Child Life Media Opportunities
Child Life Month presents an excellent opportunity to gain positive community exposure for your program and your professional setting. Public service announcements, news releases, feature stories, and letters to the editor are great ways to publicize the important services provided by child life professionals. Here are some basic ideas for generating publicity; be sure to work closely with your public relations department for optimum results.
To get publicity for community events, send a news release to community calendar editors at newspapers, radio stations, and television stations describing each event with date, time and location. Deadlines for these calendars are often 2-3 months before publication, so check on them early.
Use news releases to announce your Child Life Month events. They need to answer the five basic questions: who, what, when, where and why. Relate your story or event to the interests of the publication’s readers, or the radio or TV station’s audience. Emphasize the local nature of what you are offering, but also be sure to note that it is part of an international observance of Child Life Month, sponsored by the Association of Child Life Professionals.
For additional questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ideas for Feature Stories and Editorial
Focus the news release on the “story” of a patient, while highlighting the work of the Certified Child Life Specialist throughout the story. It should address the impact that child life has had on the child, rather than on the profession itself. The importance of child life will be revealed through the details of the story:
- Children’s concepts of illness, injury, separation, significant change, etc.at different stages of development
- How parents can help prevent illness, or prepare their children for hospitalization, stressful events or challenging situations
- Stories of individual families of pediatric patients and how they benefited from child life services
- Follow a day in the life of a family or patient, highlighting child life services
- What is a Certified Child Life Specialist? (Perhaps describing a day in the life of a CCLS, or profiling one individual in your program)
- Your organization’s celebration of Child Life Month
- Community events during Child Life Month (e.g., presentations, interactive or art displays)
- The needs of siblings of a hospitalized or very sick child
- Volunteer opportunities in the child life program
- Illustrate ways child life specialists can help parents, siblings and patients with coping skills during traumatic events, utilizing concrete examples. This is especially timely during or immediately following tragic events or natural disasters.