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Section 2 - Publicity

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Presentation Tips

"When making a presentation, your goal is not to remove all the butterflies from your stomach, but to convince the butterflies to fly in formation. "

- Vincent DiSalvo          

  • Provide handouts and make use of all information in this kit--photocopy pages, quote facts and statistics, etc.
  • Know your audience so you can gear your presentation accordingly for content and age.
  • Treat your audience as if it were a gathering of old friends.
  • Remember the average person will only retain about seven important points or concepts.
  • Remember you will either capture or lose your audience in the first four minutes. It is important to make your introduction dynamic, perhaps starting with an anecdote or story.
  • Do not attempt to answer questions you cannot answer. If you don't know, offer to get the information later.
  • If you get opposition from audience members, do not debate with them. Instead, acknowledge what they have said by repeating it back to them and tell them you will meet with them after the presentation to discuss it further.
  • Avoid using negatives, technical jargon, acronyms, and clichés .
  • Use humor carefully so that you do not detract from your message.
  • Keep handy an emergency kit of colored markers, chalk, masking tape, hard copy of slides, spare projector bulb, scissors, etc.
  • Prepare more information than you will need so you can shorten or lengthen your presentation as needed.
  • Test audio-visual equipment (slide projector, VCR, etc) before the presentation.
  • Bring business cards so audience members can contact you later if they want to.
  • Practice, practice, practice!

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Abuse Prevention Proclamation

Invite elected officials to proclaim May as Elder Abuse Prevention Month. Proclamation events may center on the celebration of people who are older, while promoting awareness of the local problem of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of the elderly and people with disabilities.

Instructions

  1. Appoint a committee to develop and initiate the proclamation event.
  2. Identify which public officials to include and contact each one. Discuss the proclamation and invite officials to participate. Try to find one official who is willing to adopt it as a "project." Coordinate a date, time, and location for the event. Include local entertainment such as a school band.
  3. Write a news release to deliver personally to all media outlets in the county. Request each to provide coverage of the event.
  4. Decide on the type of program and activities to be built around the proclamation event and draft an agenda. Opening remarks by public officials may center on the problem of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of the elderly and people with disabilities; the need to develop services, programs, and activities geared toward prevention; and a challenge to all adults in the community to become involved. Provide officials with local background information related to the incidence of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Sample Proclamation

WHEREAS, People who are elderly or have disabilities have contributed to the general welfare of this (state, city, community) by helping to preserve customs, convictions, and traditions of many people from diverse backgrounds; and

WHEREAS, These residents are vital and integral members of our society and their wisdom and experience have enriched our lives; and

WHEREAS, Abuse of the elderly and people with disabilities in domestic and institutional settings is a wide-spread problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of people across the country; and

WHEREAS, Abuse affected more than (#) Texans who are elderly or have disabilities in (year); and

WHEREAS, Elder abuse is grossly underreported because the elderly who are being abused find it very difficult to tell anyone and are usually ashamed and sometimes afraid; and

WHEREAS, Elder abuse happens to men and women of all income levels, all cultural and ethnic groups, whether they are in good health or incapacitated in some way, in poor neighborhoods and in suburbia; and

WHEREAS, Many of the cases investigated by Adult Protective Services in Texas involve self-neglect and it is our duty as citizens to reach out to people in need;

NOW, THEREFORE, I (Name), (Title) do hereby proclaim the month of May 2006 to be
Elder Abuse Prevention Month in (Location), and urge all citizens to work together to help reduce abuse and neglect of people who are elderly or have disabilities.

Dated this (day) of (Month), (Year)

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Video Public Service Announcement

Elder Abuse is Your Business

Adult Protective Services is in the process of distributing this video public service announcement to television stations across Texas. Part of our annual APS public awareness campaign, the video was originally produced by the Alberta Elder Abuse Prevention Network in Alberta, Canada. [back to top]


Sample Radio Public Service Announcement Scripts

(60 seconds)
Neglect of the elderly and people with disabilities wears many faces. So do the forces that help. Sometimes a caring neighbor sees the need and tries to fill it. Or a loving family member attempts to make a positive impact. Unfortunately, an increasing number of vulnerable adults go unnoticed. They may be in pain, lacking strength, confused, without power...alone. If you know an elderly person who is being mistreated, neglected, or harmed in any way, call Adult Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400 day or night.

(60 seconds)
Elder Texans deserve honor and respect...not abuse. Reaching the golden years should be a time to treasure grandchildren and reminisce about the past. Unfortunately, many older Texans are abused and alone. People don't like to talk about this shameful secret. Sometimes the people who take care of the elderly also take advantage of them. Adult Protective Services can help. If you know an elderly person who is being mistreated, neglected, or harmed in any way, call 1-800-252-5400 day or night.

(30 seconds)
What is elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation? It's taking money from an elderly person. It's pushing or shoving them. It's leaving them unattended when they cannot care for themselves. If you know of an elderly person who is being abused, call Adult Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400. Elder Texans deserve honor and respect...not abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

(30 seconds)
Some of your elderly neighbors are all alone right now. No family, no friends. Neglect may not be intentional, but it can still be dangerous. If you know of an elderly person who is being neglected, call Adult Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400. Elder Texans deserve honor and respect...not abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

(20 seconds)
With age comes wisdom and sometimes abuse. If you know an elderly person who is being mistreated, neglected, or harmed in any way, call Adult Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400. Elder Texans deserve honor and respect . . . not abuse.

