Advocacy is an important tool to support the cancer community. One way to engage in cancer advocacy efforts, is to use media advocacy. There are many different types of advocacy, which you can learn more about from our Quick Guide to the Spectrum of Advocacy.
Cancer media advocacy uses media platforms to get the word out about an issue that has an impact on the cancer community. Examples of media platforms at the local, state, and national levels that you can contact to engage in media advocacy efforts, include:
Media advocacy does require some research to find opportunities in your own community, as well as at the state and national level. You can usually find instructions on how to submit articles, op-eds, and letters to the editor on the websites of newspapers and magazines, or within the first few pages of the publication. You can also find contact information for the producers of podcasts, radio shows, and television shows, online.
When engaging in media advocacy is important to separate when you are sharing facts versus when you are sharing your opinion about a particular topic. But even if you are sharing facts, it can be helpful to share your personal story. For example, you may want to engage in media advocacy around the issue of access to health insurance. You can share facts about the health care system, you can share your opinion on how the health care system works, but you can also share your personal experience with the health care system.
Sharing your personal story can be a powerful tool. Your story can help other people better understand an issue. For example, sometimes, elected officials want to know how proposed laws might impact a real person who lives in their district. You may be able to provide that perspective. That said, we encourage everyone who is interested in engaging in cancer media advocacy to make conscious decisions about disclosing any medical information. Read our Quick Guide to Disclosure, Privacy, & Medical Certification Forms.
Reaching out to a media platform to ask for an opportunity to share your story, is called “pitching.” Here are some tips for pitching the media:
Do you use social media? If you do, then you may want to engage in cancer advocacy efforts on social media! You can use any platform to engage in cancer advocacy, by sharing information with your network. If you want to engage in legislative advocacy or connect with your elected officials, we've compiled a list of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram handles for members of Congress.
Here are some general tips on using social media for cancer advocacy efforts:
The cancer community hosts a number of social media events on Facebook and Twitter, where you can engage in cancer media advocacy. For example, organizations host TweetChats on Twitter or Facebook Live events to create communities of support and share useful information and resources.
These are some examples of recurring TweetChats:
For more information on using media advocacy, see the Advocacy & Communication Solutions Media Guide, or Triage Cancer's Cancer Advocacy Materials & Resources.
Disclaimer: This handout is intended to provide general information on the topics presented. It is provided with the understanding that Triage Cancer is not engaged in rendering any legal, medical, or professional services by its publication or distribution. Although this content was reviewed by a professional, it should not be used as a substitute for professional services. © Triage Cancer 2021
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