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NAHU Media Relations Award Criteria “The Key for a Successful Media Campaign” Presented by Kelly Loussedes Director of Public Affairs National Association of Health Underwriters Value of Media Relations What Can Media Outreach Do? Project a positive image about our industry

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NAHU Media RelationsAward Criteria“The Key for a Successful Media Campaign”

Presented by

Kelly Loussedes

Director of Public Affairs

National Association of Health Underwriters


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Value of Media Relations

  • What Can Media Outreach Do?

    • Project a positive image about our industry

    • Generate understanding of role in health care

    • Educate public about insurance

    • Identify NAHU members as a source of information

    • Provide balanced commentary

    • Advance legislative agenda


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Appointing a Media Chair

  • Look to members who regularly attend meetings as potential volunteers.

  • Don’t need to have prior media relations experience, but must be willing to work with the local media.

  • Make sure to match the right job to the right person.

  • Share expectations with new volunteers. Make sure new recruits know what is expected of them.


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Responsibilities of a Media Chair

  • Compile a list of local print and broadcast media contacts.

  • Send press releases to media contacts responding to targeted legislative issues.

  • Forward NAHU releases on national issues to media contacts with a local spin. 

  • Send media advisories to reporters announcing chapter events.   

  • Submit op-eds and other editorials responding to targeted legislative issues.  

  • Send NAHU media relations staff person all chapter press releases, media advisories and other communications with the media.

  • Present NAHU’s “Working with the Media” PowerPoint presentation at chapter meetings.  


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Understanding the Press

  • The press communicates via print (including newspapers and magazines) and broadcasting (including television, cable and radio).

  • Referred collectively as the media.


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Building a Press List

  • Before beginning any media outreach, there is a fundamental piece that needs to be in place – the press list.

  • With the print media you should direct your information to the business and health editors. In addition to local newspapers, make certain you compile a list of key industry trade publications – insurance, health, medical and business trade press.

  • With broadcast media, you need to find out who the producer is who handles topics related to health and business or the assignment editor. This applies for both television and radio stations. You also will want to include specific programs or talk shows that focus on health or business issues.


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What to Include on Your Press List

  • The media is an industry that is notorious for high turnover of staff – so, don’t rely solely on any resource book to provide you the names of the most up-to-date listing.

  • As you are compiling your initial press list it is critical to call each individual media outlet to obtain the most current names of those reporters who cover the topics.

  • Start with the receptionist at each outlet to ask who covers health care policy or insurance issues. You will also want to know to whom you should direct company or chapter news such as awards, promotions or meeting information.

  • In addition to an address, you also will need to know the reporter's direct telephone number, fax number and e-mail address and whether he/she prefers to receive news announcements by fax or e-mail.


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Creating a Press Kit

  • A press kit is a set of materials designed to communicate your message in detail to your local media.

  • It’s used to help reporters gain an understanding of the association so they will write about it.

  • You may send the kit to the media when you make a significant news announcement, present the kit at a meeting you may have with a reporters, or distribute the kit at a press conference or other chapter event.

  • The press kit should be updated at least annually with a new fact sheet and new biographical information on officers and chairs.


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What’s in a Press Kit?

  • Fact Sheet – A concise summary of the association’s important data such as founding date, mission statement, number of members, names of officers/committee chairs, and affiliation with NAHU.

  • Brochures or Newsletters – Including business literature will help identify you as an expert in the industry.

  • Glossary of Terms – A glossary will help reporters become familiar with the complex issues in our industry.

  • Contact information -- Provide a clear indication of whom reporters should call, and where to reach them, for more information.

  • Business Card – Place a copy of the contact person’s business card on one of the sides of the folder.

  • Cover Letter or Pitch Letter – A cover letter is a short correspondence (no longer than one page) that allows you to introduce yourself to the reporter.


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What Are the Tools of the Trade?

  • Press release

  • Media advisory

  • Photo

  • Letter to the editor

  • Op-Ed


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When and How to Use the Tools

  • Press Release -- Announces “news”

    • Include contact information and date of release

    • Include an eye-catching “headline” that captures the “essence” of the news

    • Describe the “core” news message in first paragraph (who, what, when, where, why)

    • Expand the news story in following paragraphs

    • Include a quote from a recognized spokesperson in the organization

    • Close with a “boilerplate” paragraph about the organization announcing the news

    • Limit to 1 or 1 1/2 pages


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When and How to Use the Tools

  • Media Advisory -- Announces an upcoming news event or offers a resource person to address a current “hot” issue

    • Include an eye-catching “headline”

    • Distribute several days in advance of the news event

    • Use a “What, When, Where, Why” format

    • Bullet the main points

    • Provide contact information and date


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When and How to Use the Tools

  • Photograph -- Attach a “cut-line” to the photo that identifies the person(s) in the photo and describes what is pictured

    • Include with appropriate news announcements (promotion, awards, partnerships)

    • Ask the reporter how they want the photo sent to them


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When and How to Use the Tools

  • Letter to the Editor -- Responds to an article or editorial that has appeared in a publication

    • Make certain it relates directly to the topic

    • Include name of article, date, and page for reference

    • Be concise and brief

    • Share your unique perspective

    • Give examples

    • Close with your name, title and affiliation

      (Advance Chapter approval required if identified)


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When and How to Use the Tools

  • Op-Ed -- An “opinion piece” submitted by an individual or on behalf of an organization to a publication. Placement can be paid for or a publication may decide to publish on its own.

    • Needs to be linked to a topical issue of interest.

    • Offers a unique perspective.

    • Is brief (usually 300-600 words).

    • Includes name of author and affiliation.


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Building and Maintaining Relationships

  • Network and share your news

  • Offer yourself as a resource

  • Localize NAHU announcements/press release and distribute

  • Arrange meetings with editors of media departments

  • Send “thank you” notes following an interview

  • Send personal notes and include articles of interest


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Opportunities for Visibility

  • Feature Material

  • Legislative Activities

  • Consumer Tips/Advice

  • National News

  • Reaction

  • Local Impact

  • Chapter News

    • Legislative Activities

    • “Day on the Hill”

    • Meeting with Governor or Legislators

    • Awards, Member or Professional Achievements

    • Charitable Activities

    • Speaking Engagements

    • Public Hearings


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