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Dealing with the media

Should I get my story in the media?

Ultimately it is down to you and your family and you should make sure you are aware of what you are getting into.

Upsides

group of young multiethnic cheerful colleagues having party after workday
Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

There are some obvious benefits:

  • A great opportunity to raise public awareness about cardiac arrests and the importance of bystander CPR and AED’s in the community
  • Alert those affected by a cardiac arrest to our group
  • It can help you feel that you are giving back in some way which can be a part of the recovery journey

What to say?

Be clear about what you want to say, and think about the questions they will ask and the answers you want to give them. You should remember that you do not have to answer any questions, but they could use any information that you give them. If you do not want it reported, do not say it! Try to feed the journalist the facts in a way that dictates the angle of the interview.

Expect a journalists specialist knowledge to be limited. They are not employed to know the facts but to know how to find them.  A lot of the public and unfortunately also the media conflate a cardiac arrest with a heart attack and it doesn’t seem to matter how many times you tell them they will still get it wrong.  Point them at our “heart attack or cardiac arrest?” page which explains the difference as this may help.

Most journalists are looking for clear, simple quotes that can be understood by a wide audience so try and give them that.

Ask to see a final copy of the article before it goes to print. Despite the best of intentions, journalists can easily get facts and figures incorrect.

Mention this website and the Facebook support group when you can.

Make sure you spell your name out in full and repeat if necessary.

Downsides

As well as the positives that your story may generate it’s also worth considering the potential negative aspects.

Whilst most stories are still in the light they were intended you should be prepared for inaccurate, inane, rude, offensive comments on your story. Some people seemingly have nothing better to do than troll and make attention-seeking remarks.

Some agencies may be interested in acquiring the rights to your story for republishing in their network but be aware that you may lose control of your story and not receive any reward from it.