is mailed quarterly to
members of The CFIDS Association of America. For information on how to join the
By Michelle Lapuk
Self Help and CFIDS, Part
By Bruce Campbell,
Attracting media in difficult times
The world has changed since September 11, and the media are reflecting those
changes. Attention has shifted to terrorism and related health concerns, and
patient advocacy organizations have to battle harder to get “air time” for the
illnesses they represent.
Association is working to ensure that
does not get lost in the shuffle, and still gains the media coverage it
warrants. Some of the ways we are adapting include:
Generating more information the media can use — for instance, a survey of
physician attitudes toward CFIDS
Launching a campaign to the medical
press to educate physicians and researchers as well as the general public;
Building a grassroots network for media/advocacy that will help spread our
messages to local communities across the nation.
Following these strategies has resulted in significant advances. There has
been increased coverage of the illness in mainstream media outlets such as
USA Today, CNN.com, “Good Morning America” and Redbook magazine.
The first in a series of proactive releases about
CFIDS sent to newspapers and radio stations
across the nation has reached an audience of more than 24 million people.
Another important element for future success in raising awareness about
CFIDS is individual PWCs. We are empowering
patients by making the Association’s media materials for major campaigns (for
instance, the medical professionals survey) available for use in local efforts.
Just visit the media professionals section of
http://www.cfids.org to see what we’re now
Media and public relations in today’s climate of uncertainty continue to be
challenging, but with the help of support groups, the patient community and
dedicated medical professionals, we will spread the word that
CFIDS is a very real, serious illness that
needs more public attention.
Our voices will be heard.
Director of Communication