Yoda and Mr. Clean on TV and in a Digital Universe


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This article tells faculty how to prepare for being a media content expert

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Yoda and Mr. Clean on TV and in a Digital Universe

  1. 1. ASCOTech Yoda and Mr. Clean on TV and in a Digital Universe Dominick M. Maino, OD, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD-A Geoffrey W. Goodfellow, OD, FAAO F aculty are often called upon to ic institutions and realize the research public’s perception of the institution play multiple roles within our manuscript we haven’t started to write and can have significant and far-reach- educational universe. At the yet is supposed to be submitted for peer ing impact. Faculty who interact with beginning of the day, we don review today! the media can increase student recruit- the garb of the clinician and preceptor, Our lives are busy and complicated but ment, faculty recruitment, research and later, we may put on the laboratory certainly worth the living. Making sig- collaborations, fundraising, improve coat of the researcher. The next day, we nificant contributions to science, clini- patient care delivery, and boost referrals may be scheduled to teach a course and cal practice, and our college community for specialty care.” a laboratory, serve on an institutional is all in a day’s work for the academic. committee, and hold office hours. In Our institutions frequently rely on us How to prepare for a the middle of the week, we may go to to be content experts. If you haven’t media interaction a private practice where we integrate been asked, forced, or cajoled into be- Jennifer Sopko, Director of Communi- all the latest science into the art of op- ing interviewed by the ubiquitous me- cations and Media at the Illinois Col- tometry during our direct patient care dia, you will. Fear not, this article will lege of Optometry (ICO), has these experiences. The week may not be over help prepare you. tips for interacting with the media: yet, because on the next day, we may see one or more students with a wide The role of faculty and the • Know what is expected. How will variety of problems that require our the interview be used? Will it be media live or taped? Will you or the in- person management skills and psychol- ogy degree (by life experience) to calm We recently asked Dr. Elizabeth Hoppe, stitution be the focus or is the in- a distraught second year student. Founding Dean of the College of Op- terview to be included in a larger tometry at the Western University of story? But wait! There’s more! On the next Health Sciences, her opinion of the role • What’s your point? Decide before day, we fly out to Missoula, Montana, of faculty and the media, and why fac- the interview what your main point to give an invited lecture for the state ulty should get involved with the me- is and try to convey that through- association’s annual meeting. The fol- dia. According to Dr. Hoppe: “Media out the interview. lowing week we’re scheduled to partici- access has changed dramatically with pate in the American Academy of Op- new venues on websites, blogs, and • Remember the audience. When tometry meeting, presenting a poster, answering questions, think about social networking sites. Video clips are and soon after that, we are taking the the family sitting on the couch. shared around the world, sometimes College of Optometrist in Vision De- Talk to the audience, not to the re- with unpredictable results. Media par- velopment Fellowship examination. We porter. ticipation and interaction by faculty finally return to our respective academ- has the potential to positively affect the Dr. Goodfellow is an associate professor and Dr. Maino is a professor at the Illinois College of Optometry. They invite your feedback about this and all ASCOTech columns and your suggestions for future columns. Are you a media content expert? Tell us what you are doing. We want to hear about it. E-mail dmaino@ico.edu or ggoodfel@ico.edu. Please visit http://www.MainosMemos.blogspot.com. Optometric Education 92 Volume 35, Number 3 / Summer 2010
  2. 2. • Keep it simple. Try to avoid us- How do your colleagues Who, what, when, where, ing industry jargon or technical prepare how and why? language. Deliver your message in a way that the general public can American Optometric Association Any good 1950s movie about newspa- understand. Board of Trustees member, media per reporters always emphasized that, spokesperson and one of Vision Mon- as a reporter, you needed to know who, • It’s OK not to know. If you don’t day’s 50 Most Influential Woman, Dr. what, when, where, how, and why, and know the answer to a question, of- Andrea Thau recommends that you then verify the facts even if you were fer to look into it or refer the re- have no more than three main points quoting your mom. We can use these porter to another source. Try to and that you repeat