Calendar of Promotional Activities
There are countless opportunities to share diabetes information with members of your community. One way to get your information to the public is by utilizing “news hooks”—messages associated with current newsworthy events, holidays, or other observances that will likely be covered by media. For example, you could encourage your organization and other organizations, businesses, or groups to include information for older adults with diabetes, their loved ones, and caregivers in programs, activities, or on websites in association with holidays and observances. You could also arrange to have a guest speaker provide diabetes information to older adults during a group meeting or program, or ask libraries, senior centers, recreation centers, and other appropriate gathering places to display posters and distribute brochures.
NDEP has copyright-free campaign tools for you to use in your community and encourages you to reproduce and distribute them to local media and other community channels. Add your organization’s logo* to let everyone know you support these messages. For more tools to help with promotional efforts, including numerous sample feature articles, visit NDEP’s “Campaign Tools” webpage.
It also helps to use a yearly or monthly calendar when planning various promotional activities. The following list includes example observances for each month, a diabetes-related “news hook,” a suggestion for a promotion you can undertake in association with that observance, and links to additional resources. Use your imagination and understanding of your community to create opportunities to share the importance of diabetes self-management. For more ideas, visit www.healthfinder.gov/nho, or subscribe to NDEP’s News & Notes e-newsletter to find out NDEP’s latest promotional activities and materials. Remember to refer people to www.YourDiabetesInfo.org or 1-888-693-NDEP (6337) for free diabetes information.
January – New Year’s Resolutions
Sample News Hook:
- Make this the year you control your diabetes.
- Senior centers, churches, and synagogues, as well as organizations and retailers who work with older adults, can include information about diabetes self-management and benefit information for Medicare recipients who have diabetes in their publications. Include the NDEP website (www.YourDiabetesInfo.org) and phone number (1-888-693-NDEP) as an additional resource.
- Ask organizations hosting meetings or activities in January to feature a speaker or provide information on diabetes and older adults for participants during their event. Or, compile a list of “New Year’s Resolutions” that older adults with diabetes could make to improve their health and share this list at a relevant organization’s meeting. Distribute copies of NDEP’s Tips for Feeling Better and Staying Healthy* tip sheet at the meeting or feature the tip sheet in your organization’s newsletter or on its website.
February – Black History Month & American Heart Month
Sample News Hook:
- Diabetes disproportionately affects the African American community; African Americans are almost twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.
- Heart disease is the number one cause of early death among people with diabetes. But there’s hope. People with diabetes can learn to manage their diabetes – and cut their risk for heart attack and stroke by more than half.
- Target local African American print publications and suggest a feature story on diabetes and older adults. Offer them the opportunity to interview one of your community partners, such as a local diabetes educator, about the topic. Also remember to contact specialty publications, such as those issued by religious and social service organizations.
- Hold an activity or workshop for older African Americans that promotes comprehensive diabetes control and cardiovascular disease prevention. Pass out copies of 4 Steps to Control Your Diabetes. For Life. to participants.
- Print cards for Valentine’s Day and include a special message about the ABCs of diabetes (as measured by the A1C test, Blood pressure, and Cholesterol) for loved ones who have the disease. List www.YourDiabetesInfo.org as a resource for more information about the ABCs of diabetes.
March – American Diabetes Alert Day® & National Kidney Month
Sample News Hook:
- More than 6 million Americans with diabetes do not know they have the disease.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease; if left untreated, kidney disease can lead to kidney failure.
April – National Public Health Week, World Health Day, & National Minority Health Month
Sample News Hook:
- National Public Health Week and World Health Day have different themes each year, and local groups are encouraged to hold relevant events. Try to fit a message related to diabetes and older adults into each year’s theme.
- African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes and are disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes.
