Generating Quality Headlines in a Changed Environment: Media Attention That Leads to Increased Awareness (Text Version)

Slide presentation from the AHRQ 2009 conference

On September 15, 2009, Karen Migdail and Bruce Seeman made this presentation at the 2009 Annual Conference. Select to access the PowerPoint® presentation (1.7 MB) (Plugin Software Help).


Slide 1

Slide 1. Generating Quality Headlines in a Changed Environment: Media Attention That Leads to Increased Awareness

Generating Quality Headlines in a Changed Environment: Media Attention That Leads to Increased Awareness

Karen Migdail
Bruce Seeman

September 15, 2009

 

Slide 2

Slide 2. Why Engage the Media?

Why Engage the Media?

  • Promoting your work improves health care
  • Media is a great tool IF you use it right
  • Engaging the media helps control the message

 

Slide 3

Slide 3. Making the Media Care: Wearing Two Hats

Making the Media Care: Wearing Two Hats

  • The Scientist
    • Analytical
    • Precise
    • Deep into Details
  • The Communicator
    • Educator
    • Translator
    • Someone who makes science relevant

 

Slide 4

Slide 4. Why Simple Language Works Best

Why Simple Language
Works Best

  • Makes science more relevant
  • Minimizes confusion - maximizes understanding
  • Helps reporter sell the story to an editor

 

Slide 5

Slide 5. How to Wear The Communicator Hat

How to Wear The Communicator Hat

  • Talk to your mother
  • Be patient
  • Stay out of the weeds

 

Slide 6

Slide 6. All Hail the Abstract!

All Hail the Abstract!

  • Reporters entry point to the study
  • Helps the reporter determine if it's news and its magnitude
  • Often used as the foundation of a press release
  • Bottom Line: Clarity starts here!

 

Slide 7

Slide 7. Improving Your Abstracts: Clear Titles

Improving Your Abstracts:
Clear Titles

Some examples.

  • Maternal diet and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Smoking and Smoking Cessation in Relation to Mortality in Women
  • Depression in patients with diabetes: Does it Impact Clinical Goals?

 

Slide 8

Slide 8. Improving Your Abstracts: Clear Findings

Improving Your Abstracts:
Clear Findings

How it was written:

With few exceptions, there is insufficient high-grade evidence to reach conclusions about the efficacy of atypical antipsychotic medications for any of the off-label indications, either vs. placebo or vs. active therapy.

Simpler.

 

Slide 9

Slide 9. The Good, the Bad and the Complex

The Good, the Bad and the Complex

How it was written:

With few exceptions, there is insufficient high-grade evidence to reach conclusions about the efficacy of atypical antipsychotic medications for any of the off-label indications, either vs. placebo or vs. active therapy.

Simpler.

Not enough strong evidence exists to conclude whether antipsychotics are effective for off-label uses.

 

Slide 10

Slide 10. The Good, the Bad and the Complex

The Good, the Bad and the Complex

How it was written:

There is limited evidence that injected vitamin B12 supplementation is of clinical benefit among demented or cognitively impaired patients, particularly when given soon after diagnosis of disease; however, overall the studies of B12 supplementation are inconclusive and the relative value of injected versus oral B12 remains unclear.

Simpler.

 

Slide 11

Slide 11. The Good, the Bad and the Complex

The Good, the Bad and the Complex

How it was written:

There is limited evidence that injected vitamin B12 supplementation is of clinical benefit among demented or cognitively impaired patients, particularly when given soon after diagnosis of disease; however, overall the studies of B12 supplementation are inconclusive and the relative value of injected versus oral B12 remains unclear.

Simpler.

Vitamin B12 may help patients who are demented or cognitively impaired, particularly if treated soon after diagnosis. More research is needed, however, and It's unclear whether injected B12 works better than oral B12.

