#LCSM Chat Topic 10/9: Helping media to cover #LCAM14

It’s Pinktober, that time of year when lung cancer advocates feel a pang of envy for the extensive media coverage given to other cancers. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month (#LCAM14 on Twitter), and if things remain as they have in past years, few stories about lung cancer will appear in the media.

But we—the Lung Cancer Social Media community–have a chance to change that if we act NOW.

Let’s think about what barriers might keep journalists and reporters from producing lung cancer stories in the media during November:

  1. The idea didn’t occur to them.
  2. They’re not aware of the facts (such as lung cancer is the most deadly cancer worldwide, as well as #2 killer of all types in the US).
  3. Stigma makes them reluctant to support lung cancer awareness.
  4. They don’t know any visible, interesting survivors, family members, or care providers to use as source for the story.
  5. They need a fresh angle to avoid producing a story too similar to what they or someone else has already done.
  6. They’re short on time.

In years past, lung cancer advocates have made lists of media contacts and sent emails, tweets, and Facebook posts asking them to cover lung cancer during November. However, this approach doesn’t address most of the barriers listed above.  We can do better.

Let’s take a different tack. Let’s HELP the journalists and reporters overcome these barriers. We can make media coverage more likely by either writing an article ourselves to save them time, or suggesting facts, interview sources, and story angles they can use.  We can address the specific barriers by:

  1. Suggesting a lung cancer story to a local or national media outlet via email, Facebook, or Twitter.
  2. Providing key facts AND a link to sources for more facts.
  3. Showing why stigma is based on unfair assumptions.
  4. Suggesting well-spoken local survivors, family members, or care providers they can interview.
  5. Suggesting a “hook” — an angle for the story that ties into their market (e.g, local hospital for a regional paper, or a national movement like the CMS screening decision for a national newscast).
  6. Provide other content suggestions that reduce needed writing and production time.

The #LCSM Chat on 10/9 will brainstorm how to help journalists and reporters overcome the barriers to covering lung cancer in November. Your moderator, Janet Freeman-Daily, will offer the following topics for discussion:

  1. How might you identify well-spoken lung cancer survivors/family/providers with a good story for an interviewer?
  2. What local or national media outlet could you contact: paper, magazine, radio, TV, Internet?
  3. What new story angle might you suggest for your target outlet—person, activity, cancer clinic program, clinical trial …?
  4. What links and sources can you provide for reliable lung cancer facts and info about stigma?

We look forward to seeing you in the chat! To participate in the chat, remember to include #LCSM in all your tweets, or use a tweetchat tool like tchat.io with that hashtag (more on that here).

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