- Team up with your county, city, or state department of health, and host an exhibit booth to hand out information about managing diabetes among older adults. Use healthy snacks to attract people to your booth. For recipe ideas, visit the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute’s “Heart-Healthy Recipes,” “A Healthier You” Recipes, or Fruits & Veggies Matter’s “Recipe Finder.” For information about ordering free NDEP materials for your exhibit, visit Guidelines for Ordering NDEP Materials for Community Health Events.
- Contact minority-owned businesses in your area about disseminating materials to their employees on managing diabetes and how to support a loved one with diabetes. Offer to do a lunchtime presentation, and hand out NDEP’s free diabetes materials, which are available in English, Spanish, and in 15 Asian and Pacific Islander languages. Materials have been tailored for groups at high risk for diabetes, including African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
May – Older Americans Month, National Sight-Saving Month, National High Blood Pressure Education Month, & Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Sample News Hook:
- Millions of Americans have diabetes, and people age 60 and older are more commonly affected than younger people.
- Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease for people with diabetes and a leading cause of blindness in American adults.
- Complications from diabetes can develop much more quickly if blood pressure is higher than recommended levels.
- Diabetes is disproportionately affecting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
- Locate an older adult in your community who is living a productive and active life with diabetes, and write a letter describing this person’s healthy lifestyle to the assignment editor of your local television and radio stations and to the features editor of your community newspapers. Ask them to write a feature story about this person or interview them for an upcoming article. Mention that NDEP has free tips to help loved ones of people with diabetes and cite NDEP’s Tips for Helping a Person with Diabetes* as a reference.
- Research if your local mall has a mall-walkers program for senior citizens. If it does, encourage senior citizens in your community to participate. If not, start a mall-walking program of your own!
- Contact a local television news show or community service program to see if a representative of your organization could discuss how you are promoting the importance of diabetes self-management and the availability of benefits for people with Medicare to older adults in your community. Mention www.YourDiabetesInfo.org so that viewers can get additional free information.
- Blindness can be a complication of diabetes. Team up with a local chapter of the National Federation of the Blind or National Eye Health Education Program to create an easy-to-use resource such as a tip sheet to help older adults with diabetes care for their eyes. Or, contact a local Lions Club to find out how you can help with blindness prevention activities in your community, such as vision screenings or Lions Strides walks.
- Contact your local senior center, grocery store, or pharmacy chain about having a health care professional come to test the blood pressure of older adults. Hand out copies of NDEP’s If You Have Diabetes, Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers* to those who attend.
- If your community has an Asian American and/or Pacific Islander older adult population, develop a feature article on the incidence of diabetes among older Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, plus what this population needs to know about managing diabetes. Mention NDEP’s 4 Steps to Control Your Diabetes. For Life. Asian and Pacific Islander adaptations.
June – National Men’s Health Week
Sample News Hook:
- Men with diabetes and their families can face devastating complications from diabetes since people with diabetes are at a high risk for heart attack and stroke, blindness, kidney disease, loss of a toe or foot, and erectile dysfunction. But there is good news—taking good care of yourself and your diabetes can help you avoid long-term problems and live a long and healthy life.
- Offer to write a feature story for local publications about the importance of regular physical activity in older men with diabetes, or use one of NDEP’s copyright-free feature articles. Begin by mentioning the observance of National Men’s Health Week, and then give examples of safe places to walk, such as indoor or outdoor walking paths, a shopping mall, or a community center. Explain that physical activity can improve strength, flexibility, and balance. Give tips like “Find an activity you enjoy—brisk walking is a great way to be active.” NDEP’s It’s Not Too Late to Prevent Diabetes. Take Your First Step Today* has great physical activity tips for older adults, regardless of whether they are trying to prevent or manage diabetes.
July – Summer Vacations & Family Reunions
Sample News Hook:
- Summertime fun and travel go hand-in-hand with comprehensive diabetes control.
- Encourage local newspapers, organizations, or religious groups to include messages in their publications highlighting the importance of older adults managing their diabetes during summer months and while traveling. Provide the NDEP article “Have Diabetes, Will Travel”*, and ask them to consider printing it.
