2008 BHSM Kit
Dear Hearing Health Professional:
Here's an opportunity to open the way to a better quality of life for many in your local community—while building your own practice and professional reputation. According to MarkeTrak VII, fifty percent of adults with hearing loss have never had their hearing professionally tested. We believe accessibility to a simple five-minute screener may provide motivation for them to want to visit you for in-depth testing or for an objective hearing screening. Our quick hearing screener is correlated with objective measures of hearing loss, provides norms compared to more than 2,000 adults with hearing loss as well as perceptions of the person's hearing loss by their significant other.
For Better Hearing and Speech Month the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is inviting all hearing health professionals nationwide to help kick off the Across America Hearing Check Challenge, a nationwide campaign to help millions of Americans reclaim their quality of life by facing up to unaddressed hearing loss. Spouses, baby boomers and their aging parents, and all American families and friends are encouraged to rise to the challenge and get their hearing checked—together. Now, simply by visiting www.hearingcheck.org and walking through a simple, 15-question self-screener in the privacy of one's own home, anyone can easily take the first step in addressing hearing loss.
BHI is excited to offer you this turnkey press kit to help generate media coverage in your local area on the Across America Hearing Check Challenge and Better Hearing and Speech Month.
By participating in this outreach effort, you will be supporting your own practice while helping many in your community take that critical first step in facing up to hearing loss. No doubt, the news stories that you help generate will improve the lives of many people experiencing the negative effects of unaddressed hearing loss.
This year, we want to motivate millions of couples, families, friends, and baby boomers and their aging parents to reclaim their quality of life by get their hearing checked—together. We think the Across America Hearing Check Challenge is a great vehicle for helping us achieve that goal.
Please join BHI and other hearing health professionals as we rise to the challenge of moving America to take the Across America Hearing Health Challenge. It's sure to change lives for the better!
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 and the Across America Hearing Check Challenge, 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 in your subject line: "News about the Across America Hearing Check Challenge and this May's Better Hearing and Speech Month." And send the first three 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 release 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 this backgrounder is to help put the story in context and help reporters understand that hearing loss affects every aspect of a person's life.
News Feature Article: "Hear Your Best and Look Great at the Same Time; Miss America Shares Seven Reasons to Get Your Hearing Checked"
BHI is working with Deidre Downs, the 2005 Miss America, who herself has a hearing loss and is encouraging others to get their hearing checked and treated. You can distribute this article to patients and reporters. The article also is available to your local press for download at www.ARAcontent.com. If it has not been placed in your local media, we urge you to take a copy of this article to your local editor, and ask them to run it. You are permitted to use this BHI developed article to promote your practice.
Key Messages and Interviews with Reporters
We developed a set of key 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.)
BHI Screening Audiogram Form
This colorful screening audiogram form can be downloaded and printed locally back-to-back for those 5 minute hearing screenings you conduct at local health fairs, senior centers, physician offices, or in your practice. The front page presents the traditional audiogram in an attractive format; while the back documents relevant facts on hearing loss and quality of life based on BHI and NCOA research.
BHI Quick Hearing Check
Your goal is to get thousands of local people to check their hearing without necessarily coming into your office; we view the screener as a motivating precursor to a full screening. You may print off our quick hearing check or order pads of the hearing check from BHI. Distribute these hearing checks to physician offices, senior centers, intermediate care facilities, drug stores, chiropractor offices, etc. Or simply distribute your business card and refer them to www.hearingcheck.org with a simple message on the back such as "Check your hearing at www.hearingcheck.org".
Let Us Hear From You
We've prepared these materials to help you raise awareness of the Across America Hearing Check Challenge and 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 the best stories you generate on the Better Hearing Institute website. Good luck. And thank you for being part of this important outreach effort.
Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D.
Better Hearing Institute