Media Expert Team policies and procedures

The American Academy of Dermatology’s (Academy) Communications Department serves as the source of information about dermatology to the media. The media extensively cover dermatologic issues and reporters regularly call the Academy for background information, interview referrals, and updates on advances in dermatology.

Each day, the Academy receives 10 to 15 telephone calls from reporters, news directors and producers from newspapers, magazines, radio, television stations and online media from across the country. These reporters request information on a variety of subjects ranging from acne to wrinkles as well as referrals to medical experts who specialize in their topic of interest.

About the SKIN program

In addition to providing the media with the requested information, the Academy utilizes its Skin Knowledge and Information Network – faculty (or SKIN faculty) to refer reporters to medical experts who are willing to address topics of interest. SKIN is an Academy initiative to educate the public on why and when they should visit a dermatologist, motivate them to do so and empower them with the knowledge to make educated decisions about skin care services and products.

Faculty requirements

 As a member of the Academy’s SKIN faculty, you must be a board-certified dermatologist and have received media training. Media training can consist of participation in the Academy’s Effective Communications Workshop at either the SAM or Annual Meeting, or participation at an independent media relations training workshop or one-on-one session with a media relations training professional. If you decide to participate in an independent media relations training session, we will need verification of your successful completion of this training, such as an invoice/receipt, certificate or letter of completion from the professional trainer.

Faculty responsibilities

The responsibilities of the SKIN faculty are to respond to media inquiries in a timely manner and assist in the Academy’s efforts to raise the visibility of dermatology and the range of services that dermatologists provide.

When conducting an interview, you should identify yourself as a member of the Academy and use your university title, or hospital or medical practice affiliation. The Academy’s practice is that only the President may speak to the media on behalf of the Academy, unless the president chooses to appoint a specific dermatologist as the Academy spokesperson in his/her place.

Referral process

When a reporter contacts the Academy’s Communications Department seeking referrals to dermatologists, they are provided with contact information for at least three SKIN faculty members. Therefore, you may not necessarily be contacted by each reporter that is referred to you. Your name, telephone number and e-mail address (with your permission) is provided to the reporter.

Following the referral, the Academy sends an e-mail to inform you that a reporter may be calling. This e-mail provides the name of the reporter, media outlet, and the subject of the inquiry. This e-mail is generated by the Academy’s media tracking software. It is not necessary to respond unless you have a question for the Academy’s Communications Department.

When and if you complete an interview with the media, reply to the e-mail notification which will allow the Academy’s Communications Department to track the number of interviews conducted by faculty.

Many reporters prefer to have initial contact via e-mail and then will follow-up to schedule a telephone interview, so it’s important to provide an e-mail address to the Academy that you will be monitoring regularly. Also, please inform your office staff about how to assist the media should they call to schedule an interview.

If you are unable to respond to a media request, please contact the Academy’s Communications Department so the reporter can be referred to another faculty member. In the event that an interview is not a positive experience or may have adverse effects, you should contact the Communications Department immediately. In addition, please inform the Communications Department about any other interviews in which you have participated.

Faculty disclosure

Please keep in mind that the Academy does not endorse or recommend any products, treatments or therapies. Only non-branded products, ingredients and treatments should be discussed with the media.

However, having a conflict of interest does not preclude your participation in faculty or in media interviews, but, if one does exist, you must disclose it at the time of your interview.

Occasionally the media may ask for your personal recommendation, particularly of skin, hair and nail products. You can provide your product recommendations as long as you disclose to the media, as mentioned above, your conflict of interest with specific brands.

In order to participate in faculty, you must have a disclosure statement on file. If you need to complete or update your disclosure, please do so by logging in and using the Academy's Conflict of Interest Web page.

Questions

If you have any questions about the referral process or if your contact information changes, please notify the Academy’s Communications Department at mediarelations@aad.org or (847) 330-0230.