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AARC Letter to State Society Presidents

We sent the EPA's PSA and encouraged them to take action locally!

March 5, 2001

Dear State Society President:

AARC is fortunate is being able to partner with the Environmental Protection Agency on a childhood asthma media campaign.

The EPA has provided a copy of their campaign, one per AARC affiliate, so that you might:

  • be aware of the campaign
  • promote it where possible
  • build your own PR efforts around it and use the power of this campaign to garner awareness of respiratory therapists.

As you know, AARC members have told us overwhelmingly that what they want from the AARC is public relations. Also, as you know, the kind of publicity and awareness that they seek costs hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. We don't have those resources, but what we do have is the power of the people. We cannot afford to buy ads in Modern Maturity, for example, at a cost of $253,000 per page or a commercial during any popular TV show at an average of $200,000 per 30 second spot. We have to live off of our wits, more or less, and capitalize on opportunities such as this.

What the Campaign Is:
EPA is launching a childhood asthma media campaign. They have widely distributed copies of their public service announcement, called "Goldfish," to media outlets across the country. The AARC has helped EPA identify a spokesperson in nearly all of the major cities they have named on the last page of their handout. These spokespersons are all respiratory therapists.

What You Can Do:
With such a major push from EPA there is bound to be media attention. I suggest that you identify a volunteer in your state to shepherd this project through. (I know volunteers are harder and harder to come by, but we are a volunteer organization, and this is a project that some new, young volunteer may find exciting and glamorous.)

This person should:

  • serve as a spokesperson or identify spokespersons in major media outlets in your state.
  • provide those people with the talking points herein enclosed
  • have those people contact their media and encourage the playing of the PSA
  • likewise, encourage the media to involve their news departments in doing a segment on childhood asthma at which that person would be glad to serve as an on-camera resource and a local contact. When this happens they must proudly proclaim that they are a respiratory therapist.

Public relations and media contacts are built at the local level. We are not an organization that has big news; we do not have the big stories that land us on CNN or USA Today. We must build our public awareness person by person, city by city. We must capitalize on these opportunities that present themselves to us.

I will be posting the information enclosed herein on our website as well, to assist in its dissemination. Look at www.aarc.org > Advocacy > Effective PR.

Thanks for whatever help you can give in this regard.


Sherry Milligan Associate Executive Director