How should we deal with media inquiries regarding the program?
Because sexuality is a sensitive and controversial topic, media inquiries regarding Our Whole Lives must be handled with care. The program has been highlighted positively by a number of media organizations. In each case, reporters interviewed ministers, religious educators, parents, or youth about the program.
If your congregation is contacted by a reporter who wishes to write about Our Whole Lives, first speak with the reporter to determine the angle she/he is seeking with the story. Would it be a feature on religious approaches to sexuality education? Would it be a specific profile of your congregation? Would it be an article that would harshly contrast your congregation with another faith community of different views? It is important to consider the intent of the reporter—and, of course, the nature of the publication itself—before consenting to an interview.
Know that you do not have to be interviewed on the spot when the reporter first calls. It is better to schedule the interview at a later time, even if it needs to be the same day. If you do consent to an interview, take some time to think about your three key points and messages before the interview begins. (For some ideas, see some talking points (PDF) from the Washington Advocacy Office.) Make sure you make these points during the interview. Also, please be clear with any interviewer that you are speaking from your own experience with the Our Whole Lives program, not on behalf of all Our Whole Lives programs, or on behalf of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). For additional tips and support, contact the UUA Public Relations Office, at (617) 948-6131.
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