing information and getting into discussions with people who are interested in what you have to say including athletes, school administrators and local government – all of whom are probably on Facebook too. It’s also a great way to increase your Google ranking- Search Engine Optimization rankings are high for Facebook, which helps to get your name or the athletic training industyr’s name out there. The trick to Facebook is really maintaining a balance between professional and personal. Remember it’s a public platform – so only post what your comfortable with the whole world seeing, but still have fun with it and be actively involved. How can you use it? 7
  • • Create awareness • Gain exposure • Communicate in a more personal way with millions of people who share your interests and beliefs. • Market an event (Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Day, National Athletic trainers’ Month). You can leverage your connections to get the event information out there. Things like National Athletic Trainer’s Month and Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Day should be posted on Facebook with a link to either your school, facility or organizations homepage – where of course there should be more information about these events. Facebook is also a perfect venue to keep up to date with the latest news in your industry, since many of your followers will likely be athletic trainers as well. See an interesting article on rehab – post it for everyone to see. You can also have more fun with facebook- • Leave messages for other people to comment on • Create “athletic training” quizzes for your followers • Host contests For National Athletic Training Month – the CATA hosted a YouTube contest aimed to educate the public about who and what athletic trainers are. The contest was promoted both on their website and Facebook page and the winning video was posted on YouTube. Links to that video can now be found on the CATA homepage as well as their Facebook page, but could eventually find their way onto personal Facebook pages, blogs and industry or educational sites as well. 3. Twitter: Twitter is a free service that lets you connect with people and communicate through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question – What are you doing? The concept is simple – you have 140 characters (not words) to describe exactly what is on your mind at any given moment of the day. Twitter let’s you share information and see what’s being said about you and your industry. How can you use it? 8
  • • Broadens Awareness – Based on your keyword profile, who you’re following, and what you have to say – users worldwide can learn about your industry and what role you play in the healthcare system. • Tracking – Monitor what’s being said about you, the athletic training industry and related buzzwords like sports rehab and injuries, and offer up your own expert opinion or information. • Journalism – The media is using twitter to find story ideas, content and experts – maybe something you tweet will catch their interest. • Activism – Generate support for legislation or raise awareness about issues – for instance, as you know, not all states require a certified athletic trainer be present at secondary school sporting events – so start up a discussion about it. • News updates - post links to relevant articles, comments, ideas, tips and suggestions or responses to other tweets- become part of the CONVERSATION!!! The more you Tweet- The More Noise You make !!! The key is to get people to follow you- you need to offer something that they want. For instance- a good way to utilize Twitter would be to offer a daily exercise tip with a link to your blog, or Facebook page that may have video of said exercise or step by step instructions, or an archive of all exercises. By doing this people begin to see you as an expert in exercise and will seek you out for information. Always remember Social Media Tips • Go where your potential audience is- athletes, school administrators, politicians, parents of school-aged kids- if you know they won’t be on that venue- don’t waste your time. • Post valuable info your audience really wants or needs, then let them know it’s there • See it as an additional communication channel, not as a replacement • Listen before you speak – find out what people are talking about and then contribute to the conversation • Be authentic, be yourself – you’ll sound more likeable and people will want to hear what you have to say • Think long-term – you want to gain respect as an industry expert, and be seen as a valuable resource – it may take time 6 Common Mistakes • Launching without a strategy – know what your goals are before you say anything 9
  • • Talking about your profession, school or facility too much – remember this is a social network – be social, talk about other interests as well, be personable • Blogging because everyone else is… blog with a purpose, otherwise you’re just boring and wasting time • Thinking mass instead of micro – face it- not everyone will care about what you have to say so don’t try to please them- focus on your intended audience Wrap-Up Social Media allows you to provide valuable content and resources, post links to research studies and articles of interest in addition to promoting yourself and your profession as experts on sports- related injuries within the healthcare system. Social interaction helps expand awareness and introduces you to millions of people who may or may not understand what it is you do and keeps you engaged and up-to-date with the latest developments of colleagues and supporters. By using social media you can further prove your knowledge and value, creating a factor of personality and trust that can set you apart and highlight you as experts in the field. 10
