By Vicki Bendure This article is a part of the September/October 2017, Volume 29, Volume 5, Audiology Today issue. Reaching out to media regarding hearing loss prevention, audiology awareness, and the importance of seeing an audiologist has been an exciting and eye-opening experience for our communications firm. Since we began working with the Academy to assist with media relations a few months ago, we have called on media across the country to pitch stories on hearing loss prevention and audiology. Just over the past few months, it has been an amazing and educational task. Media are excited to learn about audiologists and we’re excited to explain the profession, as well as hearing loss prevention and the growing numbers of those experiencing hearing loss and how its impacting multiple generations, not just the aging. It’s a case where the challenge has become the opportunity, as many top medical reporters don’t really know what audiology is or what audiologists do. We’re on the tip of an iceberg and we need your help. While you may be extremely busy with your practice and may not think that one person can make a difference, you can. By helping to educate the tens of thousands of reporters across the United States, this will, in turn lead to public awareness and education as reporters begin to spread the word. Social media has demonstrated the impact that sharing information can make as stories go viral across various social media platforms. It is possible to have an impact with social media and reach more people than traditional media ever has. As media moves from print to online, the lines between social media and traditional media have blurred with reporters blogging, Tweeting, and posting links on Instagram and Facebook. Media stories don’t typically just happen. Often, they are inspired by a pitch, a press release, or by a reporter hearing about something from friends, family, a neighbor or through other media channels. Proactive outreach to media is a key component to gaining story placement, brand awareness and positioning. Just one person reaching out to a reporter can make a tremendous difference. And, local media prefer to hear from those in their community. Your business, occupation and patient stories are of great interest to everyone around you, including the media. This content is an exclusive benefit for American Academy of Audiology members. If you're a member, log in and you'll get immediate access. Member Login If you're not yet a member, you'll be interested to know that joining not only gives you access to top-notch resources like this one, but also invitations to member-only events, inclusion in the member directory, participation in professional forums, and access to patient resources, tools, and continuing education. Join today!