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How nursing organizations, schools and journals can help strengthen the nursing image and increase public understanding of nursing

Develop a prominent link on your main page to explain your subspecialty of nursing to the general public. The link might read like: "What is dermatology nursing?" And then please link them to a page where you have an easy-to-understand definition.

Have your organization join the Coalition for Better Understanding of Nursing!

Build a list and establish relationships with your local health journalists. Invite them to seminars, conferences and lunch. Invite them to speak or moderate a panel or conference.

Offer to be a resource person for them--be reliable and credible.

Pitch the media story ideas every so often. Be tenacious, but don't badger. Have a compelling story or issue to pitch including conflict, controversy, injustice, irony, or something ground breaking. Have images and a human story ready.

Control the story. Identify one to three main points. Create the sound bite or rhetoric. Anticipate the opposing arguments. Provide data.

Develop a large nurse expert database of nurses expert in their field, from a wide geographic area to have on hand when the media calls to speak to an expert.

Train at least a core group of your nurse experts in media skills.

Don't release research results in a vacuum--use your experts' research and clinical work to promote desirable health policies. Such a press release is more likely to get picked up by the media--in addition to promoting better health policies.

Find a media person to write press releases, respond quickly to journalists and pitch stories to the media.

Send thanks to the media for good or three dimensional coverage of nursing issues--whether or not the coverage is in your subspecialty.

Send feedback to journalists who ignore nursing and focus only on physicians. Offer to provide them with nursing experts on similar stories in the future.

Offer media awards for best coverage in your subspecialty.

Develop art and children's books and games to stimulate wide interest in your specialty.

Mobilize your base and work with The Truth About Nursing to protest objectionable portrayals of nursing.

Send members of the media complementary subscriptions to your journal, newsletters or publications.

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