We had an article in press in Ergonomics in Design entitled “Analysis of a ‘Simple’ Medical Device,” coauthored with Amy Mykityshyn and Regan Campbell. Lois Smith (communications director of HFES) believed that this article might attract some interest from the media. A couple of weeks before the issue was
scheduled to be mailed, Lois sent me a brief paragraph about the article that she was going to distribute to an on-line press release service that features news from the fields of science, technology, and medicine. We had the opportunity to review this press release and ensure that it captured what we believed were the
important results of our research. Just before publication, Lois distributed the press release and a copy of the article. We then waited for the media to express interest in the research and contact her – and they did.
The typical process was that a journalist would first contact Lois, who provided my e-mail address and phone number. She then alerted me to expect to be contacted by that journalist. This allowed me to know in advance who might be calling and from which outlet. We also had a call from a person at the Science and Technology News Network, a nonprofit organization sponsored by the
National Science Foundation that films science news stories for distribution to ABC affiliates nationwide. After coordinating with the Georgia Tech communications office, we scheduled a three hour time block for filming in our laboratory.
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