A proclamation is an official designation of a day or event that can be used as a tool for gaining public recognition. Proclamations can come from any level of government, including governors, mayors, county executives, state legislatures, municipalities, counties, cities, or towns, and carry the full endorsement and support of the government entity that issues the proclamation. You can request a Hepatitis Awareness Month and/or national Hepatitis Testing Day (May 19) proclamation to be issued in your community.
How to Get a Proclamation Issued
Contact your local government official’s communications office to identify what information and action is needed to designate May as Hepatitis Awareness Month and/or May 19, 2013 as Hepatitis Testing Day in your community. You may be asked to share a draft proclamation or information on Hepatitis awareness and testing so that they can determine whether or not they will issue a proclamation and, if so, what it will say.
How to Use a Proclamation
Once a proclamation is issued, there are many ways to share and promote it, as part of and in support of your ongoing Hepatitis Awareness Month/ Testing Day efforts. Below are just a few ideas to get you started.
Reach out to your local media
Send a press release or incorporate information on the proclamation into a press release for your local media. Announcing the proclamation can help bolster the “newsworthiness” of your release and may help to get more attention, from reporters and others, for your organization’s activities. For information on reaching out to the media, see our toolkit’s section on pitch notes and press releases.
Hold an event
If you’re holding an event or activity, use it as an opportunity to announce and promote the proclamation. Invite reporters and local health organizations by sending a media advisory and distributing printed copies of the proclamation at an event during Hepatitis Awareness Month and/or on Hepatitis Testing Day. You can also have the proclamation enlarged to display at a news conference, event, or in your office.
Distribute the proclamation
Send the proclamation to local health organizations, community leaders and others, and encourage them to display the proclamation in their offices and on their websites. Post the proclamation to your own website, newsletter, and socialize it on your social media properties including Facebook and Twitter.
Key Facts to Include in a Proclamation
Following are sample key facts that you could include in a proclamation in support of Hepatitis Awareness Month/ Testing Day.
- Viral Hepatitis is a leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplants.
- An estimated 4.4 million Americans are living with chronic Hepatitis; most do not know they are infected.
- An estimated 1.2 million people are living with chronic Hepatitis B in the US.
- 1 in 12 Asian Americans has Hepatitis B.
- Nearly 2 in 3 Asian Americans with Hepatitis B do not know they are infected.
- Asian and Pacific Islanders make up 5 percent of the U.S. population but account for over 50 percent of Americans living with Hepatitis B.
- People with Hepatitis B often have no symptoms.
- Up to 25 percent of people with Hepatitis B develop serious liver problems.
- Hepatitis B –related liver cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths among Asian Americans.
- CDC recommends all people born in Asia and the Pacific Islands get tested for Hepatitis B.
- People born from 1945 through 1965 are five times more likely to be infected with Hepatitis C than other adults.
- Nearly 3 in 4 people with Hepatitis C were born from 1945 through 1965.
- Most people living with Hepatitis C do not know they are infected.
- Many people can live with Hepatitis C for decades without having symptoms or feeling sick.
- Left untreated, Hepatitis C can cause serious liver damage and liver failure.
- Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplants.
- CDC recommends all people born from 1945-1965 get tested for Hepatitis C.
In addition to this type of statistical information that communicates the seriousness of hepatitis as a public health issue, government offices may also ask you for information such as:
- A description of your organization, including when it was founded, what services you provide, who you serve in the community, etc.
- Special efforts, programs or initiatives that your organization is leading during Hepatitis Awareness Month and/or for Hepatitis Testing Day
- What impact you’ve had in your community, your track record of success