  • The PR Person’s Basic Toolbox: News Release: This is your tool for communicating news to the media. Send a release to the writer, reporter or producer you’ve identified when you have news that would be of interest to your target audience. Think of your release as an inverted pyramid with the most important information first, followed by supporting background information. Your lead (opening sentence) should capture the reader’s attention and get right to the point. Your first paragraph should answer who, what, when, where, why and how. Include interesting and specific details of interest to readers, viewers and/or listeners. Remember to include your phone number and/or e-mail address so the media can contact you. News releases are used to announce: • Human interest stories: e.g. the young football player who overcame injury obstacles to become the team star • Fitness/Exercise Tips and advice for particular population segments (how seniors can stay injury free) or to tie into times of the year (staying safe during summer heat) • Special events, promotions • Any stats or new information released on athletic training (check the www.nata.org Web site to stay informed) What is a Press Release and How to Write It. A press release is the public relations and media industry-accepted method and format to deliver news that is concise and includes a complete description of an upcoming event; timely report of an event that has just occurred; notification of important personnel, organizational news; or other news or features that would be of interest to the public. How to Develop Your Media and Key Influencer Press Release E-mail List. Today, press releases are rarely mailed using the postal service. Editors, producers and reporters rely on e-mail exclusively. E-mail allows you to embed the press release in the e-mail or attach to the message. The following are categories to seek and compile your e-mail list. The best source is each media’s Web site. Each editor, producer and reporter will have instructions on how and when to submit press releases. Become familiar with each person’s work and know who covers what type of stories and events. Read the newspapers and watch the news. Be sure to get the accurate name and title of the contact person. No one likes to receive correspondence addressed impersonally or improperly. Keep in mind that your time is an investment that will earn you free media coverage. Who to Include on Your Press Release E-mail List. 11
  • 1. Editors of all major and community newspapers in your area. If you work for a school, but sure to include the editorial staff of the school’s paper. Keep in mind that you can send e- mails to various editors and reporters within the same newspaper, i.e. feature, sports, lifestyle, etc. 2. Editors of local magazines, local publications and business journals. 3. Producers and reporters at TV news and radio stations. 4. Key influencers in local government, town councils, businesses, organizations and clubs. Key and Important Elements of a Press Release (see attached examples) The following guidelines should be followed when developing and sending out press releases. Press release samples are included at the end. Think of Your Press Release as a Story. 1. Always make sure your story answers these six questions: What, Where, When, Who, Why and How. 2. It must have a well-defined purpose. 3. There must be one central subject. 4. Make the information truly newsworthy. 5. Write a headline that is concise and informative. If necessary, include a subhead with one additional key fact. 6. The first paragraph needs to be a brief factual summary. Keep paragraphs short - two to three sentences each. 7. Include benefits/unique features to public. 8. Include an appropriate quotation from a certified athletic trainer or other key individuals. 9. Boilerplate: as members of CATA or FWATA, each press release should include a consistent message about the role and mission of the organization (see “About CATA” at end of attached press release samples). 10. If you are attaching photographs or video, identify them with a short explanation of the activity. Send or e-mail your news release to the media and follow up with a telephone call to answer any questions they may have and to see if they are interested in doing a story. Tell them about opportunities to take photographs or taped coverage of your idea or event (e.g. a team practice). Visuals, whether still or live, are very important to the media. Media Advisory: A one-page announcement used to alert media about a specific event. The media advisory gives the who, what, where, when and how information and states why the event deserves coverage (see attached example). Telephone/E-mail: We rarely get a response from the media unless we proactively follow up our story or idea. Often, it requires more than one phone call, or e-mail. Be patient, getting results can be a long process; it’s all about developing relationships with the local media. 12
