Have a Story?

Generally, stories interest editors when they can be tied to an event which has already made the news, when they have an interesting angle which makes the story relevant to its intended audience or when they provide human interest. News stories usually contain elements of controversy, conflict or change. And timing is often critical; what’s news today is history tomorrow.

Journalists will want to talk to you about your research, recent developments in your specialty area or to obtain expert opinion on items in the news. Occasionally, you may be asked to comment on events at PHC or about our policies. Whatever the subject of the interview, make it clear whether you are speaking as an individual, as a representative of PHC or as a spokesperson for some other organization.

Build relationships
Working with the media is about building relationships. The media are usually not experts at the subjects they cover — they depend on the people they interview and the research they do to provide them the information they need. Establish yourself as an expert in your field by reliably providing good information. If an article is run that you wish you had been interviewed for, contact the reporter and let him/her know that if they need a contact on that topic in the future, he/she can call you. When a good story is run or you are well-quoted, send a thank you to the reporter responsible.

Tie to current events
Pay attention to events in your community, across the country and around the world.

If the media are closely covering stories about an issue that is related to your work or research, work with PHC Communications and Public Affairs to send a press release about your work and how it is related to the issue, or call the media covering the story and offer to serve as a local resource on the issue.

Build on success
If you have had success with a story, you can strategically use that success to spin more coverage. If you got coverage about a program you have initiated, you may be able to follow up with the same media outlet, or another one, about future developments in that program.

Use media wisely
It is good to generate media coverage on a regular basis, but it is not good to overwhelm the media. Sending regular press releases is good, but don’t send them so frequently that people get sick of them and quit reading them.

Tell us your story!

PHC Communications & Public Affairs maintains a story ideas bank of the organization’s achievements and good news stories, and we would like to hear from you. If your story is appropriate for the media, please complete our idea form here and send it to Elaine Yong, Communications & Public Affairs via interoffice mail (Hornby), fax (604-806-8303) or email (eyong@providencehealth.bc.ca). If your story is better suited for internal use, please submit it to PHC News.

We are always on the lookout for story ideas that demonstrate how PHC is exploring uncharted realms, how our programs are improving patient care and how our physicians, researchers and staff are shaping the delivery of health care.

Suggestions include:

  • new research breakthroughs
  • “first ever” (St. Paul’s Hospital opens B.C.’s first thyroid clinic), “best” (PHC leads in HIV/AIDS research in B.C.), “only” (PHC operates B.C.’s only heart transplantation program
  • examples of PHC’s leadership
  • new models of care
  • pilot programs
  • clinical innovations
  • grants/awards (please include source of funding and total amount received)
  • presentations/keynotes at conferences
  • events (PHC internal events, external/public events, multi-partner events)
  • articles being published in academic/industry association journals
  • programs/policies/initiatives that highlight PHC as an employer of choice
  • PHC people profiles
  • interesting, everyday “good news” stories (especially patient stories)

Please note: Submitting a story/idea does not guarantee that we will print or use it. However, submission does mean you do agree to allow Providence Health Care to use it in any of our publications, marketing materials or with media. We reserve the right to edit any copy submitted for style, grammar or length.