Most newspapers publish feature columns or articles containing health and safety information for consumers. The broadcast media also airs tips for consumers on a variety of medical topics. Emergency physicians are unique experts on health and safety topics, which qualify them as ideal resources for the news media.
The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) publishes a series of news releases and articles featuring emergency physicians as experts on health and safety topics, many of them seasonal. These articles are distributed 12 times a year by ACEP's Public Relations Department to promote the specialty of emergency medicine. They are distributed nationally to approximately 10,000 newspapers, and are picked up mostly in small-and medium-sized newspapers, as well as some national newspapers. Many ACEP members and Chapters have been successful in distributing these columns to their local media. These are non-copyrighted articles, and members and Chapters are encouraged to use them, in whole or in part, to promote the specialty of emergency medicine either statewide or locally. (See the article, Effective Chapter Strategies)
Feel free to send ACEP articles, along with a cover letter, to the editor of a local community newspaper, school bulletin, or hospital newsletter. By sending them regularly, you can become a valuable source of credible information. You also may become a contact for future stories. (These articles also can be used as bill stuffers or as reading material in the emergency department.)
ACEP public education articles are located on our patient and consumer website, www.EmergencyCareForYou.org. under "Health & Safety Tips." These materials can be adapted for your use.
The following is a sample cover letter for submitting ACEP feature columns to editors. Use this as a guideline in developing your own letters.
Dear Editor: As a specialist in emergency medicine at [name of your facility] in [your city], I see children each week who were injured because they [insert problem]. Most of these visits to the emergency department could have been prevented with better injury prevention and safety awareness.Enclosed is a brief article about [topic]. It is an example of the kind of prevention skills that could be reinforced in our community to prevent medical emergencies.Please consider publishing this article or using it as a starting point for an expanded story. If you find it useful, I would be happy to send you tips on a regular basis from the [insert state] College of Emergency Physicians. If you have any questions or need additional information, I can be reached at [your telephone numbers]. Thank you for your consideration.Sincerely,[Your Signature]