  • Media Timelines – When to send your news release/media advisory: • Magazines are typically published monthly. Mail and/or email magazines your news release preferably three months prior to the event date. If it’s event related, fax and/or email magazines a one-page media advisory a week prior briefly describing the event and inviting the magazine to cover it. • Newspapers are typically published daily or weekly. Mail and/or email city desk and managing editors at daily newspapers your event news release at least three weeks prior to the event date. Send weekly newspapers your news release at least two weeks prior to the event date. The day prior, as well as the day of your event, fax and/or email all local newspapers a one-page media advisory briefly describing the event and inviting the newspaper to cover it. If it’s a general or “evergreen” press release, send it as soon as it’s complete. • Radio and television stations are more immediate in their coverage of local events and typically run news segments daily. One week prior to your event, fax and/or email radio and TV stations your event news release. The day of your event, fax and/or email a one- page media advisory briefly describing the event and inviting reporters to cover it. Follow up with a call to each station’s newsroom assignment desk to see if they received the advisory and whether they plan to send a reporter out. Most local network stations have in-studio guests. We’ve placed athletic training spokespeople on the morning shows to demonstrate stretches for marathon preparation, to discuss impact testing, and how to avoid injury when starting a new fitness routine. This allows certified athletic trainers to talk about their profession, and why they are qualified to speak on the subject matter. • Similar to radio and TV stations, local websites are even more immediate in their listing and coverage of local events, typically refreshing their sites daily, even hourly. Three weeks prior to your event, email local webmasters your news release. Interview Tips If the story you’ve proposed involves a TV or radio interview, here’s a list of important things to know before you do an interview: l. What do you know about the publication or TV/radio program? 2. What do you know about the interviewer? 3. What is the format of the proposed feature? (live, taped, item on event, story on an interesting athlete, etc.) 4. Who is the audience? 5. What message do you want to send? Remember, regardless of the topic of your interview, you must take the opportunity to reiterate the qualifications and importance of certified athletic trainers. Ultimately, the goal is to raise awareness that all athletic trainers in schools, on teams, in corporate or public facilities should be certified. 13
  • 6. What are the three key points you want to get across? 7. What examples or anecdotes do you have to illustrate these points? 8. What facts or statistics do you need to dramatize these points? 9. What do you want the audience to do? What is your CALL TO ACTION!? 10. What should you NOT be talking about? Working with the media can be fun, but it can also be tricky. Here are some tips for working with them effectively: • Be prepared. Know your objectives and be completely informed about the subject at hand. Determine three key points you want to make and be sure you include them in the interview. Rehearse! Plan and think ahead, but try to appear spontaneous. • Take the initiative. Be prepared to take the lead and direct the interview into positive areas of information about your facility, position or profession. • Be believable. Speak in a conversational manner. Be personal. Use the interviewer’s name and look at him or her. Use anecdotes and stories to illustrate points. • Be honest. A lie to the press can be very damaging. If you do not know the answer to a question, say so, and offer to follow up later. • Be concise. State important facts first and keep language simple. Keep in mind that a 10- minute interview may wind up being 20 seconds on the air, or one line in the newspaper. • Do not talk off the record. The microphone is never off. • Keep your language simple. Remember you are talking to the average consumer. Using technical terms will not make you sound more knowledgeable; it will only confuse your audience. So skip the jargon. Instead, give examples. For example: Wrong: An Automated External Defibrillator is a portable electronic apparatus designed to be automated so it can be used by persons without substantial medical training who are responding to a cardiac emergency to counteract atrial or ventricular fibrillation by application of a brief electric shock to the heart. Right: An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a portable, easy to use device that helps restore a normal heart rhythm to victims of cardiac arrest. In emergencies, an AED can be used by anyone trying to save the life of someone having a heart attack. Wrong: Overuse injuries, otherwise known as cumulative trauma disorders are sports- related injuries that involve repetitive submaximal loading of a particular musculoskeletal unit, resulting in changes due to fatigue of tendons or inflammation of surrounding tissues. 14
