Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cathy McLeod's Media Success Leads to New PHriends in Massachusetts

Cathy McLeod, a Falmouth, Mass. resident, scored her first media success in the Cape Cod Times last month. Without any prior media advocacy experience, she reached out to local reporters because she wanted to connect and bond with a patient or two in her area.

The response she got surprised her. “I was just looking for people to talk to! I thought maybe I would find two other PH patients and have a conversation with them." Cathy said. “Seven people contacted me! I’m so happy to find people who have PH like me.”

The support and enthusiasm of those who contacted her made Cathy realize that she wants to do more. She has since decided to start a support group in her town to advance the cause!

We asked Cathy to give some advice to other PHers looking to share their story in the media:

You don’t need prior media experience! This was Cathy’s first time advocating for PH through media, so you don't need to be a PR expert to be successful. If you're unsure where to begin, PHA's online media guide has resources to help you.

Focus on sharing your story. Cathy says, "I’m glad I wasn’t over prepared for the interview because I think I would have sounded more stiff. I just focused on sharing my story." You don’t need to know everything about PH. Cathy found that her personal journey resounded with the reporter and with readers.

Reach out to multiple media outlets. Cathy contacted more than one newspaper to increase the chance that her story would be covered. Consider reaching out to every newspaper, local radio station, tv station and online publication that time allows you. Do a little research and try to reach out to the reporter most likely to be interested in your story.

Visit PHA's online media guide

For more tips about sharing your story with reporters contact Elisabeth at 301-565-3004 x753 or PHAware@PHAssociation.org.

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