Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day provides an excellent opportunity for you or your organization to garner local media coverage. Media coverage can broaden the reach of any public program. In a competitive news environment, attracting the media can be a challenge, and even the most well orchestrated media approach may not be successful. But, the effort should be made.
How can you or your organization help create greater awareness about acupuncture and Oriental medicine? Here are some ideas to get you started:
For the public:
Invite an Oriental medicine practitioner to address fellow employees, students or civic/religious organization members about the potential benefits of acupuncture and other Oriental medicine modalities such as Chinese herbology, Asian bodywork therapy, etc.
For practitioners or educational institutions:
Host an open house. Invite members of the public to tour your office or institution. This is especially useful for educational institutions since it may also attract potential students.
Contact your local library to see what books or reference material about acupuncture and Oriental medicine are in its collection. Ask the librarians to organize a display. Offer to give a lecture. Consider making a donation of books and inviting the local media to cover the presentation.
Volunteer to provide a free lecture to civic/religious organizations, schools/colleges, libraries, large businesses or healthcare facilities.
Exhibit or distribute informational material at health fairs and/or job fairs.
Contact local school guidance counselors, deans, and/or science teachers. Invite them and their students who are interested in a career in acupuncture or Oriental medicine to tour your office or institution.
For practitioners, educational institutions or state/local associations:
Contact your local government officials (mayor, governor) about proclaiming October 24 as Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day and encourage their participation in local activities.
Place a link from your Web site to the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day site at www.aomday.org.
GETTING MEDIA ATTENTION
In working with the media directly, there are a few guidelines one should follow:
Contact your local media outlets to find out who is the best person to receive your news release and the best way to send it (i.e. fax, email, regular mail) be sure to get the correct spelling of that persons name. In most cases you will be instructed to send your release to an editor or producer who covers health news. You should also ask if there is someone who coordinates a calendar of events listing and send your release to that person as well. Remember to include all potential outlets (radio, television, newspapers, etc.) in your outreach efforts.
News releases should be sent at least one to two weeks in advance. Earlier is better if you are trying to get an event included in a calendar listing.
You should feel free to make a follow up call to your media contacts after your release is sent. It is best to call before noon since most media outlets are on deadlines in the afternoon. Be polite.
Here is a sample news release to help guide you. Your news release should be printed on your letterhead.
SAMPLE PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: [Name and phone number]
[Date the release is sent]
[NAME OF PRACTITIONER/ORGANIZATION] HOST FREE LECTURE ON
ACUPUNCTURE AND ORIENTAL MEDICINE
[City, State] It is estimated that as many as 43% of Americans have used or are currently using some form of complementary or alternative therapy such as acupuncture or Oriental Medicine. In recognition of this fact and in support of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day, [Name of practitioner/organization] is sponsoring a free lecture.
WHEN: [Date, time]
LOCATION: [Street address, room name/number, etc.]
DESCRIPTION: [Include here a brief description of the program, specific topic(s) to be discussed, and any registration information]
[Insert paragraph about practitioner/organization]
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day, officially observed on October 24, is part of an effort to increase public awareness of the progress, promise, and benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day is supported through a unique international partnership of organizations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The partnership includes professional associations, research organizations and educational institutions.