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National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI State Advocacy 2010 - Media Relations

Introduction

With state mental health budgets in peril, working with the media to express the need for mental health services is more important than ever.

Elected officials pay attention to what they read or hear in the media--and so does the general public. Media "impressions" around mental health issues help move public opinion and public policy, including budgets.

Use our new Media Relations Tool Kit and discover the many ways you can do your part to strengthen mental health care. NAMI's Media Tool Kit is tailored for NAMI leaders, but we welcome use by all who share our cause.

Included in the NAMI State Advocacy 2010 Media Relations Tool Kit:

Media Relations: Basic Strategy

Before approaching the news media with a NAMI news release or story idea, you must determine its news value. There are a number of questions to guide you in determining how to present it.

  • Key Messages
  • Elevator Speech

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Media Relations: Proactive Strategy

Proactive media strategies are inclusive of activities in which a press release, statement or pitch is delivered to a standard "media list" or member of the media, including a key editor or reporter.

  • Press Releases
  • Press Conferences

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Media Relations: Responsive Strategy

Responsive media strategies can be either proactive or responsive in nature, but involve reacting to a major news event. When a governor or county executive announces the budget for mental health programs, for example, NAMI might respond with a statement. If there is a violent tragedy, it may require crisis management.

  • Tough Questions & Answers
  • TV & Radio Interviewing

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Using Social Networking Tools

NAMI advocates can use social networking to reach a large audience of existing supporters and potential supporters, inspire public dialogue around mental illness and influence key decision makers.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

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