  • Examples include: lateral epicondylitis, rotator cuff tendonitis and impingement, infrapatellar tendonitis and Achilles tendinitis Right: Overuse injuries occur from repetitive actions over time that put too much stress on the bones and muscles. Common examples include tennis elbow, swimmer’s shoulder, Little League elbow, runner’s knee, jumper’s knee, Achilles tendinitis and shin splints. • Energize. Use gestures and facial expressions to add validity and enthusiasm to your interview. • Develop appropriate transitions. Form a bridge from the questions you are asked to other areas that you wish to cover. Examples of transitions include: “That’s important to remember, however ...” or “That’s not my area of expertise, but what I can tell you is ...” or “That’s an interesting question, let me remind you though ...” • Correct misstatements. If a reporter is incorrect about something, correct the error as soon as possible in a courteous, non-threatening and professional manner. For example, if a reporter calls you a “trainer” vs. “athletic trainer”, correct them and explain the difference (e.g. your scope vs. a personal trainers). You can start your sentence, with, “I’m actually a certified athletic trainer, which means I am trained to….” • Stay cool. The reporter may ask you questions you’re not prepared for. If you stay focused on your main communication points and follow the above tips, you will be fine. • Turn negatives into positives. Be prepared to lead the interview from problems and negative issues to positive points. KEY MEDIA RULES, IN BRIEF: • STICK TO YOUR MESSAGE • BE CONSISTENT WITH CALLING YOURSELF A “CERTIFIED ATHLETIC TRAINER” VS. AN “ATHLETIC TRAINER” OR JUST “TRAINER” • DO NOT SPEAK OFF THE RECORD • NEVER LIE SPEAK ENTHUSIASTICLY (UNLESS IT’S A CRISIS); USE ANECDOTES • AND EXAMPLES • BE CONCISE AND TO THE POINT DON’T USE JARGON (TECHNICAL/MEDICAL TERMS) • 15
  • Most Common FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) What if the reporter is wrong? Tell him what is right. Never make the reporter look bad. How should you communicate your afterthoughts? Suppose you leave something out? Call or e-mail (preferably both) the reporter ASAP to alert him to afterthoughts or additional information. Suppose the interviewer doesn’t ask the right questions? He’s not on your payroll, nor are you on his. It’s up to you to get your message across whether or not the interviewer offers you the “right” opportunity to do so. Are dead-time shows and small papers worth bothering with? Presumably nobody is watching/listening/reading. Do ’em anyway. It’s good practice, you add supplemental coverage. Remember that sometimes it’s about QUANTITY, and you still get third- party power and valuable “niche” exposure. Also, you can give stories arms and legs by posting them on your Web site, creating reprints and sending them to clients or constituents or posting them in an office to create credibility. What if the interviewer is not interested in your subject? This is no place for hurt pride, paranoia or taking it personally. ALWAYS focus on the business goal and mission and use the time and opportunity to your advantage. In a Crisis: Communicating With the Media: 1. Designate one person who will do media interviews (media spokesperson). This person should be articulate, calm and knowledgeable about the subject. 2. Inform staff and constituents that all media inquiries on the situation will be handled by the media spokesperson. 3. Try to find out as much as possible what kind of questions the media will ask. 4. Craft a written statement/answer to the question. 5. Read the statement; distribute the written statement as appropriate (fax out to TV stations, newspapers, etc). 6. Written statements should be prepared so that they: • Can be read verbatim • Maintain consistency • Prevent distorted quotes or quotes out of context • If need be, offer written statements to all media. Update them as needed – often within hours. • Be human – state your regret, your sorrow, etc. 16
  • • Keep media and personnel informed re: new developments. • “NO COMMENT” is a NO-NO, no matter what. It antagonizes the media and the public and creates suspicion. Instead, the comment can be that you’re investigating the problem, or that you’ll comment on a particular aspect at a designated time. • Stick to your guns. That’s where your written statement helps. Media harassment and hysteria do exist – don’t be a victim, if possible. • Do not shirk your responsibility. Communicate your position to the media in a positive, accommodating manner. • In a crisis, act as though your reputation depends on it. Ask yourself these questions: • How will our decisions and actions affect news coverage? • How will news coverage affect our reputation? If you’d like to contact us directly: Jean Walcher JWalcher Communications jean@jwalcher.com (619) 295-7140 2110 El Cajon Blvd. San Diego, CA 92104 www.jwalcher.com SAMPLE PRESS RELEASE #1: Goal is to educate consumers and build credibility for the athletic training industry Contact: (your name here) (your email and phone number) Playing Through Pain The California Athletic Trainers’ Association advices coaches, parents and athletes when to stop pushing 17
  • SAN DIEGO, CA – (date) – “No Pain, No Gain.” No doubt, everyone has heard the old adage, either from a coach, a parent, a teammate, or even a professional athlete, but the motivational saying may cause more harm than help. At some point or another, every athlete – amateur or professional – has been told to “push through the pain” to succeed. But according to the California Athletic Trainers’ Association (CATA), ignoring pain can be a potentially athletic career-ending decision. “There are pains that can be attributed to muscle soreness and played through, and others that could signal a potentially serious injury,” (says your name and credentials). “It’s important to recognize the difference between the two.” While soreness is temporary, chronic pain is not. “If pain persists for two weeks or more, it’s time to have it checked out by a physician,” says (your last name