Using the media to raise awareness about vascular disease and the accomplishments of the Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) and its members establishes vascular disease and vascular surgeons as important in health care. The media is SVS' direct channel to reaching national audiences both in the medical field and the general public. Media outreach is critical to developing image and brand.
SVS sends press releases to appropriate paper and electronic media outlets including medical journals, medical industry publications, daily newspapers, news and medical magazines, network television, cable television, and Web-based medical news sites. Particularly newsworthy stories are "pitched" to these outlets.
Study authors and SVS members chosen to be interviewed and quoted in a press release must understand their responsibilities and those of the media. The purpose of a press release is to peak the interest of reporters and editors to entice them to write stories. The stories written from press releases are rarely published directly from the release unless it is a simple announcement. Many times reporters and editors combine information from different sources for their stories.
Once a press release is submitted to the media, it is the media, not the SVS or the study author, who has control over the information reported in the press. It is the press that is in control of the story. Reporters may choose to speak with someone in addition to the author or person quoted about the subject. The media may choose to use selected information, quotes, and statistics from press releases in articles without contacting SVS or the person quoted. Generally, however, reporters like to speak with the author to elaborate on the information in the press release.
SVS chooses the following as topics for press releases:
- Newsworthy articles published in the Journal for Vascular Surgery®
- Special awards presented to SVS and its members
- Newsworthy presentations made at the Vascular Annual Meeting®
- News related to the Vascular Annual Meeting
- Event announcements
- Legislative news involving the SVS' PAC (Political Action Committee in Washington, D.C., USA)
Guidelines for press release and pitched story:
- News is only news when it first happens. Because of this, all deadlines set by SVS and the media must be met
- The SVS contracts medical writers to write press releases based on studies
- SVS writes the draft release
Authors and others quoted in the release have the opportunity to edit and approve the draft release before it is submitted to the press. Authors and those quoted in the release give up control of the story once they approve the press release.
Most reporters and editors want to speak with the person quoted to confirm statistics and quotes. SVS will arrange for this contact. As mentioned before, time is critical with news, therefore, authors will be asked to meet the reporter’s story deadlines.
Neither SVS nor the author has final control over what is published by the press. Because the press does not allow external review or editing of a story, SVS will not request a review of the final story.
Affirmed by SVS Board of Directors, January 2010