It is painful for organizations working for good causes to recognize that things which are important to you (a revised policy, new leadership, the anniversary of anything) are not necessarily important to a television news director and general TV audiences. What is important to them is news ­ something that people haven't heard about before that will interest local viewers, that will affect their lives in an important way. What plays well for audiences is a human interest story that makes you care about an issue. We use the best VNR producers and reporters because the angle on the story is everything, separating the clichéd, the dull, and the unimportant, from the fresh, interesting, and significant.

MESSAGE: Medicare has redesigned its website.
NEWS: At a senior center, there is a program where teenagers come in from a neighboring junior high and teach seniors how to use the internet. As it happens, the site the senior arrives at is the Medicare web site, where he finds useful information about what preventive services are paid for by Medicare.

MESSAGE: You can manage your diabetes and have control over your life.
NEWS: Meet a woman who has lost nine family members to diabetes, yet who is successfully treating the disease.

MESSAGE: You should get a colorectal exam.
NEWS: Mrs. X got a terrible shock when she visited her doctor. She found out she had colon cancer. . . .

MESSAGE: You should get a mammogram.
NEWS: Mrs. X has given her mother many presents for Mother's Day over the years. But this was the most loving and important one: she went with her to have a mammogram.

MESSAGE: If you are depressed, get help.
NEWS: Mrs. X was a mental health nurse for 40 years. But she didn't recognize her own depression, which she thought was just a normal part of aging. . . .

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