here). “Continuing to play puts athletes at risk for significant injury.” But with role models like Shawne Merriman, the San Diego Charger’s star linebacker who opened the season playing on two torn ligaments, the idea of “playing through pain” becomes glamorized. Despite medical advice to sacrifice the season and undergo reconstructive surgery, Merriman announced that he would continue to play until he could not take it anymore – ignoring doctor’s warnings that doing so could permanently threaten his football career. Merriman, who had been playing injured since 2005, finally gave into his injuries after a less than stellar season debut saying that he just “did not feel right” out on the field. While professional athletes seemingly have the most to lose by playing injured, young athletes also face the pressures to continue despite injury. At risk for them are varsity berths, starting positions, and potential college scholarships. “Young athletes will push themselves beyond their bodies natural breaking points, even making light of injuries,” says (your last name here), “ it’s up to the coaches, parents and athletic trainers to recognize when an athlete needs to stop, to educate them about the dangers of playing through pain and to encourage them to speak up when they are in pain.” The CATA offers these tips to dealing with pain: • Respect pain. Pain is your body's way of telling you that you are injured; your body is hoping that you’ll slow down your activity until you have healed. • Speak Up. If you become injured or experience ongoing pain, report it to an athletic trainer, coach or parent. • Do not neglect injuries. With proper, EARLY treatment, you can limit the severity of your injury and be able to return to full activity quickly. Many injuries, if caught early enough, can be healed with simple rest and time off from the sport. • Don’t rush back in. Depending on the severity of an injury, it may take a while to return to the level you were at; be patient and follow doctor’s orders to resume activity as safely as possible. • Preventing injuries is easier than treating injuries. Good stretching and warm-up can make your body flexible and prepared for vigorous activity. Not only does stretching reduce muscle soreness and injuries, it can also permit you to perform better. 18
  • • Get annual physicals. Young athletes should receive a pre-season physical every year to detect any potential or existing injuries, along with any other health issues. • Presence of on-site, qualified personnel. Kids should be coached by qualified personnel, and a certified athletic trainer should be on-site during school or other organized sports. As physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, athletic trainers can offer a range of services, including injury prevention, immediate evaluation and treatment, and rehabilitation to reduce the risk of serious injuries, as well as re-injury. About the California Athletic Trainers Association (CATA): Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the provision of physical medicine and rehabilitation services, serving as physician extenders in the prevention, assessment and treatment of acute and chronic injuries and illnesses. The California Athletic Trainers Association (http://www.cata-usa.org) represents and supports 2,200 members of the athletic training profession through communication and education. In April 2007, the CATA introduced SB 284– legislation calling for the regulation of athletic trainers in the state of California. Currently, California is one of only four states without a system of checks and balances to regulate the athletic training profession, meaning anyone can label him/herself an athletic trainer without holding the proper credentials – leaving athletes at risk for injury or worse, disability. In October 2007, SB 284 was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. About (your school, facility or company) (Brief paragraph about what you or your company does with listing of a Web site for more information) ### 19
  • Sample Press Release #2: Goal was to educate the media and public about the California licensure issue with a call to action to talk to CATA’s Governmental Affairs Chair, Mike West, about the California athletic trainers’ Fight to be Defined campaign and how the lack of licensure can be a serious risk to athletes. Also, the importance of making sure every high school athletic team has a qualified athletic trainer on staff, and how parents need to be educated on who’s working with their children. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Cassie Piercey / JWalcher Communications 619.295.7140 / cassie@jwalcher.com California Athletic Trainers “Fight to be Defined” -- Unqualified Athletic Trainers Free to Practice in California, Risk to Athletes California Athletic Trainers’ Association Calls for Statewide Regulation Today SAN DIEGO, Calif. - April 17, 2006 – The state of California is a dumping ground for unlicensed, unqualified athletic trainers. Currently, California does not regulate the practice of athletic training, meaning anyone can label themselves an “athletic trainer” without holding the proper credentials. The California Athletic Trainer’s Association (CATA) has announced it will present a bill in the State Capital today (1p.m./2 p.m.) calling for a defined scope of practice for athletic training to help weed out unqualified athletic trainers working with California’s athletes and consumers. A CATA panel member presenting “The Athletic Trainers Act” will