As such, we are seeking people who are willing to talk to journalists about either their own experience or their experience of caring for a loved one who has head and neck cancer.
- Why are we looking for people to talk about their experiences?
We will be speaking to journalists about head and neck cancer, its impact on people’s lives and the range of treatments and methods available to help manage the condition. However, journalists often like to help their readers understand the topic by including an account of an individual’s personal experiences – often referred to as a ‘case study’ or ‘case history’.
- What will it involve?
A representative from Media Ambitions will contact you to have a chat over the telephone. We will then write a testimonial based on our discussion, which will include some information about you and your experience of either living with head and neck cancer or caring for a loved one who has been diagnosed with head and neck cancer. We will then send this to you for you to review, giving you the opportunity to ask any questions or amend as you wish and return to us.
- Before speaking to the media
Media Ambitions will make a note of the type of media that you would be happy to speak with, e.g. newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and when we receive a journalist request, we will gain your permission to provide them with your previously approved testimonial of experiences. If they wish to speak to you in person, we will call you to agree a convenient time for you to talk to them.
Before any dialogue with the media, we will talk to you about the journalist, the publication they are writing for, and ensure you are fully prepared and comfortable with the types of questions they may ask you. If at any point you do have any queries or concerns, someone from Media Ambitions will always be on hand to help.
We anticipate that the typical story will include information about you (your age, family circumstances, what you do or did for a living and what your leisure interests are). The main focus will be your cancer journey and how you have coped with head or neck cancer (when you were diagnosed, how you have been treated and the impact on you and your family). If you are talking about the experiences of a loved one the journalist may also want to include information on how it affected them and your relationship. In some instances the publication may request to feature a photograph of yourself or your partner. In this situation, one of the options is for you to loan a photograph from a family album if you are happy with one being used. Alternatively, you can let us or the journalist know if you would rather a photograph is not used. Please do let us know if you would be comfortable to have a photograph included.
- Speaking to journalists
Journalists know a little bit about a great many things so you will be the expert on head and neck cancer in the conversation. Below is a list of points that the journalist may be interested in discussing with you:
• Your experience of head and neck cancer and the impact it has had on your life
• The range of treatments that you have been prescribed and the impact that they’ve had on the condition
• Issues that have affected you along the way e.g. your quality of life or side-effects from treatments
Discussions with journalists are usually conducted on the telephone, sometimes they are in person. Media Ambitions can accompany you to any meetings or to a TV or radio studio if you need moral or practical support.
- Waiting for the article to appear
Media Ambitions will call you to check that you’re happy with how the discussion went. Journalists very rarely, if ever, provide a copy of their article before it is published, but will give us a rough idea of when it is likely to appear. If there is anything that you feel you want to clarify after your discussion with the journalist, we can pass this onto the journalist for you. We will also ensure that you’re sent a copy of any published articles for your records.
If you are able to support our work by sharing your experiences with the media, please call Liz Ayto or Kathryn Platt at Media Ambitions on:
(0)20 8940 2222 or email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org/ Kathryn@mediaambitions.com
If you call out of office hours and reach a voicemail, please leave your name, telephone numbers and a time that it will be convenient to reach you and someone will return your call.