 

Slide 12

Slide 12. The Good, the Bad and the Complex

The Good, the Bad and the Complex

How it was written:

The evidence is significantly limited by its minimal relevance to primary CDMR. Future research requires developing consensus about terminology for both delivery routes and outcomes; creating a minimum data set of information about CDMR; improving study design and statistical analyses; attending to major outcomes and their special measurement issues; assessing both short- and long-term outcomes with better measurement strategies; dealing better with confounders; and considering the value or utility of different outcomes

Simpler.

 

Slide 13

Slide 13. The Good, the Bad and the Complex

The Good, the Bad and the Complex

How it was written:

The evidence is significantly limited by its minimal relevance to primary CDMR. Future research requires developing consensus about terminology for both delivery routes and outcomes; creating a minimum data set of information about CDMR; improving study design and statistical analyses; attending to major outcomes and their special measurement issues; assessing both short- and long-term outcomes with better measurement strategies; dealing better with confounders; and considering the value or utility of different outcomes

Simpler.

You know, after lots of review, we've concluded we're pretty much in the dark about this.

 

Slide 14

Slide 14. Got Research?

Got Research?

So You've got the media's interest.

What Happens Now?

 

Slide 15

Slide 15. Cartoon

Cartoon

 

Slide 16

Slide 16. Who Are The Media?

Who Are The Media?

  • Trade Press
    • Independent (e.g Modern Healthcare)
    • Association-sponsored (AM News)
  • General Press
    • Newspapers
    • Magazines
    • Wire Services
    • Television/Radio
  • New Media
    • Blogs, Twitter and more
    • On-line news services

 

Slide 17

Slide 17. Health Reporters - When you've met one, you've met one

Health Reporters- When you've met one, you've met one

  • Health and medical issues are increasingly complex
  • Shrinking news rooms/Broader coverage areas
  • Greater competition
  • Faster news cycles - Internet
  • The New Breed: Bloggers, Tweeters etc.
  • Association of Health Care Journalists

 

Slide 18

Slide 18. Common Myths About the Media

Common Myths About the Media

  • Media is our partner
  • Media is our enemy
  • Trade press reporters know/understand health care well
  • General press reporters don't know/understand health care well
    • Corollary: TV reporters are all flash, no substance
  • Local Media

 

Slide 19

Slide 19. Options for Getting the Information Out

Options for Getting the Information Out

  • Press Release
  • Targeted Pitch
  • Event - real or virtual
  • Write articles/commentaries
  • Encourage others to write articles/commentaries
  • Build a relationship with reporters

Be Creative!

 

Slide 20

Slide 20. Staying on Message

Staying on Message

 

Slide 21

Slide 21. THE MESSAGE PYRAMID

THE MESSAGE PYRAMID

 

Slide 22

Slide 22. Packaging Your Expertise

Packaging Your Expertise

  • Messages
    • "An interview is no time for an original thought."
  • Speaking Style
    • Speak concisely
    • No jargon
    • Sound bites can help
    • Find your own comfort level
  • Practice Makes Perfect

 

Slide 23

Slide 23. Things to Remember

Things to Remember

  • KISS - Keep It Short and Simple
  • Answer yes or no questions with "yes," "no," or "there isn't a yes or no answer" and then bridge
  • Never say "no comment"
  • Never try to fake an answer. If you don't know, admit it (Suggest where the reporter might find it.)
  • Don't repeat the negative, put it aside and bridge

 

Slide 24

Slide 24. Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics

  • Honoring embargos
  • Editorial philosophy varies by company
  • Editorial style varies by company and editors
  • Credentials
  • They need us as much as we need them.

 

Slide 25

Slide 25. Cartoon

Cartoon

 

Slide 26

Slide 26. Your Questions?

Your Questions?

Current as of December 2009
Internet Citation: Generating Quality Headlines in a Changed Environment: Media Attention That Leads to Increased Awareness (Text Version). December 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/events/conference/2009/migdail-seeman/index.html