If you’re impacted by Spina Bifida, that means you have something to share. Spina Bifida stories often have a social impact – that’s what makes it newsworthy.
Most people in the general public don’t know what Spina Bifida is. Additionally, the disability community has constantly been battling the systemic perception that disability = something bad. We know this isn’t true! So how can we raise awareness around something unknown to many? Take your voice to the media! It can be as easy as an email.
You don’t have to have had something major happen in your life for your message to be newsworthy. There are a number of things that your experiences as a person impacted by Spina Bifida can educate the public on. Think about things that you want to change, things that will create a better and brighter future. This is what we want to share with our communities so that they can join us in our efforts.
Ready to start?
If you’re looking for something on the beginner track, try our letter to the editor project.
Customize this Letter to the Editor template and submit it to your local paper. The purpose of this short letter is to encourage members of your community to hear your story and raise awareness about Spina Bifida in October.
Feeling more ambitious? Reach out to your local broadcasting companies!
To find your local news anchors, use a search engine to find your local TV and radio stations (especially news) and find team members to email – it’s all published. Twitter has become pretty fickle so you may not be able to use that platform to message them but some accounts may allow you to message them. Instagram is also a great platform to reach out as well.
Make sure when you’re initially reaching out, you keep things short and sweet! These people live very busy lives so the less of their time you can take, the better. It’s also helpful to refer to the journalist by name so the message doesn’t come off as spam.
- The best time to reach out to journalists is in the morning and on a weekday.
- Be prepared, we have State Fact Sheets you can use in your messages.
- Be sure to have a good subject line.
- Didn’t hear back? Follow up!
Here are two sample message templates you can follow. Feel free to make these your own and share.
Questions to think about when deciding what you want to share:
- What are the things you want to change or improve?
- What is the point?
- What do you want the public to know about life with Spina Bifida?
- What do you want your communities to know about inclusion and accessibility?
Have you reached out and gotten your story in the news? Let us know! We’ll be happy to help you and share your efforts.