All life is now online, whether it’s breakfast or battles, and to be heard is to be media savvy.
As the chair of a number of organisations, and also running my own business in the modern internet world, I realise the power of online media isn’t to be underestimated. It can bring free PR to the masses and attention to the smallest community group with a minus advertising budget.
The right headline can bring people power, donations, strategies and communities all working for the common good, the wrong one can halt it in it’s tracks.
Unless the group has someone schooled in writing good PR then they are left to find that headline themselves, which is why I decided to join the community reporters course.
One of the organisations I chair is a website and support forum for Thyroid disease patients, www.thyroid-disease.org.uk, set up in 2005 by myself when suffering with the illness. The forum has over 2,000 members who all help each other through aspects and symptoms of the various thyroid conditions.
However all journalistic articles focus on the overweight ones, dismissing patients as lazy for being that way, if only. I was once told by a medical journalist that it wasn’t a “sexy” illness – fat middle aged women not being perceived in that way, our comas are slipped into gradually not immediately such as diabetic ones. If a celebrity does deign to give an interview, most hide the fact they have the condition, they just put on a bit of weight take a pill and all is well.
Hopefully learning those skills will mean I can address this inbalance and begin to put the patient view across.
This article was written by Dawn Clark using our Community Reporters website