be available for interviews at the Capital. For more information visit http://fwata.org/com_govaffairs.html. Problem: a certified athletic trainer in a surrounding state that licenses athletic training loses his/her license to practice. Solution: he/she can come to California to practice without any government regulation. Athletes young, old, pro, collegiate and amateur are at SERIOUS risk for injury or worse, disability, working with an unqualified athletic trainer. Question is: Who’s taking care of young athletes in high school sports? Athletic trainers are everywhere, not just with pro sports teams, but also with high schools, colleges and even in major California corporations like UPS and SDG&E. Because no standard set of regulations exist for athletic training, the proliferation of athletic trainers in California presents a serious health hazard to athletes in our state, until now! Certified athletic trainers are fighting to be defined in the state of California. California’s certified athletic trainers lack a clear definition for the level of expertise they offer, and on April 17 a new bill will be introduced in Sacramento calling for a state-recognized definition and scope of practice for athletic training, making it mandatory for those who practice as an athletic trainer to register with the State. Support and passage of this bill will protect the public from unqualified practitioners - making it a crime to work as an athletic trainer, call oneself an athletic trainer or provide athletic training services without being registered. Please consider an interview with CATA’s Governmental Affairs Chair and high school athletic trainer, Mike West, while in Sacramento to talk about the California athletic trainers’ Fight to be Defined campaign. He can talk more about the serious risk to athletes and the importance of 20
  • making sure every high school athletic team has a qualified athletic trainer on staff, in addition to what registration and licensure means for the profession. Parents of young athletes need to be educated about who’s working with their children. More than stereotypical ankle tapers, athletic trainers are recognized as allied health professionals by the American Medical Association (AMA). As physical medicine experts, they are there for athletes and other physically active clients making clinical decisions regarding performance training, injury prevention, on-site emergency care, and not least, rehabilitation. About the California Athletic Trainers Association (CATA): Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the provision of physical medicine and rehabilitation services, serving as physician extenders in the prevention, assessment and treatment of acute and chronic injuries and illnesses. The California Athletic Trainers Association (http://www.cata-usa.org) represents and supports 2,200 members of the athletic training profession through communication and education. ### 21
  • Sample Media Advisory: (A mock-up of a specialized event to draw attention to Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Day). Goal is to educate consumers and build credibility for the athletic training industry, while bringing attention to the necessity of having available AEDs at schools and onsite during recreational and athletic activities. “FILL IN THE BLANK” SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST AWARNESS DAY MEDIA ADVISORY **MEDIA ADVISORY** [INSERT FACILITY, SCOOL NAME] HOSTS SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST AWARENESS DAY WHO: Local certified athletic trainers (ATCs) promoting lifesaving techniques in response to cardiac emergencies. WHAT: To raise awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, Certified Athletic Trainers will instruct the community how to properly respond to life threatening emergencies in the gym, on the fields, or anywhere, Attendees will learn simple lifesaving skills, including the safe used of cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) that could dramatically affect the outcome of a heart attack. Trained professionals, teachers, community leaders, and children can practice a routine emergency action plan – from alerting staff of an emergency and calling for advanced medical care, to performing basic lifesaving skills until advanced help arrives. Through preparation and training, certified athletic trainers will give you the necessary skills to save a life. This annual event is FREE and open to the public. WHEN: Saturday, September 12, 2009, from 10 am to 1 pm. WHERE: [INSERT facility name], located at [INSERT address], just off of [INSERT Highway, Interstate # or Main Road] in [INSERT city, town or county]. Visit www.cata-usa.org or call [INSERT telephone #] for easy driving directions. INTERVIEWS: Speak with [INSERT your media representative’s name] about the dangers and prevalence of Sudden Cardiac Arrest both in and out of schools, what precautions can be instilled to prevent/respond to such emergencies, why it is essential to react immediately in these situations and how anyone can help save a life with some basic knowledge. [He/She] can also discuss the ongoing fight for the regulation of athletic trainers in the state of California. Currently, California is one of only four states without a system of checks and balances to regulate the athletic training profession, meaning anyone can label him/herself an athletic trainer without holding the proper credentials – leaving athletes at risk for injury, disability or worse, death. ### 22