Most of us plan for the holiday season. We start our gift-shopping early (if we're wise). We check on our decorations. We bake our goodies.
Your project should plan for the holidays as well. The holiday season Is a time when your research, your project, your experts can get media coverage.
What does your research have to do with the holiday season? If you're creative in your planning, you can likely find a tie-in:
"Home for the holidays" is a great theme to use to disseminate research findings that show people prefer living at home to living in institutions. If your research or your program deals in any way with home and community-based services, try a "home for the holidays" press release to get a story with facts from your research into local or national media. "Home for the holidays" is also a good theme to use if your research concerns housing, or visitability.
If you deal with employment issues, offer reporters background information for a story about how low wages, or the lack of a job, affects a person with a disabilities at holiday gift-giving time.
If you deal with access issues, use the same idea: suggest to reporters that they do a story about how the lack of access makes holiday shopping, holiday visiting and dining out, all that more difficult.
Put your thinking caps on. Using the holiday theme, try making lists to disseminate via the media, using your research (see Media Matters No. 38).
All during December newspapers and television news will carry stories with holiday angles. And it's a slack time, usually, for "hard news" as government and business enterprises slow down. Often reporters and editors are looking for ways to fill a "slow" news day -- and will likely welcome a call from you, followed by your emailed or faxed release with holiday story ideas featuring your research and experts. See Media Matters No. 10 for help with a news release.
Think about other holidays as well: Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Thanksgiving can all offer "hooks" for your research.
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