This week we begin a slow roll-out of a new offer of help to those who write PR news releases about health care or biomedical research.
We have already written to hundreds of PR professionals whose health care news releases have been systematically reviewed by HealthNewsReview.org over the past two years.
Our published reviews of releases have become very popular. The feedback we’ve received from PR and public information professionals has been overwhelmingly positive. But journalists and readers from the general public have also been enthusiastic about this two-year-old feature. Our reviews have always been intended to be constructive criticism – to help these professionals communicate with their various audiences with accurate, balanced and complete information.
But this new service is an unprecedented step to take our offer of assistance to a new level.
Starting this week we offer to review health care news releases that discuss claims about interventions in advance of publication. PR professionals are invited to send us a draft of their planned news release and we will assign it to three reviewers from our pool of about 50 expert reviewers – just as we would do if we were reviewing a news release after it had been published. We’ll send back their comments to the person who submitted it as soon as possible.
If you are interested in trying this new service or have further questions, you can send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll also be discussing this project when I speak at the Association of American Medical Colleges meeting in Puerto Rico on March 30 (see 10:15 a.m. session, “Getting It Right and Avoiding Hype in Communicating About Research”). I welcome the opportunity to meet with academic medical institution PR and PIO people at that event.
Some day we would also like to extend a similar offer to journalists who are working on their news stories. We’ve been asked repeatedly by journalists to offer that kind of help in the past. We have limited staff so we’ll take this one step at a time.
This chart is our report card on 2,330 news stories reviewed after nearly 11 years and on 330 PR news releases reviewed after just two years.
Details on each criterion and how they are applied appear on our website.
Note that two criteria are different for news stories than for news releases.