them at least three key words as guidance for our interac- avoid “no comment” or giving a times. She also recommends that you tions with the media. deliberately vague answer. always mention optometry, doctor • Who. Today the “who” of potential • Be yourself. Relax and be conver- of optometry, and whomever placed media that need our content expert sational. the media piece or the organization skills is endless. Not only do we have • Credibility is everything! you represent (ASCO, AOA, COVD, television, radio, and newspapers, but AAO, etc.). In addition, she says, do we now have social digital media, such not assume you will be asked the ques- as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, You- Toni Bristol, a public relations and tion you want, but be ready to respond marketing expert at Expansion Consul- to their questions by weaving in your Tube, and SOVOTO. We have digital tants, Inc., agrees with Ms. Sopko and message. encyclopedias written by readers and adds these points: blogs that attract national and interna- ICO faculty member and public access tional followings. One of modern day’s • Flag your key message. Tell the television talk show host, Dr. Janice digital conundrums is not that we have reporter what your main points are Jurkus agrees. To be prepared, she says, limited information, but that we have by prefacing your statements with, be sure to know the topic you’ll be ex- access to way too much information “The most important thing for pected to discuss and always be hon- without appropriate filters in place. your viewers to know is …” est. She also suggests that you speak Radio and television interviews often • Dress appropriately. Strive for a in short, declarative sentences using are live, which means your message professional, somewhat conserva- “sound bites,” avoid run-on sentences, goes out to the target audience imme- tive look. For on-camera inter- and don’t say “ahhhh” too much. Fi- diately. You only get one shot to convey views, wear colors that light up nally, she says, “If you are being pho- your points in a clear way. Newspaper your eyes. Avoid distracting cloth- tographed or appearing on TV, look and magazine interviews, however, are ing. Don’t wear heavy makeup or either at the interviewer or at the cam- generally a little less formal, which gives jewelry that will catch the light. era. Do not look down or around the you more opportunity to think about If you wear eyeglasses, your lenses room.” ICO’s Dr. Valerie Kattouf adds, your words and to rephrase as neces- should have an AR coating, and “Keep your responses brief and avoid sary to deliver your message. The one your frames should not block your ‘doctor’ language while coming across drawback with this medium is that eyes from the camera (Figure 1). in a natural, unscripted, and conversa- your words can often be misinterpreted tional manner.” by the writer who assembles the final story. I (GG) have had my comments Figure 1 taken out of context on occasion, and it When interacting with the media, always dress is considered professionally unaccept- professionally and conservatively. able to ask to edit the final manuscript before it is published; however, some authors will extend the courtesy of re- viewing the manuscript for any errors prior to publishing. • What. What can you, as a faculty member, contribute to this somewhat riotous cacophony of frenzied media output? Quite a bit, actually. If your in- stitution’s public information team does not come to you, you should go to them. Start with what you know and then take a look at the current “hot” media topic. Perform a Google search or set up a Google and/or PubMed alert to stay in- formed about topics being discussed in Optometric Education 93 Volume 35, Number 3 / Summer 2010
  3. 3. the realm of cyber media and to receive new technology (Figure 2). give back to the profession in a positive the latest published research. If any top- • Where. It often makes little difference manner. ics fit your content expert résumé, then if your institution is in a big city or a present your idea to your public infor- small college town. Content is king Yoda and Mr. Clean? mation people, explaining how your when it comes to the new media. Your If you’ve read this far, you must be knowledge can benefit the institution message can just as easily go national wondering about the title of this ar- and its many constituents. Even if your from Big Rapids, Michigan, as it can ticle. One of my west coast colleagues institution’s public information staff from New York City. often refers to me (DM) as Yoda (of does not understand the importance Star Wars fame). I would like to think of your topic, or if your topic does not • How. Drs. Hoppe, Jurkus, Kattouf, and Thau, as well as Ms. Sopko and he calls me this because of my extensive fit into their established timetable, do knowledge base, sage advice, and air of not give up. Consider contacting your Ms. Bristol have