Print and TV Media Tips
Make plans now to contact your local media to arrange for a personal interview. Newspapers generally prefer to run stories about people in their local area. Also be aware of opportunities on television, radio, and other print media.
Print media is very effective as the information found in articles is often shared with others. Many people with eczema will discover NEA in this fashion. Often a friend or relative will cut out an article and pass it along to someone who feels alone with their eczema and has not heard about NEA.
"How To" Instructions, Print Media
- Review the NEA news release to become familiar with the material.
- If you get your cover letter and press release from the NEA website, make sure you modify the materials. The documents are in Word, so you can simply enter the name and address of the media contact on the top of the cover letter in the underlined space provided. It is also important to add your contact information to the top of the Press Release. If you are using a hard copy of the materials received in the mail, make photocopies of the materials and add name and address of the media contact on the cover letter, and your contact information on the press release. Photocopy the original in case you have more than one media hit.
- Contact the assignment editor, lifestyles editor, health editor or entertainment editor of your local newspaper or the program director of your local television or radio station. Send them your signed cover letter and a copy of the press release before sending the entire press packet. That way you can assess who is interested in doing a story on eczema before sending out the entire press packet. This will help to conserve original materials. If you garner interest from more than one member of your local media, contact the NEA office for additional packets.
- Inform your contact about you and your cause.
- Arrange for a personal interview for you or someone else in your area.
- Refer to the basic interview tips below, and contact the NEA office for additional tips.
- Send an original of the printed article or a copy of the video or audiotape to the NEA office.
- Send photos for use in the NEA newsletter.
Basic Tips for Your Interview
- Be yourself-share something important with people who want to learn about eczema.
- Listen carefully to the reporter’s questions and answer in brief, clear, to-the-point sentences.
- Know your boundaries for what you are willing to say. You need to be open but allow yourself limits.
- Utilize NEA to answer questions if needed.
- Relax, enjoy and feel good that you are doing something that helps all people with eczema.
TV Media Coverage-Helpful Tips
- Consult with a Dermatologist/Medical Advisor, if possible. Explain that you would like to promote awareness about atopic dermatitis/eczema. Would he/she be interested in helping you do a TV interview about atopic dermatitis/ eczema? (Dermatologist/Medical Advisor covers the Medical area for you.) Which hospital(s) is the Dermatologist/ Medical Advisor affiliated with? Does the Doctor have a contact at the Media Relations Department of the hospital?
Be two steps ahead of your contacts. Prepare your cover letter, your story, photo(s), Doctor Information card, and NEA awareness support package. Mail them to every channel in your area (early September).
- Contact the Media Relations Department at the hospital. To my surprise, they are always looking for stories to cover at their hospital, they can arrange the TV Interview(s) for you; they have contacts through all of your local news stations. Also provide the Media Relations Department at the hospital with a packet, they need supporting documents.
- Be ready for a few things to happen quickly.
- You may get a reporter who wants an "exclusive." Kindly agree to the exclusive as long as the interview is completed and aired by a desired date.
- Do not be afraid to be in charge if you run into this; sometimes other stations decline coverage if there is an exclusive, especially if it is by the leading news station in your area. You will want to setup other interviews immediately after your exclusive. Try to get the most watched station in your area.
- You may get a call from two stations in the same day willing to do your story. Set up non-conflicting interview times for yourself. Do not worry about setting up the Doctor’s interview. You will want to confirm with your reporter that they will contact the Doctor for their interview.
- TV station personnel will come to your choice of location for the taping. I suggest a more private setting, one that will be comfortable. Be honest, do not be afraid to show your emotions, this is important for viewers to know and understand.
- Ask that your phone number or NEA’s phone number be posted at the end of the airing (It is highly recommend that you contact your local phone service to set up Voice Mail Service if you are using your phone number; it is inexpensive and callers will not get frustrated.)
- If you do not get a response back from the Media within a reasonable amount of time, follow up with a call to the station regarding the information sent to them.
- Remember to RELAX and ENJOY this experience. You will be educating hundreds of viewers, and reaching out to those in your area who have atopic dermatitis/eczema.