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Toolkit

Use and Samples

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health and the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy strongly encourage organizations and individuals to consider holding an event at the local level, writing a letter to the editor, or otherwise engaging their community in observing HIV/AIDS Awareness Days.

This tool kit contains a number of resources that will assist you in planning and implementing the different HIV/AIDS Awareness Day observance activities at the local level. Please note that these are only ideas. All activities should be tailored to meet the specific needs of your own community. This information is provided only as a means to facilitate activities. It is impossible for us to cover all potential issues that could be addressed. You know your community best, and you know what messages it most needs to hear.

We urge you to use these opportunities as a local outreach opportunity. Share with others what you have learned so that they may benefit from your expertise and caring. Please let others know about this toolkit, and consider holding joint activities in your community. Thank you.

 

Possible Activities

This is a list of relatively easy activities that can be undertaken in your community to acknowledge the observance of the appropriate HIV/AIDS Day. Should you decide to implement any activities, consider tailoring them to meet the needs of your community.

  • Hold a forum at a local high school, public library, or community center to discuss HIV/AIDS issues.

  • Encourage your local newspapers or school districts to sponsor essay, poetry, and/or poster contests on the specific celebration.

  • Hold a news conference with leading city officials (e.g., Mayor, health department director) to raise public awareness of the impact HIV/AIDS has had in your community. To help increase HIV/AIDS awareness, invite other local public officials (health department officers and community leaders) to talk about the challenges remaining in the battle to fight the epidemic.

  • Encourage the Mayor to visit a local HIV/AIDS service organization (ASO) or community-based organization (CBO) to discuss their current activities and future plans in responding to HIV/AIDS.

  • Convene a town hall meeting and invite local healthcare providers, policy makers, educators, community and faith-based leaders, and the general public to engage in dialogue about the impact of HIV/AIDS in the community. Invite people living with HIV/AIDS to share their experiences. Hold a reception for participants immediately following the town hall meeting.

  • Highlight the specific observance of the HIV/AIDS Day in your community newsletter and on list servers, bulletin boards, and/or Web pages.

  • Submit an HIV/AIDS awareness editorial or a letter to the editor to all of your local newspapers. You may want to use or tailor the attached sample talking points to address the specific needs within your community.

  • Encourage your local radio stations to broadcast Public Service Announcements (PSA) leading up to the specific observance day in an effort to help increase HIV/AIDS awareness. Please feel free to download the PSAs contained in this site for your local station.

  • Ask your mayor or other local elected official to send a letter/memorandum to all city employees (often the largest single employer in any area) about the specific HIV/AIDS Obsrvance Day, and to inform them of available city services (e.g., HIV testing and/or counseling sites).

  • Contact local newspapers and television and radio stations NOW and encourage them to develop a story on the impact of HIV/AIDS in your community and/or let them know of your availability to be interviewed.

  • Contact your local television and radio stations to participate as a guest on locally produced "morning" shows and/or radio call-in shows.

 

Media Advisory

Purpose

By sending a media advisory to local media outlets (newspapers, radio stations, and television stations), you are alerting them to an upcoming "newsworthy" event on which they should report. This advisory informs them of the who, what, when, where, and why of your event, and if alerted early enough, will allow them to assign staff to attend.

You should send the media advisory to arrive 3-5 days in advance of your event. Whenever possible, follow up with a phone call to the assignment editor the day before the event to encourage coverage.

When you call, be ready with more information about your event. Don't just ask the editor if they received your alert. Tell them how important your event is to the community, what you hope to accomplish, how many people you hope to reach and, how their organization can play a vital role in letting the community hear your message.

Make sure that your contact person will be available. Your contact person need not be your executive director, but it should be someone who can take phone calls and answer requests for information.

Sample

(Insert your organization's logo here)

For Immediate Release
[Insert date when released]
Contact: [Insert name of appropriate contact person]
Phone: [Insert your organization's phone number]
Fax: [Insert your organization's fax number]

MEDIA ADVISORY

[Insert name of your city] Observes
[Insert "A" -- Name of HIV/AIDS Observance Day]
[Insert "B" -- Date], marks [the Insert "C" Chronological Reference if known, of] [Insert "A"] which is observed around the world and in [your town] as coordinated by [name of your organization].
What: The [insert name of your organization], one of the area's leading HIV/AIDS service organizations, along with [insert name of local leader, such as your Mayor, if available] will hold a news conference [or another suggested event] to acknowledge the impact of HIV/AIDS in [insert name of your city]. Past and present challenges will be addressed, and solutions and action steps necessary to continue to fight this disease will be discussed.

[Insert name of local leader again], along with members of the city council, health officials, faith and community leaders, and individuals living with HIV/AIDS will sound the alarm that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is far from over and there is still much local work to be done in battling this disease.

