The Fourth Estate: Working with the Media to Advance Your Advocacy Agenda


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This presentation was given at the AAFP Family Medicine Congressional Conference (FMCC) on May 14, 2013. The goal of this presentation was to help attendees understand the relationship between media relations and advocacy, their role in an interview, and how reporters work.

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The Fourth Estate: Working with the Media to Advance Your Advocacy Agenda

  1. 1. Family Medicine Congressional ConferenceWashington, D.C.May 14, 2013Leslie Champlin, Senior Public Relations StrategistThe Fourth Estate: Working with the Mediato Advance Your Advocacy Agenda
  2. 2. Today’s Goals• Understand how reporters work.• Understand the relationship between media relationsand advocacy.• Practice.• Understand your role in an interview.
  3. 3. Legislators’ Sources of Information
  4. 4. What is Media Relations?• A planned strategy in which you identifyyour message and communicate it tothe public via the news media.-- Medicare Physician Payment-- Graduate Medical Education, Title VII-- Family Physician Workforce-- Physician-Led Team-Based Carein the PCMH
  5. 5. Plan an eventSources of Advocacy-Related News
  6. 6. Sources of Advocacy-Related NewsPoll your members
  7. 7. Sources of Advocacy-Related NewsCommunity outreach
  8. 8. Sources of Advocacy-Related NewsDemographic, socioeconomic, census reports on health topics
  9. 9. Clinical, public health dataSources of Advocacy-Related News
  10. 10. Physician workforce,education issuesSources of Advocacy-Related News
  11. 11. Who are reporters?• They are on increasingly short deadlines.• They are motivated to help theircommunities.• They don’t know what they don’t know.• They need stories because they needbylines.
  12. 12. • Who else is being interviewed?Preparing for any interview:• Who is the audience?• What kind of reporter is this?• What is the story angle?
  13. 13. BlockYour job:Talk about what you want to talk about.And Bridge
  14. 14. • Useful phrases– The real issue is…– The important thing is…– We were surprised to learn…– That’s why you need to know…– The point that needs to bemade…– We need to remember that…Building the Block,Constructing the Bridge
  15. 15. • Focus on the message, not just the question.• Think before you speak.• Headline your answers.• Speak simply.Putting it into action
  16. 16. Putting it into action• Don’t fill the silence.• Don’t repeat a negative.• Never go “off the record.”• Respect the reporter
  17. 17. Putting it into action• Tell the truth – even if it’s “I don’t know.”• Localize, personalize, humanize.• Repeat your message. Repeat it• Repeat it again.
  18. 18. Putting it into Practice …