Why agree to media interviews?

The media are not your enemies. For many PHC physicians, researchers and staff members, a call from the media is about as welcome as news from Revenue Canada that their income tax returns are going to be audited.

Everyone has heard stories about someone whose experiences with the media were unfortunate — people whose comments were taken out of context, or who were misquoted or who found that the story done on their news event was inaccurate or sensational. Given those risks, it’s natural to wonder whether talking to a reporter is really worth the time and trouble, particularly when that time could probably be spent on research and other activities.

As respected members of the community who are making an important contribution to society, Providence Health Care staff, physicians and researchers often are called upon to share their expertise. In responding to this opportunity, our people obtain greater public awareness of their achievements and the organization receives recognition for its efforts in the physical, social, cultural, emotional and spiritual life of the country.

Stories that demonstrate how PHC is energetically pursuing its mission of excellence make a persuasive argument for recruiting top staff, physicians, researchers and students. Public opinion plays a key role in government spending decisions, and one of the most effective ways to influence public opinion is through the media. A single appearance on television, for example, gets your message across to hundreds of thousands of people — far more than you could possibly reach in years of public lectures.

By working with the media in the right way — by being informed, honest and accessible — the organization can communicate its mission in the best light. So rather than being an adversary, the media should really be seen as a conduit to the public which we can use to explain what we do, why we do it and how our efforts benefit society.

The case for talking to journalists

Print and broadcast media are powerful and influential and reach out to touch people in all walks of life. Just think of the millions of people who read daily newspapers, listen to newscasts and talk shows on the radio, view evening news events on television and subscribe to magazines and trade journals.