(20 seconds)
Many elderly Texans live on a tight budget. And it doesn't help if someone is taking money from them. If you know of an elderly person whose money is being taken, call Adult Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400.

(10 seconds)
Texans who are elderly or have disabilities deserve honor and respect, not abuse. Call Adult Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400.

(10 seconds)
Do you know a person who is elderly or has disabilities and is suffering from abuse or neglect? Call Adult Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400.

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Silver Ribbon Campaign

Silver Ribbon CampaignYou can join the Silver Ribbon Campaign to help stop mistreatment of people who are elderly or have disabilities. During May of each year, citizens are asked to wear silver ribbons as a symbol that they can make a difference concerning the problem of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of the elderly or adults with disabilities.

To start a Silver Ribbon campaign in your community:

  1. Contact a local florist, gift shop, or variety store for possible donation of silver ribbon material. Consider contacting a print shop for possible printing of ribbons. If you can't use this camera-ready artwork, tell people to just wear a plain silver ribbon.
  2. Encourage photocopying of this camera-ready art onto gray paper.
  3. Organizations and agencies frequently allocate funds for abuse prevention activities. As an alternative, consider co-sponsoring your Silver Ribbon Campaign efforts with another group. Purchasing a large number of silver ribbons will save each group money and will allow for the purchase of silver ribbons in bulk quantities.

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Bookmarks

BookmarksBookmarks are an excellent way to educate the public about:

  • the need to prevent abuse, neglect, and exploitation of people who are elderly or have disabilities;
  • dealing with family members who are elderly or have disabilities;
  • elder/disabled advocacy issues; and
  • local resources and hotline numbers.

Instructions:

  1. Appoint a committee to oversee copying, printing, and distribution of the bookmarks.
  2. Contact local print shops to determine which one will provide the best services for the lowest cost. Or use the attached template sheet to duplicate on a copier, cut, and distribute.
  3. Develop a distribution plan (i.e., school and public libraries, book stores, grocery stores, laundromats, church bulletins, bank statement stuffers). Use bookmark artwork for door hangings, utility bill stuffers, billboards, and posters wherever possible.

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Media Tips

There are many ways to approach the media:

  • send news releases, calendar listings, and public service announcements (PSAs) to the media;
  • submit letters-to-the-editor, guest columns, and guest editorial pieces;
  • sponsor a news conference on the prevention of abuse of vulnerable adults;
  • develop a taskforce that will work on media-related materials and select someone to be your media contact;
  • assemble a list of contacts at local newspapers, television and radio stations, magazines, and newsletters. A board member or volunteer may have access to a current media list;
  • encourage local celebrities to do PSAs to raise elder and disabled abuse awareness; and
  • encourage media outlets with web sites to add links to agencies that deal with issues related to the elderly and people with disabilities;

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Sample News Release

FOR MORE INFORMATION
(Name)
(Title)
(Organization)
(Telephone Number)

REMEMBER VULNERABLE TEXANS DURING
ELDER ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH

(Your city here) - More than (#) adults were victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation in Texas last year, according to [name and title of spokesperson; e.g., Jane Jackson, Regional Director for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services].
"Many of these citizens are dependent on others for their care and this makes them susceptible to abusive or neglectful treatment, " [name] said. "Three out of four cases that we see involve neglect, usually self-neglect."

"The person may live in unsanitary conditions or without heat or running water," [name] said. "Some individuals need assistance with meals and other activities of daily living. " [Name] said that the agency's Adult Protective Services workers completed (#) investigations involving suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of adults. Of these, (#) were confirmed.

In [your county] there were [number] of adult victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
Caseworkers for Adult Protective Services provide or arrange services to reduce or eliminate abuse, neglect, and exploitation. A caseworker can seek a court order to protect the personal health and safety of a citizen who is incapacitated.

[Name] urged people to report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an older adult or person with disabilities by calling the abuse hotline at 1-800-252-5400.

"You don't have to be certain that a situation is abusive or neglectful. We'll look into it and find out," [name] said. "Good faith reports are exempt from personal liability and are kept confidential."

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Sample Letter to the Editor

(Editor's Name)
(Newspaper's Name)
(Newspaper's Address)

Dear Editor:

The health and well-being of people who are elderly should be one of our highest priorities and concerns. We have them to thank for all of the advances that came before us. Their contributions to society continue to better our lives.

Yet last year in Texas, nearly (#) people who are elderly or have disabilities were victims of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. In our county, Adult Protective Services received (local statistic) reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation and (local statistic) were confirmed as victims.

As one of our most important natural resources, elderly people deserve our utmost attention and respect. We must protect their health, safety, and rights. Some day, we will be elderly, too, and we should treat them the same way we hope to be treated ourselves.

May is Elder Abuse Prevention Month. It is a time to reflect on what we are doing as a community to support people who are elderly. We all have opportunities to reach out to our families, friends, and neighbors, as well as our places of worship and places of employment. This May, let's make sure that all people who are elderly or have disabilities are valued. Think of what it will mean for the future of our community.

Sincerely,
(Your Name)

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