2009 BHSM Kit
Dear Hearing Health Professional:
Never before has hearing health been so important to so many Americans. As millions struggle to hang on to their jobs in a tumultuous economy, others are giving advice on the best ways to look your best both on the job and during job interviews. With all the chatter, no one is talking about the importance of hearing your best to increase your chances for success. This fundamental gap in the economic dialogue presents a tremendous opportunity for the hearing healthcare community.
The theme for the Better Hearing and Speech Month is Listening Up in a Down Economy, and the campaign focuses on how hearing health affects job security, performance, and employment opportunities. BHI is encouraging people of all ages who are either seeking employment or who want to protect their jobs to make sure that unaddressed hearing loss does not pose a barrier to employment success. Once again, BHI is offering an online hearing test (www.hearingcheck.org) where people can quickly and confidentially assess if they need a comprehensive hearing check by a hearing professional.
The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is inviting all hearing health professionals nationwide to help kick off this year's campaign, and is excited to offer you this turnkey press kit to help generate media coverage for your practice and for Better Hearing and Speech Month in your local area.
By participating in this outreach effort, you will be supporting your own practice while helping many in your community take important steps to improve their lives through improved hearing and to secure their future through better on-the-job performance.
Please join BHI and other hearing health professionals as we encourage Americans of all ages to Listening Up in a Down Economy and secure their professional future by addressing hearing loss. It really is a smart job security strategy.
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 to job performance, 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: "Listening Up in a Down Economy for 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 job performance as well as every aspect of a person's life.
News Feature Article: "When it comes to job interviews, how you hear affects how you look: 5 tips for hearing and looking your best"
You can distribute this article to patients and reporters. 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".
- National Women's Health Week Local Press release
Let Us Hear From You
We've prepared these materials to help you raise awareness of the Listening Up in a Down Economy campaign 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