Tips for Working with the Media
Media Relations Tips:
Contact your local paper, television or radio station about your story or event.
Before contacting your chosen media outlet, think of an angle for your story, what
makes it interesting? Unique? Or generally newsworthy?
Use the provided materials to supply more information to the reporter, writer, or
editor. The customizable press release is a great starting point, and the fact sheet
will be a helpful resource that a writer can use to develop his or her story. The NDEP
web site, www.YourDiabetesInfo.org, also provides additional information.
Target reporters who have published articles about health issues in the past.
Localize the story. Focus on local people, events, organizations or statistics specific
to your area; it will make the information more newsworthy in the eyes of a writer or
reporter. To find more diabetes statistics and prevalence rates for your area please
go to http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/ddtstrs/ or your state department of health.
Line up spokespeople. Think of all the people within your organization or community
who are involved with diabetes: health care professionals, community leaders, and
those with the disease. Contact your local chapters or search online to see if there is
a local representative of the American Diabetes Association, American Dietetic
Association, or the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Provide them with
the talking points below.
Keep in mind the media outlet’s deadlines, and if you need to get back to a reporter,
always ask when his or her deadline is.
Offering individuals from your organization for a writer to feature may help add a
human element to the story. (For example, a member of your organization or
community who is controls his or her diabetes may be of more interest to a reporter
than simply the study findings alone).
Media Tips for Events:
Invite local media to the event ahead of time and follow-up with them prior to the
event using a reminder e-mail.
If you are hosting an event, have people on hand to give quotes to members of the
Have informative materials on hand such as the press release, fact sheet and any
others that may provide background information to journalists.
Media Tips for Interviews:
Make your most important points first.
Prepare answers to expected questions (and ones you may hope are not asked)
ahead of time. Practice with someone asking you questions.
Stick to the talking points listed below, and when in doubt return the focus to your
Additional Background Information
Control Your Diabetes. For Life. campaign
o NDEP’s Control Your Diabetes. For Life. campaign seeks to reach the nearly
24 million Americans with diabetes and their families with messages about
the seriousness of diabetes, ways to control the disease, and the benefits of
controlling diabetes for life.
UKPDS Follow-Up Study Background*:
o The UKPDS Follow-Up Study found participants in the intervention group who
achieved blood glucose control as close to normal as possible during the
original UKPDS had a lower risk of heart attack than those in the control
group who had less well-controlled blood glucose. The intervention group also
showed continued risk reduction in microvascular disease.
This “legacy effect” indicates that the benefits of blood glucose control
that is as close to normal as possible in the early years after diagnosis
can lead to a lasting impact on health risks over a long period of time.
Furthermore, a 27% reduction in the risk of heart attacks was seen in
those who were overweight and managed their diabetes with blood
glucose goals as close to normal as possible when using the common
*10-Year Follow-up of Intensive Glucose Control in Type 2 Diabetes N Engl J Med 2008; 359
N Eng J Med 10.1056/NEJMoa0806470
Media Talking Points on Diabetes Control
1. Take your diabetes seriously.
Diabetes can lead to serious health problems including blindness, loss of limb,
kidney failure, heart disease, and early death.
Nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes today including six million who don’t
know they have the disease. An additional 57 million have pre-diabetes.
2. It’s easier to manage your diabetes if you set goals and make a plan.
Set a goal for yourself. Choose something that is important to you and that you
believe you can do. Then make a plan by choosing the small steps you will take.
Pick things you want to do and be realistic. For example, start working towards
getting 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. If you have not been
very active in the past, start slowly and try adding a few minutes each day. Identify:
why it’s important to you,
what it is (walking),
when and how often you will do it (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday
during lunch hour), and
how much (15 minutes to start).
o Example for making better food choices focused on eating fewer calories:
your plan may be to skip second helpings, drink water rather than soda or fruit
juice, choose fruits or vegetables as a snack, and make an appointment to
see a dietitian.
o Example for managing your blood glucose (blood sugar) better: your plan
could be checking your blood glucose daily, taking your medicines, and
making regular appointments and contacting your health care team if you
Build in support for yourself. Others can help you with your plan. Have regular
walking dates with a friend. Share your goal to reduce calories with the person in the
family who does most of the cooking. Have a family member come to your doctor’s
appointments. Reach out to clergy, co-workers, or friends for ideas about how to
reduce stress in your life.
3. Learn to manage your blood glucose (blood sugar).
People who keep their A1C below 7 in the early years after they are diagnosed with
diabetes have fewer problems with their eyes, nerves, and kidneys, and fewer heart
attacks later in life. Your A1C measures your blood glucose (blood sugar) over time.
If you have had diabetes for a long time, have other health problems or have
problems with low blood sugar, your A1C target may be higher than 7.
Talk to your health care team about your blood glucose targets. Yours may be
different from anyone else’s. Most people, especially those who have just been
diagnosed, aim for an A1C less than 7.
The benefits of blood glucose control from the time of diagnosis last for years and
can lead to fewer health problems later on. This has been called the “legacy effect.”
Discuss your A1C goal with your health care team at every visit.
4. Managing diabetes is not just about your blood glucose (blood sugar).
Keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol under control can lower your risk for
heart attacks and other diabetes complications.
Keep taking your medicines that are working to control blood pressure and
Talk with your health care team about taking control of your blood pressure and
5. Managing your diabetes may not be easy, but it is worth it.
The day-to-day activities needed to manage diabetes can be hard. But if you keep
your blood glucose as close to normal as is safe for you – what is called your target
range – you can reduce your chance of serious health problems. It is worth the
Ask your health care team for a referral for diabetes education.
See your health care team for regular diabetes check-ups.
6. NDEP has free resources that can help you.
Visit www.YourDiabetesInfo.org or call 1-888-693-NDEP (6337) for more information
on how to control your diabetes. Ask for 4 Steps to Control Your Diabetes. For Life.
The National Diabetes Education Program has resources for the general audience
and high-risk populations such as African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, American
Indians, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and older adults.