Media Outreach Materials
Identifying Media Outlets
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Back to Media Outreach Materials
Your local media outlets—local newspapers, TV and radio stations, Web sites, newsletters, and magazines—can play an important role in raising awareness about P.A.D. in your community. They are the channels through which you can disseminate your messages. Working with the media is an ongoing relationship—building effort. This section of the tool kit provides strategies and tactics to identify and approach appropriate journalists for local media coverage.
- Get to know the newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV stations in your area. One of the best ways to do this is simply to read more newspapers and magazines, listen to local radio stations, and watch more TV. You will not only learn who the reporters, editors, and producers are, but also what types of stories are more likely to get coverage. Becoming familiar with the media in your area will also help you when you start to contact reporters to ask them to write about P.A.D.
- No outlet is too small. In addition to the "big" papers and stations in your communities, look for community weeklies or smaller publications. These media outlets are often as widely read as the larger outlets. For example, in the greater Washington, DC area, the Senior Beacon is a popular free monthly publication for the senior audience. Local weeklies or community papers are also more likely to cover your story and will likely lift content directly from the materials you send them.
- Monitor your local newspapers and your local TV news to see which reporters are reporting health stories. These reporters might include health writers, health editors, health correspondents, medical editors, or medical writers. Take note of any trends you see—do they tend to feature local patients and families? Have they covered heart health stories recently?
- Look beyond health/medical sections. In addition to the health and medical sections, consider other reporters who may have an interest in P.A.D. Does the travel writer also cover health as it relates to travel? Is there a specific reporter who covers issues related to older Americans or even baby boomers? Is there a local radio program that focuses on retirement planning? Does your local paper have a community events calendar section? Is there a "special events" section in your local magazine or TV station that highlights upcoming community events? These are all sections where you can potentially pitch a P.A.D. story.
- Use existing media contacts. Build upon any existing relationships that your organization may already have with the local media by letting them know about P.A.D., the Stay in Circulation campaign, and how your organization is involved.
- Build a media list. A good media list is one that is customized appropriately for your cause and updated regularly. Use the internet to find contact information for news outlets and build a simple contact database. Include phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and notes about the types of stories covered, specific preferences (e.g., likes to interview experts, prefers to talk to a local physician). As you reach out to reporters, you will also gather more information about your media contacts that you can use to update your media database.