In the wee hours of Friday morning, more than four hours before the press conference began at 10:00 a.m., CFS patient and CFIDS Association Board member Jennie Spotila, CDC researcher Dr. Suzanne Vernon, and Kim McCleary and Marcia Harmon of the CFIDS Association were in the studios at the National Press Club with representatives from Fleishman Hillard, the PR agency helping us with media outreach. We were there to conduct a "satellite media tour" for the CFS public awareness campaign.
The satellite media tour featured back-to-back live and taped studio interviews with Jennie and Dr. Vernon. Local reporters were able to interview them via satellite, so stations didn’t have to send news crews to the National Press Club. Dr. Vernon discussed the purpose of the campaign, how to recognize the symptoms of the illness, the importance of early diagnosis and how to find more information at http://www.cdc.gov/cfs. Jennie talked about the impact of the illness on her life and what the symptoms of CFS feel like to sufferers.
The interviews ran on TV and radio stations, including:
KVUE TV in Austin, TX
KBMT TV in Beaumont
KAMC TV in Lubbock, TX
WBZ AM Radio in Boston, MA
WIBQ AM Radio in Tampa, FL
WFVA AM Radio in Washington, DC
WNTP/WFIL Radio in Philadelphia
Clear Channel Radio Network (national feed)
Fox News Edge (national)
WJSS AM Radio in Baltimore
KRQU TV in Albuquerque, NM
In addition to these interviews, other stations requested a "generic" interview tape and "B roll" from the press conference to use in the coming days and weeks as they develop stories about CFS for local audiences.
The CFIDS Association gratefully acknowledges both Dr. Vernon and Jennie Spotila, not only for getting up before the break of dawn, but for doing such a great job with these interviews, which will contribute significantly to educating the public and health care professionals about this illness.