provided some great tips on the “how.” We suggest you ap- quiet authority. However, from time public information people about once to time when looking in the mirror, I every quarter with an idea. This will proach the media and the public from the standpoint of, “If I wanted to im- notice that I am assuming a physical demonstrate that you want to help and form similar to that of my Jedi friend you have a genuine interest in how the press my mom, how would I do it?” or “I want to discuss this topic in such a (i.e., short, round, and fuzzies growing media perceive the institution. about my head). way that my mom could understand it • When. Periodically throughout the easily.” If you do this, the message you As you can imagine, I have the perfect year, various media, especially televi- want to get across will be heard and un- face for radio! If you have a similar sion and radio, designate a week or two derstood by the vast majority of those physiognomy, plan on your public rela- to count their viewers and listeners. whom you are trying to reach. tions career to be in radio, print, and You may want to time your message to digital media … or just get on TV any- occur just before or during a “sweeps • Why. Why should you become in- volved with the media? Dr. Hoppe way. We all know that on TV we look week.” Also, consider timing your news heavier, and with HDTV, every facial releases, blog messages, Facebook page notes, “Faculty members who represent their institutions well in the media will nook and cranny shows up (Figure 3). updates, and other media outreach ef- The bright side is that when people see forts to coincide with special events, increase their value to the institution.” When you interact successfully with me in real life, they tell me how much such as the Olympics to talk about younger and thinner I appear! On the sports vision, or the release of the next the media, you also feel a sense of ac- complishment and a renewed belief other hand, my clean cut, handsome 3D blockbuster movie, an opportunity but follicly challenged coauthor has a to discuss binocular vision problems that what you do matters to others. It provides an opportunity for you to face for all media (Figure 4)! that can interfere with enjoying this Figure 2 Figure 3 Timing is everything for Dr. Dominick Maino Dr. Valerie Kattouf experiences a who discusses binocular vision dysfunction true “close up” as she demonstrates related to the release of Avatar with ABC-TV the cover test while the camera Health Beat producer Christine Tressel. looks on. Optometric Education 94 Volume 35, Number 3 / Summer 2010
  4. 4. Finally, as Dr. Arol Augsburger, Presi- dent of the Illinois College of Optom- Figure 4 etry, notes, “Talking to the media is Dr. Geoffrey Goodfellow discusses the new Illinois no different from interacting in many Children’s Vision Law on the ABC-7 news. social or business settings. We all must manage our messages, whether we are talking to reporters or not. We are all marketing our messages daily. In every conversation we have, we either market ourselves well or badly, but we are mar- keting!” Now that you know the who, what, when, where, how and why of it all, it’s time to get busy. Talk to your public information people. Start a blog and a Facebook page. Tell your story. WHAT YOUR COLLEAGUES ARE DOING In the Media Blogs AOATV 3D Movie Vision Syndrome News From the AOA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NUYtklUCCs http://newsfromaoa.org/ WLS TV Healthbeat Report: The 3-D Dilemma National Network of Libraries of Medicine http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/ http://nnlm.gov/gmr/blog/2009/07/06/jerry-du- health&id=7298893 jsik-retires-from-illinois-college-of-optometry/ AOA News University of Missouri–St. Louis Blog http://www.slideshare.net/DMAINO/maino-aoa- http://blogs.umsl.edu/news/category/college-of- news-3-2210 optometry/ MainosMemos Facebook http://www.MainosMemos.blogspot.com Michigan College of Optometry on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/ YouTube Big-Rapids-MI/Michigan-College-of- SUNY PSA Optometry/316876455569?v=wall http://www.youtube.com/ Southern College of Optometry on Facebook watch?v=TrgcFH9cZ44 http://www.facebook.com/pages/Memphis-TN/ Southern California College of Optometry Southern-College-of-Optometry/300445971137 http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query New England College of Optometry on Library =southern+california+college+of+optometry& Facebook aq=f http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boston-MA/ Illinois College of Optometry on YouTube New-England-College-of-Optometry-Li- http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query= brary/25189318659 Illinois+college+of+optometry&aq=f Illinois College of Optometry on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chicago-IL/ Illinois-College-of-Optometry/400752138798 Optometric Education 95 Volume 35, Number 3 / Summer 2010