5.30.12 Patty Hennessy Dunn is a 14-year ovarian cancer survivor and MOCA board member. As the public relations manager at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, she is keenly aware of the importance of media relations. In this week’s Teal Together post, she highlights how one MOCA staff member works to make a difference against this disease through media outreach.
Since MOCA was formed more than 10 years ago, there has been a revolution in how the general public consumes news. Online news sources are updated by the second, new blogs are being born every day, and some guy named Mark Zuckerberg has the attention of more than 900 million people. There is information flying at us from every angle.
This creates both opportunity – and challenges – for small non-profits like MOCA. It means we have to work harder and smarter to be heard above the noise and clutter, but it also means we have outlets we never did before.
With the recent hire of Becky Lechner, MOCA has been turning the challenges into opportunities. We’ve had more stories placed in local newspapers and television stations in the last six months than we had in several years leading up until then. Becky applies her 12 years of experience to developing solid story ideas and working with her contacts in the media to get those stories placed. Because of her work, hundreds of thousands of people have read about MOCA’s Dream Awards in the Star Tribune, or the Diva Dash in the Pioneer Press. Those news stories – and many others – amount to what would cost tens of thousands of dollars in paid advertising.
But there’s more than brains and hard work behind the success that Becky has earned for MOCA. There is passion. For Becky it’s not just a job. And it shows. She shares our anger for the relentlessness of this disease. She understands from her family’s experience the urgency that is needed to share our stories, provide support and ultimately find a cure.
While I’m sorry that Becky has had reason in her life to become personally connected to MOCA, I am so glad that she’s helping us fight this fight. Because when it comes to raising awareness, we’re winning.