Public Relations & the Media
Critical Program Function: To disseminate qualitative public health information on risk reduction, new research initiatives and bereavement resources in a variety of media venues.
Dealing with the media is often the most difficult aspect of public relations because it can easily be intimidating. It is easy to feel like reporters are trying to put you on the spot and that everything you say can, and will, be used against you. Although this is often the case in types of investigative and crime reporting, it is not the case with public health issues. Reporters often join the profession to “give voices to the voiceless.”
Generally, reporters will be sympathetic to your cause and want to help you share your information because they do care. You just need to take the steps to let them know you are there. For this reason, it is important to understand how the media works. Then, you can use your knowledge to your organization’s advantage.
There are a variety of ways that your organization may interact with the media including through press releases, media kits, op-ed pieces, letters to the editor, PSAs and interviews.