When planning, consider activities that both recognize MRT accomplishments and educate other members of the healthcare team about your role. There are so many effective and engaging ways to celebrate and promote the profession. Brighten the celebrations by creating colourful visual displays with MRT Week posters and giveaways to educate your peers and clients in the workplace about what you do. Take the time to talk to patients and healthcare professionals individually about the ways in which MRTs deliver technology with care. Talk to local media about showcasing the medical radiation technology profession in a newspaper article, radio or television interview. Ask a local politician about proclaiming MRT Week officially in your city or province. Make a presentation to students about the rewards of a career in medical radiation technology.
Ideas for promotion and celebration
Visual displays can catch the eye and offer opportunities to engage with patients and other healthcare professionals. Every year, MRTs across the country use MRT Week to set up engaging visual displays that promote their profession, their workplace and their colleagues to passing patients and healthcare professionals. This year, you can promote your profession and workplace too using CAMRT materials that highlight the essential link that MRTs provide in the healthcare system, while delivering technology with care.
Display MRT Week promotional materials in your office and other high-traffic areas in the workplace, such as entrances, elevators, cafeterias, and lounges leading up to MRT Week. Set up a station where the public can visit the Image of Care website or view the new CAMRT NOD video.
Prepare a display in your workplace lobby, on a counter or other strategic locations in order to provide easy access to information about the profession and MRTs. Use the posters, fact sheets, and other promotional items provided by the CAMRT to help draw attention to the display. Make it more personal by including information about the MRTs at your hospital, clinic, or organization. Ask if a local mall would allow you to set up a display on a weekend, to extend the public outreach potential of your MRT Week celebration.
Wherever your display is, try to have someone available to answer questions and interact with the public.
Success stories with visual displays
One MRT Week, OTIMRO-EPMQ created placemats that lined hospital cafeteria trays for November 8th.
Organize short lunchtime presentations in your workplace for other members of the healthcare team and the general public to increase awareness of the profession. Or, have an education breakfast session to kick-off MRT Week and invite other departments/colleagues to participate. Highlight topics of relevance and interest to your organization. This is an opportunity to talk about successful interprofessional collaboration on a project, highlight a new workplace innovation or method, offer educational tips, or present an overview of research that is underway. These session can become a forum to exchange ideas with your co-workers and motivate staff to continue to grow professionally.
Planning tips: once you have an idea of the type of session you would like to host, make an agenda and invite the speaker(s) in advance. Reserve the meeting location and organize refreshments, if necessary. Be sure to get the word out by sending a reminder email, marking the date in the staff calendar, and posting notices around the workplace. Host the session by welcoming participants and introducing the speaker.
Success stories in education
“The Southern Alberta branch of the ACMDTT kicked off our MRT Week celebrations by hosting an education day! We had dedicated and knowledgeable speakers focusing on the role MRTs play as an integral part of the healthcare team. The Very Image of Care theme was everywhere! banner, cake, signs!! A great start to a great week of publicizing our profession.”
“For the fourth consecutive year, MRT Week has been celebrated in style by the College of the North Atlantic Qatar (CNAQ). This year was extra special because the School of Health Science’s Medical Radiography program played host to two Canadian guests – Connie Krajewski and Denise Carraretto, from SickKids Hospital in Toronto. Denise and Connie made an excellent presentation on pediatric pathologies, and provided valuable tips and tricks for immobilization techniques.”
Consider reaching out to high schools in your area to ask about opportunities to educate students on the endless career opportunities available as a medical radiation technologist.
Incorporate the Image of Care brand messages and graphics into your presentation. Participation in career fairs throughout the year is encouraged, and CAMRT is happy to provide materials on request for your display.
Invite schools to drop by your hospital or clinic during an education session or organize a department tour. Have your recent grads at the hospital to speak to the students about their experiences. Always accept invitations from schools or employment clinics to speak or write about what you do. People want to see what you have to say about topics related to medical radiation technology.
Success stories in community education
“I brought my viewbox, some radiographs, and a teacher package (assembled with CAMRT information, including a DVD) and went out to the local schools and made presentations on the profession. I spoke to elementary (Grade7/8) and secondary students. The same week, I spoke at the English high school as part of career day and a local reporter took my picture and wrote an article for the local paper.”
CAMRT and OAMRT hosted a display at the Canadian Undergraduate Conference on health care, promoting careers in medical radiation technology to over 300 university students who are planning a future in health care.
Reaching out to media is a very effective way to get MRT Week messages out to the general public.