- Send healthy recipes for summertime snacks to local print publications. For recipe ideas, visit the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute’s “Heart-Healthy Recipes,” “A Healthier You” Recipes, or Fruits & Veggies Matter’s “Recipe Finder.” Remember to provide a high-resolution photo of your healthy recipe. The photo should be at least 300 dots per inch (dpi) and in JPEG, RGB, or TIFF format – the most appropriate formats for professionally printed publications. Publication staff can help determine if your photo is the appropriate resolution.
- Offer to distribute NDEP materials at special events such as annual family reunions, ethnic festivals, health fairs, and more. Play NDEP’s music CDs or VHS/DVDs at your event. For more information about ordering NDEP materials for an event, visit Guidelines for Ordering NDEP Materials for Community Health Events.
August – National Senior Citizens Day
Sample News Hook:
- Self-management is an important component of any successful diabetes management plan.
- Send a press release to health editors at your local newspapers and television and radio stations, informing them of the services Medicare covers for people with diabetes including diabetes self-management training (which includes a section on nutrition) and medical nutrition therapy services. Mention NDEP’s The Power to Control Diabetes Is in Your Hands brochure as a resource.
- Issue a media advisory with a diabetes fact sheet, and enlist the help of experts to discuss diabetes and older adults and to demonstrate how to test and manage blood glucose.
- Download NDEP’s resources for older adults online at www.YourDiabetesInfo.org, make copies, and hand them out to members of your local senior center. Give a presentation on diabetes management. For a sample slide presentation and talking points, visit Power to Control Campaign Resources.
September – National Hispanic Heritage Month, National Cholesterol Education Month, & Take A Loved One for a Checkup Day
Sample News Hook:
- Hispanics/Latinos are almost twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.
- Managing cholesterol is part of the ABCs of diabetes (as measured by the A1C test, Blood pressure, and Cholesterol).
- Taking older loved ones to see a health care professional may be the first step in helping them learn to manage their diabetes.
October – National Pharmacy Week & Family Health Month
Sample News Hook:
- Spotlight the challenges family members and friends face when caring for older adults with diabetes.
- Family members play an integral role in helping older adults with diabetes learn how to manage their condition.
November – National Diabetes Awareness Month & National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month
Sample News Hook:
- Bring attention to the 10.3 million people (or 20.9 percent of all people in this age group) over age 60 living with diabetes during National Diabetes Awareness Month.
- Diabetes is disproportionately affecting American Indians and Alaska Natives – 15 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native adults aged 20 years or older have diabetes.
- Ask the mayor or town council to sign a proclamation observing National Diabetes Awareness Month in your community. Hold a signing ceremony, and invite local media. Hold a news conference following the ceremony and include information about diabetes self-management and Medicare benefits for people with diabetes. Bring a laptop computer to showcase www.YourDiabetesInfo.org and NDEP’s free resources.
- Within your organization, highlight a different issue that affects older adults with diabetes each week during National Diabetes Awareness Month. For example, during the first week host a work-site lunch seminar about the facts of diabetes. During the second week, highlight steps people can take to manage the ABCs of diabetes. The next week, invite a local health care professional to come talk about diabetes self-management.
- If your community has an American Indian and/or Alaska Native older adult population, develop a feature story on the incidence of diabetes among older American Indians and Alaska Natives, plus what this population needs to know about managing diabetes. Mention NDEP’s Take Care of Your Heart. Manage Your Diabetes. tip sheet* for American Indians and Alaska Natives as a resource.
December – Holiday Gift Giving
Sample News Hook:
- Give your family and yourself a gift that will last a lifetime—good health.
- Write a press release about the importance of diabetes self-management and the availability of benefits for people with Medicare who have diabetes. Use the theme of giving your family and yourself the gift of good health. Encourage older adults and their families to visit www.YourDiabetesInfo.org for information on comprehensive diabetes control to help ensure a lifetime of good health.
