Medicine And The Media

Let the media work for you, not against you

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 15 February 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:526
  1. Anna Jackson, head of Media Workshop
  1. a media training company

    There's a television crew in the hospital car park and they want to speak to you. Any doctor can be faced with the media at any time—there may be a case of meningitis in the primary school down the road, or your groans about the management of your local trust get picked up in the paper.

    But dealing with the media can be more than crisis management and damage limitation. The key is to think positively and look at the media proactively—see them as an unrivalled opportunity to get information over to a large number of people.

    The proliferation of radio stations and television channels provides ever more airtime to fill. Phone-ins and studio based magazine or chat shows with guest experts are cheap to produce, and health items are likely to appeal to a wide audience so why shouldn't your idea, your issue, your message fill that space?

    If you ask a group of doctors which programmes could contain a health input they might mention that Eastenders could have a great effect if it contained a character who is disabled (or the issue which most concerns them). And they are right of course. …

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