2007 BHSM Kit
Dear Hearing Health Professional:
May is Better Hearing and Speech Month and presents an invaluable opportunity to educate people in your community about the signs and symptoms of hearing loss and to encourage those with difficulty hearing to consult you.
The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is excited to offer you this turnkey press kit to help generate media coverage on Better Hearing and Speech month in your local area.
By participating in this outreach effort, you will help raise awareness within your own community of the significant impact that hearing loss has on individual and family life and on what can be done to address the problem. Importantly, the news stories that you help generate will make a difference in the lives of people experiencing the negative effects of unaddressed hearing loss—all while supporting your own practice.
This year our focus is on baby boomers. With nearly 15 percent of Americans between the ages of 41 and 59 already experiencing hearing problems, boomers and their families are an important audience to reach. Our goal is to motivate as many individuals in this age group as possible to get their hearing checked so they can address any hearing health problems early on.
Please join BHI and other hearing health professionals across the country in educating America’s baby boomers on the importance of hearing health. It’s sure to change their lives!
BHI has developed everything you’ll need to quickly and effectively generate media interest that we hope will not only result in increased awareness of the importance of hearing health, but that also will increase patient appointments and physician referrals to your practice.
Attached are media materials we developed for you to tailor and send to local print, radio, and TV reporters in your area. You can send them to health and lifestyle reporters by e-mail and/or mail.
To make your media list, just call the local newspapers, radio and TV stations and ask for the name, address, and e-mail address for their health and lifestyle reporters.
If you e-mail the press materials, you can put “News about May’s Better Hearing and Speech Month” in your subject line and send the first four items listed below as part of the email. All you need to do is open each of the documents, copy them, and paste them into the body of your email. If you mail them, print the press releases on your letterhead.
- Customizable Press Release
- A press release is written to provide reporters with newsworthy information. Simply fill in the blanks with your own information, and it’s ready to go.
- Backgrounder on Hearing Health
- While the press release focuses on the most newsworthy aspects of your story, reporters are not experts on hearing health. The purpose of the backgrounder is to help put the story in context.
- Fact Sheet on Baby Boomers, Hearing Loss, and Hearing Devices
- This fact sheet provides newsworthy statistics that will help reporters quantify the state of hearing health among America’s baby boomers and highlights important information on current treatment options.
- Income Study Summary/Fact Sheet
- The Better Hearing Institute is releasing a study entitled, “The Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss on Household Income,” showing the relationship between hearing loss and income loss. This fact sheet provides key information on the study.
- News Article: “Money Matters – Hearing Loss May Mean Income Loss”
- This article, which summarizes the key findings of the BHI income study, is available to your local press for download at www.napsnet.com. Search on the term “hearing loss,” and locate the article dated March 14, 2007. We released this article on March 14, 2007, to thousands of editors through the North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS) news service. Go to this link to see if it has been published in your neighborhood newspaper. If it has not been printed, we urge you to take a copy of this article to your local editor, and ask them to run it. Better yet, include an advertisement leveraging the BHI income study and ask that it be placed near the NAPS article. HHPs are permitted to use the cartoon in their own ads without getting permission from BHI.
Sample Advertisement Leveraging the Income Study
This turnkey advertisement, which will be available in the near future, is designed to provide you with a convenient tool for directing people in your local community to your practice. We will inform you of its availability under separate cover.To use this advertisement to promote your practice, just follow these instructions:
- Save the PDF to your computer. Then open it with Acrobat Reader software.
- Highlight and delete—or type over—the words “Insert text here" on the PDF and add in your text.
- Print the PDF as draft, or to share with others.
- Copy your text onto a word processing file (like notepad or simple text), and indicate on which ad style (column or block) you would like to have this text located.
- Save the word processing file and the PDF on removable media (e.g., floppy disk, writable CD).
- Print this page and take it—along with your PDF and word processing files—to a printer or advertising agency.
- The Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss on Household Income
- This detailed report has been reformatted to resemble our print and eGuides. Hearing health professionals may consider downloading and printing this or emailing it to potential clients or local media interested in the full study.
Key Messages and Interviews with Reporters
We developed a set of key messages entitled "Hearing Health Messages" to help you shape positive media stories and respond to reporters’ questions. Do not send this to reporters—just read the information to reporters during calls, and remember that these are key points you’ll want to make throughout your conversation. You’ll want to repeat these messages at least twice during the conversation to help ensure that they are picked up by the reporter.
We suggest you review these messages prior to talking with reporters and think of situations in your own practice that can help substantiate and personalize these points.
Remember: You can always call a reporter back if there are questions that you cannot answer during the initial interview—or if you feel there is further information or clarification you wish to offer later.
You also may wish to suggest that reporters interview patients of yours who have had success with hearing aids and who may have stories to share. (Be sure, however, to talk with your patient in advance and to get their permission to pass on their name and phone number.)
Let Us Hear From You
We’ve prepared these materials to help you raise awareness of Better Hearing and Speech Month while spotlighting your practice within your local community. Please let us know what you think and how it goes. We welcome your suggestions and will post any stories you generate on the Better Hearing website. Good luck. And thank you for being part of this important outreach effort.
Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D.
Better Hearing Institute