Letter Campaign - Let your voice be heard!

Posted on: Thu, 07/08/2004 - 3:08am
momtomitchell's picture
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Joined: 04/20/2004 - 09:00

I thought I would start a new post specifically to target letters to Dr. Phil and/or Oprah. It seems there are quite a few different posts about the same subject. I am all for starting a letter campaign and think we should get on it right away. We've already proven we can pull together and get heard with the 90% success of the bill, S.741.

Would one of our better letter writers out there like to draft a letter we can all send out? I'm probably not the best person to do this as my skills are with numbers not letters eek!

We can then begin our campaign! Send it to those shows in question and ask all of our friends and family to do the same!!!

Peanut Free Store

Posted on: Thu, 07/08/2004 - 3:19am
synthia's picture
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Joined: 10/05/2002 - 09:00

OMG...
I am ready,I am not the one to write the letter....but I know there are a lot of [b]good[/b] letter writer on the board!
I will add my touches and sent.
I think it would be a good IDEA to sent a copy of the FALCPA and some storys of "what WE as PA and Other food allergic Parents are going thur in OUR schools to protect our children,as well as success stories.
[b]Now Is The Time[/b]
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Thu, 07/08/2004 - 6:15am
Nutternomore's picture
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Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

Here's my perspective on this subject.
On the one hand, I'm personally excited that people are feeling energized and want to take action to effect change for the lives of those with PA.
On the other, engaging the media is risky business. It becomes their agenda (not yours), and you may not be happy with the results. The TV media is in the business of generating ratings and selling advertising, and they often will air opposing viewpoints to generate controversy (that's not likely to help our cause at this time).
Bottom line...if the intent to improve what we have to deal with in the schools, we all know that this is a [b]volatile[/b] topic, and we will not win this in the media. The media in and of itself doesn't have the power to directly achieve the changes. What it will take is legislative and governmental solutions (like we did with FALPCA) to effect greater change.
It's a little premature for me to discuss details, but there are a couple of folks working on such initiatives (including myself) to get the ball rolling. I promise to provide an update on this in the not too distant future, and we will be seeking support to further the cause down the road. Guess I've caught the advocacy bug, and also can't resist looking for other ways to create high-impact change. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
To me, interacting with the media as a means to an end, in a very strategic sort of way, is always the most sound strategy, since there are other activities at work that push towards achieving the desirable end result.
A show at this time could do some good, if the topic is broad enough (e.g. a Day in the Life of a PA child...) without a focus on controversy (like delving into the ban question). However, I'd like to point out that Oprah has been contacted many times over the last few years, and they just don't seem interested. In particular, ever since her lawsuit over the cattle show, they have been quite careful [b]not [/b]to delve into controversial topics, so keep that in mind.
I don't mean to throw cold water on this idea, but I think it's important to think about media usage that is tied to specific advocacy efforts. We get much more mileage that way (it highlights the specific effort, as well as educates as to the rationale for the effort in the first place). It's also newsworthy that way (which is what would get media interested in it in the 1st place)...

Posted on: Wed, 07/14/2004 - 11:49pm
momtomitchell's picture
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Joined: 04/20/2004 - 09:00

Nuttermore,
Thank you for your legislative perspective. I certainly respect your opinion and you show great concern.
However, I do believe the legislative route is a great route to follow for myself and for you, some others feel their contributions can be felt else where. Their hearts may lie in the media. We all want the same results and I just thinks its different for others how they get there.
Please don't think I am debating you, I am not, I just want you to understand that no matter how important legislative is, its not the only way for others to be heard.

Posted on: Thu, 07/15/2004 - 3:26pm
Nutternomore's picture
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Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

Momtomitchell,
I totally concur that the legislative route is not for everyone, and I understand that others can be heard in different ways and may want to express themselves in different ways.
My observations and personal experience with the media have left me with the [i]general[/i] following impression re:the media.
[i]Engaging the media is like using fire. At the extremes, using fire can leave you with either good results, or very negative and devastating results.[/i]
Many a family that I've spoken with decided to engage the media to try to further their cause, and as a result, regretted the outcome. In some cases, parents were unfairly painted as extremists, or the story was positioned as a battle of "rights". They didn't really get a fair shake. Not only were some of those families and communities deeply hurt by these stories, but it sometimes painted an inaccurate and inflammatory picture of the food allergic community, and frankly, didn't do any of us any favors.
Of course, I'm not suggesting that Oprah, for example, would do that, but my general caution is that if someone is going to use fire, it's absolutely critical that he/she is well prepared to use it responsibly.
Like any good sales/marketing professional (or politician [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] ), one would want to define their key points upfront (and stay on-point as best as possible), think very carefully about language used (e.g. if talking about school accommodations, don't refer to risk reduction [aka peanut ban] as a "burden" to others, instead perhaps discuss it in terms of "inconvenience" to others), do their level best to moderate the level of emotions (because let's face it, it can be emotional to discuss living the PA life), and have those ever important stats tucked into your brain for ready reference.
There are many capable people here who I'm sure could do a stellar job. I'm not out to show anyone disrespect; my caution here is that this is not for the faint of heart, and one should approach it with a heavy dose of forethought.
Thanks for continuing the discussion, so that I could better express my view (at least I hope I did). [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 07/15/2004 - 11:27pm
momtomitchell's picture
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Joined: 04/20/2004 - 09:00

Nuttermore,
Yes, understand much better [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
I completely concur. If there is one thing I have learned and learned it pretty quick is that education is the key and to put my emotions aside and put them on the shelf for the appropriate time [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 07/16/2004 - 11:54am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Nutternomore:
[b]My observations and personal experience with the media have left me with the [i]general[/i] following impression re:the media.
[i]Engaging the media is like using fire. At the extremes, using fire can leave you with either good results, or very negative and devastating results.[/i]
Many a family that I've spoken with decided to engage the media to try to further their cause, and as a result, regretted the outcome. In some cases, parents were unfairly painted as extremists, or the story was positioned as a battle of "rights". They didn't really get a fair shake. Not only were some of those families and communities deeply hurt by these stories, but it sometimes painted an inaccurate and inflammatory picture of the food allergic community, and frankly, didn't do any of us any favors.
Of course, I'm not suggesting that Oprah, for example, would do that, but my general caution is that if someone is going to use fire, it's absolutely critical that he/she is well prepared to use it responsibly.
Like any good sales/marketing professional (or politician [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] ), one would want to define their key points upfront (and stay on-point as best as possible), think very carefully about language used (e.g. if talking about school accommodations, don't refer to risk reduction [aka peanut ban] as a "burden" to others, instead perhaps discuss it in terms of "inconvenience" to others), do their level best to moderate the level of emotions (because let's face it, it can be emotional to discuss living the PA life), and have those ever important stats tucked into your brain for ready reference.
There are many capable people here who I'm sure could do a stellar job. I'm not out to show anyone disrespect; my caution here is that this is not for the faint of heart, and one should approach it with a heavy dose of forethought.
[/b]
[b]Potholders................[/b]
[i]A good idea[/i].
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]
completely understand. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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