- Offer to appear on a local television or radio news or talk program to share information about diabetes and older adults, tied to the idea of giving a gift that will last a lifetime. For example, “It’s that time of year… and you’re probably struggling to find the perfect gift. Here’s an idea... give the gift of good health by helping your loved one manage their diabetes.” Promote signing up for medical nutrition therapy services or diabetes self-management training as a gift to yourself or an older family member with diabetes. Don’t forget to mention NDEP’s free resources!
- Create a list of ten healthy holiday eating tips* for older adults with diabetes.
- Use healthy recipes for a bake sale at your church or synagogue and donate the proceeds to a diabetes research organization. Let local media know (via a media advisory) about your new twist on a traditional fundraising activity during the holiday season. For recipe ideas, visit the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute’s “Heart-Healthy Recipes,” “A Healthier You” Recipes, or Fruits & Veggies Matter’s “Recipe Finder.”
Additional Promotion Ideas
- Partner with your local beauty salon or barber shop to offer a “Discount Day” for older adults in honor of The Power to Control Diabetes Is in Your Hands campaign. Hand out brochures and ask them to display NDEP posters in their windows and provide space for the community to promote upcoming health fairs.
- Arrange for a local restaurant to serve a tasting menu of healthy food choices for older adults with diabetes. Send a media advisory to local media, and announce that this is in conjunction with NDEP’s Power to Control campaign.
- Gather a group of older adults living with diabetes and offer interviews to local media to discuss how they learned to manage their disease.
- Secure a table or booth at your local shopping mall and hand out Power to Control campaign materials about older adults and diabetes to shoppers.
- Team up with your local hospital or health care professional to create a pocket guide of questions for older adults to ask their physicians about the Medicare-covered services for people with diabetes. Get a local print shop to donate copies to the effort, and disseminate them to pharmacies, libraries, and community centers.
- Scout the airwaves for a high-profile local news anchor or radio personality who is an older adult with diabetes. Encourage that person to discuss the importance of Medicare’s diabetes self-management training or medical nutrition therapy services on the air.
- Invite older adults in your community to contribute to a book of healthy recipes that you develop to share with others who have diabetes.
- Ask local utility companies, public health departments, libraries, and private businesses to display Power to Control campaign materials in their lobbies, at their registration desks, or in their reception areas.
- Invite supermarkets, fitness centers, restaurants, and retailers to place Power to Control materials at their cashier desks, registration desks, or information centers.
- Work to have local hospitals, health clinics, and health care professional offices play NDEP’s radio or TV PSAs for patients or customers waiting in their lobby areas.
- Send copies of print PSAs to local media that serve older adults, along with a fact sheet about diabetes and older adults. Include a letter encouraging media to run the PSAs to help spread the word about diabetes self-management.
- Encourage pharmacies, grocery stores, clothing stores, and shoe stores to air NDEP’s radio PSAs over their audio system.
- Ask your local grocery or drug store to place Power to Control materials in shopping or prescription bags for customers.
- Places of worship can include Power to Control messages and NDEP contact information in service bulletins or on information tables.
- Work with professional associations, community groups, and clubs to plan a community activity to help increase awareness about managing diabetes.
- Ask local fire, police, and rescue departments to distribute Power to Control materials when they conduct fire-safety or crime-risk home checks for community residents.
- Ask the manager at your local movie theater to promote the Power to Control campaign and NDEP’s contact information on the big screen before movies begin.
- Contact your local Meals on Wheels program and ask if they could hand out NDEP tip sheets with their meals. For more information about making healthy food choices as an older adult, visit www.nutrition.gov.
- Contact your local YMCA or community center to see if it offers physical activity classes for older adults. Ask if you can give a presentation about The Power to Control campaign to participants.
- Learn more about diabetes in your area by contacting your state’s Diabetes Prevention & Control Program. Ask about ways your organization can partner with local diabetes prevention and control campaigns.
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