Summer kicking into high gear conjures images of swimming pools
and barbeques. But before you book your beach house for the
weekend, think about what the changing seasons can mean for you
professionally. The media love tying current happenings into news
stories—which may mean perfect public relations opportunities for
you and your profession, workplace, school or practice.
Consider what summer usually brings: Kids are out of school and
have more leisure time. Many families take vacations, which may
include airplane or car trips. Parents are looking for things to
keep their kids entertained and—at least occasionally—reading. All
these factors mean kids may be spending more time on their personal
technology devices, connected to headphones and listening to music
or audio from games. From an audiology standpoint, this is an
opportunity to point out the dangers of noise-induced hearing loss
and offer tips on how parents can combat it. From the speech and
language development perspective, this is a chance to offer advice
on how parents can encourage kids to read when school is out, and
to provide ideas for verbal car trip games to keep the preschool
ASHA's public relations team has used similar strategies with
much success. Timed to the first day of summer 2012, we issued the
press release "Protecting Kids' Hearing Needs To Be On Parents'
Summer To Do List: Family Trips and Lazy Summer Days Call forExtra Caution Around Kids' Personal Technology Time."
We also released a Summer Safety Tips infographic
for people to share via social media. This led to considerable
media coverage and activity
on everything from Twitter and Facebook to Pinterest.
The end of summer also may offer built-in public relations
opportunities for pitches and story ideas related to back-to-school
preparation. SLPs can talk up language-development activities to
get kids back into books after a summer off.
Autumn may conjure up images of fall sports, along with messages
about TBI and concussion awareness and prevention. December
holidays symbolize family gatherings—a perfect time to call
attention to hearing loss.
With every seasonal change comes opportunities to promote our
professions. You don't have to look far to find them—they're part
of your everyday life, playing out in your community or part of
holiday happenings. Why not target one? For tips on how to
effectively pitch to the media, read our past Spreading the Word article.
Spreading the Word is prepared by ASHA's Public Relations