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On May 26th 2016, the CNPEA hosted an interactive workshop at the National Institute for the Care of the Elderly (NICE) Annual Knowledge Exchange.  The idea for the workshop was based on the notion that the elder abuse community has long struggled with communications and how to get its message out.  Elder abuse and neglect issues are still mostly in the shadows and the Elder Abuse prevention community has been far behind other social justice movements.  Until recently, in Canada there wasn’t a single “go-to” online resource hub. As a community, we do not yet have some of the media savvy required to move from grass-roots issues, or research findings into the social, print and TV media world.  

The launch of was a huge step in uniting elder abuse practitioners and helping the elder abuse community grow.  It’s now time to use’s resources, webinars, links and suite of social media tools and spin it into a national awareness of the issues. It is time to truly bring the EA community together to mobilize knowledge, tell our stories, and start to generate the kind of mainstream attention we so desperately need.  How do we get folks to care?  How do we get media to cover our stories?  And what do we need to do as an elder abuse community to make us “media-ready?”   

With these questions in mind, facilitators Laura Tamblyn Watts and Raissa Dickinson challenged PR and media specialist René d’Entremont, TV Journalist and Anchor City TV News and CP24 media star Cynthia Mulligan, and local elder abuse expert from Elder Abuse Ontario and CNPEA co-chair Raeann Rideout on how we, as a community, can best craft and exchange information about elder abuse and neglect, from the CNPEA Hub today into the headlines of tomorrow. 

Video Highlights from the discussion: 
*Note: Sound quality is variable. For a written summary of the discussion, please see  Part 2: "Top 10 Tips For Getting Media Ready" 

  1. What challenges has the elder abuse community faced in ‘getting the word out’ to media and the general public?

  2. What is the information you need at your fingertips to get a story out?

  3. How do you redirect a negative elder abuse media story?

  4. What strategies have you used to earn the media’s attention?

  5. What makes media coalesce around an issue?

About the author:

IMG 1454Raissa Dickinson is the Manager of Community Engagement at the Canadian Centre for Elder Law.  Her work at the Centre supports multiple initiatives pertaining to social policy, community development, legal research and reform.  Raissa obtained a Masters in Public Health from the University of British Columbia in 2013 and Project Management Professional Certification in 2015.  Experiences in the public health and project management range from community based research, knowledge translation, planning and policy development. Raissa has strong roots in community development and has provided support to people within the intersections of mental health, substance abuse, homelessness and violence against women.


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