[INSERT IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT "A" AND HOW IT IMPACTS THE COMMUNITY YOU ARE TRYING TO REACH.]
Where: [Insert name of location, street address, city, state, zip code, and telephone number if available]
When: [Insert date of your activity and time of the event.]
Who: Presented by [insert your organization's name and a one sentence description of your services.]
Activities: A [insert specific activity], immediately followed by a question-and-answer session for the media. [Or whatever you will be doing in the order it will occur.]
Photo op: Local leaders and community members.
Directions: [Insert specific directions to location of event]

For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact [insert name of appropriate contact person for media-related activities] at [insert phone number].

Use the following information to fill out the above Media Sample.

Insert "A" -
Name of HIV/AIDS Observance Day
Insert "B" -
Date
Insert "C" -
Chronological Reference
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness and Information Day February 7, 2007 7th Annual
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day March 10, 2007 2nd Annual
National Native (American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian) HIV/AIDS Awareness Day March 21, 2007 skip
Vaccine Awareness Day May 18, 2007 skip
National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day May 19, 2007 3rd Annual
National HIV/AIDS Testing Day June 27, 2007 skip
Latino HIV/AIDS Awareness Day October 15, 2007 5th Annual
World AIDS Day 2005 December 1, 2007 19th Annual

 

Interview Advisory

Purpose

If you choose to do so, by sending Interview Advisory to local media outlets (newspapers, radio stations, and television stations), you are alerting them to the fact that you (or the person(s) listed), are available to participate in an interview (on radio, television, or for a newspaper), to discuss an upcoming National HIV/AIDS Observance [INSERT "A"] and the impact of HIV/AIDS in the United States. You should send this to arrive 3-5 days in advance of your event, and, if possible, follow up with a phone call to the assignment editor.

Make sure that your contact person will be available. Your contact person need not be your executive director, but it should be someone who can take phone calls and answer requests for information.

Sample

(Insert your organization's logo here)

For Immediate Release
[Insert date of release]
Contact: [Insert name of appropriate contact person]
Phone: [Insert your organization's phone number]
Fax: [Insert your organization's fax number]

INTERVIEW ADVISORY

[Insert your city] Observes [Insert "A" - Name of HIV/AIDS Observance Day]:
Local Leader [insert name] on the Forefront of This Devastating Disease
[Insert "B" - Date], marks [the Insert "C" Chronological Reference if known, of] [Insert "A"], which is observed around the world and in [your town] as coordinated by [name of your organization].
What: Leading local HIV/AIDS expert, [insert name of spokesperson, and his/her title] of [insert name of organization], is available for interviews with the media to discuss the magnitude of this devastating disease and to raise awareness of activities planned in acknowledgment of this important day throughout the community.

[Insert name of spokesperson] will discuss the:
  • [INSERT IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT "A" AND HOW IT IMPACTS THE LOCAL COMMUNITY SPECIFICALLY]
  • General impact of HIV/AIDS in the past, present, and implications for the future
  • Importance of getting tested: knowing your HIV status and that of your partner
  • Local resources available prevention, testing, counseling, education, etc.
  • Changing face of HIV/AIDS and the impact on youth, gay youth, communities of color, women, seniors, etc.
  • Barriers affecting the community's response: infrastructure, capacity, stigma, fears, discrimination, etc.
  • [Please revise the above or insert additional topics]
When: To be determined by media representative; or, invite to a planned media event.
Where: [Insert name of spokesperson] is available for on-site and telephone interviews. To schedule an interview with [insert name of spokesperson], please contact [insert name of your organization's designated contact person] at [insert appropriate phone number].

Use the following information to fill out the above Interview Advisory Sample.

Insert "A" -
Name of HIV/AIDS Observance Day
Insert "B" -
Date
Insert "C" -
Chronological Reference
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness and Information Day February 7, 2006 6th Annual
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day March 10, 2006 1st Annual
Vaccine Awareness Day May 18, 2006 skip
National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day May 19, 2006 2nd Annual
National HIV/AIDS Testing Day June 27, 2006 skip
Latino HIV/AIDS Awareness Day October 15, 2006 4th Annual
World AIDS Day 2005 December 1, 2006 18th Annual

 

Post-Event Activities

  1. Prepare news releases and send to all reporters who were unable to attend your activities.
  2. Send thank you letters to leadership and editors of local newspapers who attended or contributed to your activities. Include a short synopsis of what was achieved.
  3. Prepare a follow up article for your own newsletter and board members as well as for community publications. Include photos of the event.
  4. Ask media members for copies of coverage of your event.
  5. Keep a roster of the leadership, media, and community invited, with appropriate notes so you can follow up for next year's activities.

 

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