In the last few weeks I have had several people ask me how can they get their story out to the world about living with psoriasis, an autoimmune disease that affects over 125 million people worldwide. I have had the opportunity to share my story in a variety of ways through print, television, and online. Here are 8 ways to tell your story and receive more exposure.
Take Your Social Media Accounts off Private
In order for you to be seen, you must be public. Having public social media accounts helps in a few ways. It gives you the opportunity to catch the interest of people who don’t follow you or aren’t friends with you. It also gives your post the chance to reach more people when shared. I can’t tell you how many times reporters researched me and became interested in my story based off my public post. Had I not been public they may have moved on to the next person who was. If you have an issue with exposing too much of your private life to strangers, you may want to consider having an advocacy page and a personal page, although for me personally that’s a daunting task.
Build Your Own Blog
No one can tell your story better than you can. If you haven’t already done so I suggest starting a blog. This is a great way to build up your relationship with others in the psoriasis community, and it will also help you been seen as a spokesperson and someone who can be trusted. When you start your blog be sure to set a specific day and time to post, so that your followers know when to expect you. The awesome part of it all is there is no limit to how much of yourself you share. If people see you are willing to share your story, they will put you at the top of the list when they need interviewees for a story. If you aren’t ready to do a blog consider this next tip.
Be a Guest Blogger
This tip should be followed even if you have your own blog but especially if you don’t. Becoming a guest blogger gives you exposure to a different audience outside of your own so that they can then become a part of your community. If doesn’t matter if the blog you make a guest appearance for is big or small, you can gain new followers from it regardless. Get to know those of the psoriasis community and ask if you can be a guest blogger. Remember to do the same for others who ask you if you have your own blog.
Contact the PR Department of the Organizations that Serves Your Disease Community
The National Psoriasis Foundation is the largest organization for the psoriasis community. When reporters need stories the NPF is one of the first resources they go to in an attempt to find patients with the disease. It is a good idea to build a relationship with the NPF by volunteering in several of their initiatives which can be found here. Also contact the PR department to let them know you are willing to tell your story, so when a reporter contacts the NPF looking for patients you will be on the list as a willing participant.
Pitch Your Story
If it seems as though media outlets and opportunities aren’t coming to you then it’s time to go to them by pitching your story, although this will take a lot of effort on your part. It’s good to have a biography about yourself on standby. When pitching your story I would take advantage of doing it a month or so before certain awareness days like Psoriasis Awareness Month which takes place in August and World Psoriasis Day which is October 29th. Start with your local media outlets first like newspapers and tv news. Make sure you give them a newsworthy reason for you to be featured outside of just having the disease, give them something dynamic. If you can’t think of anything, research stories on others with psoriasis and see what different aspects of their story were told.