IMPORTANT: Should you receive any media inquiries and interview requests, please forward those inquiries to info@meningitisbactionproject.org. Both Patti and Alicia are available for interviews


Media Pitch for the General Community

 

Subject: A Potentially Life Saving Message for Local Parents about Meningitis B

It has been recently been brought to my attention that several college campuses around the United States have experienced cases of Meningitis B. As a local resident of [CITY]/as a parent of a student at [INSERT LOCAL SCHOOL], I wanted to reach out to make you aware of this important public health issue for the [CITY] community.

Two mothers, Patti Wukovits and Alicia Stillman, who each lost their young, healthy daughters to a now vaccine-preventable disease, Meningitis B, are urging parents to ask their family doctor one simple question: Has my child received the two types of meningitis vaccines required to be fully immunized against meningococcal disease, including the Meningitis B vaccine?

Meningococcal disease, one of the most common types of bacterial meningitis, is a life-threatening bacterial infection that can affect the lining of the brain and spinal cord, or it can cause an infection in the bloodstream – or both. It can attack without warning and kill in a matter of hours. It is more common among those 16-23, and is 3.5 times more common among college students compared to non-college students.

It is mainly caused by 5 types of meningococcal bacteria: ABCWY, and two types of meningitis vaccines are required to be immunized against it: MenACWY and MenB.

The problem? While most have received the MenACWY vaccine, few have received the MenB vaccine.

Patti and Alicia have launched the Meningitis B Action Project to make sure other parents don’t needlessly suffer the same fate. I am helping them spread this important message.

You may find more information on their website: MeningitisBActionProject.org.

If you are interested in speaking with Patti and Alicia, please contact info@meningitisbactionproject.org.

Thank you in advance for your attention,

[INSERT NAME]


Media Tips

 

Make it easy.

It is best to reach out to local media via email. Your email should include a short introductory note explaining why you are reaching out to them (see media pitch), as well as the press release copied and pasted within the body of the email (not attached).

Target your pitch.

Look for a journalist who has previously covered health as they are more likely to be interested in the story. You can do so by searching relevant key terms on the media outlet’s website. If you are not able to find their email address, visit the outlet’s website for a general editorial email address, or contact their editorial desk via phone.

Find a local angle.

Creating a local angle can help get the attention of local media, so it’s important to target your outreach accordingly:

Some local angles can include:

  • Your community or college campus has been affected by Meningitis B, or Meningitis in general.

  • Patti and Alicia are based in your state – Patti is from New York and Alicia is from Michigan.

  • You hold a position or are involved in an organization where Meningitis B Awareness is important – such as a health organization, Parent Teacher Association, head of a sorority or fraternity, president of a student organization, etc.

A few ways to localize your pitch are included below:

  • Change the headline of the media pitch. For example: NY mother urges parents to talk to their doctor about Meningitis B.

  • Make your role clear in your introductory email. For example: My name is Emma Smith and I am the Director of the Parent and Teacher Association in Miami and I am writing to make you aware of an important issue for parents.

  • Integrate local stats in your media pitch. For example: There have been 4 college campuses affected by Meningitis B in Pennsylvania.

Make the story visual and provide extras.

Help them enhance the story by providing helpful links to photos, videos, graphics and fact sheets. You can direct them to meningitisbactionproject.org for these resources.