Cultivating Relationships with the Media

Note: The information in the section below is also available in a webinar format that can be viewed here.

Why engage the media? 

  • Public interest in dementia research – growing number of population affected – numbers equate to family members and friends.
  • Gain momentum and public advocacy.  For example, the Globe & Mail ran a week-long series of articles on dementia in 2010 and presented a seven-point plan to tackle the lack of government action on dementia at the national level.
  • Opportunity to present the researcher’s perspective.

Understanding media

  • Nature of News
    • New, rare, unusual
    • Inform, entertain, intrigue.
  • Constraints
    • Time
    • Space
    • Reporter’s Knowledge.

How can you engage with the media?

Dr. Peter McKnight is a columnist and member of the editorial board of the Vancouver Sun. Watch the first segment of Dr. McKnight’s webinar as he shares insights on strategies for communicating dementia research and care to the media (click on the image below).

  • Investigate reporter/paper/show
  • Identify 1-3 key points
  • Keep it simple
  • Use colourful language, metaphors, analogy
  • Emphasize human interest
  • Provide usable quotes
  • Write a one page summary
  • Practice!!
During interview
  • Stress main points
  • Ask if clear
  • Off the record
  • Refer to others
  • Offer to follow up
  • Review story for next time!

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