Do you you want to engage with the media, but don’t know where to start, or how to do it safely? Here are a few tips and tricks – with special recognition of the contribution of AFMW Immediate Past President, A/Prof Deb Colville.
- Remember nothing is ‘off the record’.
- Any details you give, even inadvertently, or are on your Facebook or other social media pages etc, or on AFMW pages/ group can and will be used at any time.
- Beware video for this reason since clips can be used, selected out of, to make their points, not yours
- Fun to do video, so you can channel your inner film star! Can do your own tape or video while they do you, so you can use it too. So all that makeup and choosing clothes and earrings etc isn’t wasted!
- Don’t pick up phone and proceed to do interview straight away unless you are ready. If you do pick up, always feel entitled to say you will ring back shortly and then ring when you are settled and ready.
AFMW Media strategy:
- Keep copies of their contact details so when you have something else to say, you / AFMW can use it in future
- If you want we can issue a ‘AFMW Press Release’ in advance, or on the spot, with what you want to say.
- That way you simply stick to the words on the Press Release in your phone call or interview, and since you / we already have the words worked out prior, you will be happy with what you have said.
- Media outlets copy one another. If one runs it, often others do too.
- Don’t get too invested. Remember you will go to a lot of trouble and then if some other issue hits the front page, despite all their talk about pressure of deadlines, they will drop your piece and come back to it later, or never. Same with radio and TV interviews.
- Don’t ever mention particular patients.
- Don’t ever mention particular hospitals, etc or you have to get their media dept to agree, and then involved, before you proceed.
Marissa Daniels is a paediatric intensive care medicine trainee, yAFMW co-Chair and past Treasurer for AFMW.