When you are creating a press release, remember that media professional want to know that their stories will have an impact on the entire community. Think about angles that make the story current and interesting to a local audience. Try to include a personal story of staff achievement, or why your organization is one of the pillars of the community.
Ensure that you have lined up appropriate spokespeople who are comfortable being interviewed, in case you are asked for quotes, or further details. If you are holding an educational event, hosting an awards ceremony, or participating in a fundraiser, invite your media contact to attend. If they can’t make it, be sure to send a write up with photos afterwards.
Tips to help your article get published
- Compile a list of local media to find out who covers medical/local news. Whenever possible, try to find specific contacts, rather than generic departmental phone numbers – good media relations is all about relationships
- Do the papers/stations have a community calendar? Does the community calendar have a deadline? Send them dates for MRT Week 2015 – November 8-14, 2015 – as soon as possible
- Remember that a news release is not an advertisement, but a notice to the media about your event – an alert. It should be no more than one (1) page, and should provide the basics of your event (i.e., Who, What, Where, When, and Why you are having the event)
- One person from your organization should be appointed as your primary contact. This is the first person any media will get in touch with regarding the event, and so should be available during office hours
- Send your news release to your media contacts a few weeks before the event. Within two days of sending the release follow-up with a phone call to ensure that it was received. Be sure that whoever follows-up can answer questions and make a case for why this event is unique and worth the media’s effort
- Send the news release again one week before the event to remind them that it’s happening
Success stories in media outreach
The NLAMRT has published a full-page ad in the Evening Telegram newspaper profiling MRTs across Newfoundland and Labrador, to highlight the work that they do in the various disciplines.
Increase media exposure by distributing a regionally-tailored version of the official MRT Week news release and public service announcement (PSA) internally, as well as to your professional contacts, and local media. If there is a community radio or television station in your area (such as, RogersTV or ShawTV), add them to your list of people to contact. They are always on the look-out for good human interest stories!
Facts alone can be impersonal. Compelling stories about how MRTs affect people in the local community are very powerful. If you use the news release or PSA, make sure you personalize it. Get an example of a PSA here.
Tips to help deliver your PSA to local media
- Ask to speak to the public service director, or the director of community affairs
- In the case of TV, ask them what format they require for PSAs. You should also ask to whom the PSA should be sent. See if they can utilize the promotional DVD for additional footage (b-roll)
- A few days prior to MRT Week, follow-up with your contact to discuss the possibility of doing an interview during MRT Week
- Monitor your local newspaper, radio, or television station to see if the PSA has run
- If the PSA does run, call or write to your contact to thank them (this goes a long way!)
Remember: The media have lots of issues presented to them each day, all of which are important to the organizations vying for time and space. Be professional and thorough in your approach and respect the reporter’s time. Make them a part of MRT Week and you stand a good chance of getting covered. But remember, the worst thing you can do is NOT send them anything.
Success stories in public service announcements
In 2011, CAMRT member Gord Allan appeared on RogersTV in London, Ontario, on November 8th (the anniversary of the discovery of the x-ray) to talk about MRT Week and the activities that were taking place at Fanshawe College.
Here’s an idea – get an official proclamation from your city’s mayor and gain even more awareness of the profession, technologists, and its impact on the community.
MRT involvement in fundraisers or community events during MRT Week is a great way to promote team work and to raise visibility and enhance the reputation of your profession and your workplace. Hold an event in support of the CAMRT Foundation, to raise funds for MRT research and education. The collegiality and camaraderie of these events often results in ‘teachable moments’, where you will have the opportunity to talk about your team, and your profession with pride to other participants. Participating as a MRT team in events keeps the spirit of MRT Week alive all year long!
Success stories in community engagement
“Our crew of MRTs at the Upper River Valley Hospital in Waterville, NB had t-shirts made to wear for MRT Week. They stirred up a lot of excitement in the hospital with patients and other employees.”
The BC Cancer Agency’s Abbotsford Centre celebrate MRT Week by hosting two game shows – Wheel of Fortune and Family Feud – for all the Radiation Therapists, Oncologists, nurses and Physicists at the centre. The game show themes were all MRT-related and the Image of Care slogan was incorporated as much as possible.
At the Thunder Bay Regional Health Centre we organized a “Are you smarter than an X-ray student” game during lunch hour.
Whatever you end up doing, be sure to send us photos with the hashtag #MRTWeek2016 to be featured in the winter edition of the CAMRT News!
You can also send MRT Week photos to Jessica McGregor at email@example.com