We know that people sharing their experiences of mental health problems is one of the most powerful ways to change attitudes. Journalists are always looking to speak to people with personal experience of mental health problems to bring their stories to life, so contacting your local media is a great way to get your story out there.
1. Decide the outlet.
Do you want to share your story with the local newspaper, radio, TV station?
2. Pick the journalist.
You might want to think about which journalist is right for you. News desks are looking for news, for example if you’re hooking your story to an awareness day or something happening in the news agenda. If there isn’t a news angle, you might want to look for a ‘features’ journalist.
3. Call or email.
The contact details for most media outlets should be readily available on the website. Explain that you’d like to share your story. When you first make contact, try and be concise. Don’t be disheartened if the journalists doesn’t want to stay on the phone for long. They work to tight deadlines and may not have time to listen to your whole story straight away. If this is the case, you could suggest calling at a more convenient time or following up with an email.
Once your interview is set up, write down a few key points you’d like to mention. It’s also worth thinking about your boundaries – any aspects of your life you’d like to keep private. You might want to ask the journalist if you can see the article before it’s published, though this isn’t always possible.