Contacting local press is a great way to make a big change in your community. 

Are you passionate about sharing your story with your community? Are you and your friends holding a fundraising event in town that you could promote? Or is there an Ataxia UK campaign taking place that you could support by contacting the media? 

We can help. We have press release templates, storytelling expertise, and guidance about how to effectively get in touch with local media. 

Before you get started, here's some questions you'll want to think about:

  • The press will only want to highlight stories that emotionally resonate with their readers. But how do you do that, when no-one has heard of ataxia before? Our challenge with media coverage is to convince the reader (and therefore the press) that ataxia is worth knowing about.

  • Are you promoting an event you're holding? Or sharing your personal story? Whatever reason you're getting in touch with the press, get to the heart of why you're holding that event - why your story is important. Follow the advice below to work out how:

    • Help put the reader in your shoes: show them why ataxia matters through real, concrete examples of when ataxia has affected you, and personal experiences your reader can relate to.
    • Stories have been told for thousands of years, and some story structures have lasted through the ages. Memorable stories are powerful, and can change how someone sees the world. This is why sharing your story is a great way to change public perceptions of ataxia. Be inspired by classical story structures in how you pitch your own story to the press. What type of story are you telling?
      • against-all-the-odds
      • a phoenix rising from the ashes
      • David and Goliath
      • romance
      • hope 
      • tragedy ("there's still no cure")
  • Lastly, remember that your audience have never heard about 'ataxia' before, let alone 'FA', 'SCA 17' or 'frataxins' - remember to avoid medical jargon to avoid alienating them. How would you answer this question to someone who's never heard of ataxia before: "ataxia: what's that?"

If you want to train in liaising with the media, why not sign up to our Ataxia Ambassadors Project?