Welcome AASECT's New PRMA Committee Chair - Ian Kerner, PhD, LMFT, CSC
Welcome AASECT's new PRMA Committee Chair - Ian Kerner, PhD, LMFT, CSC
I first joined AASECT in 2003 as a professional member and then became certified as a sexuality counselor in 2005, prior to becoming licensed in New York State as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I am thrilled and honored to be joining the Board as the Chair of the Public Relations, Media and Advocacy (PRMA) Committee and I think this position uniquely suits a skill-set I have developed over the years in working with the press as a NY Times best-selling author of numerous books, including my personal favorite She Comes First.
The media landscape has changed quite a bit since I published and promoted my first book in 2004. Back then, blogs were just appearing and traditional media outlets were the gatekeepers of access to the public; and that access was fiercely guarded by publicists and PR folks. Today, in the wake of the explosion of new media and social media, the challenge for an author is not to get on the radar of a select few outlets, but to somehow rise above the constant noise that washes over us like a perpetual tidal wave. In 2004, I was spending most of my spare time appearing on television shows such as The Today Show, Good Morning America and CNN and now I spend much of my time speaking with the editors, writers and publishers of digital media (both mainstream and independent).
One thing that hasn’t changed over the year is that sex still makes headlines. But sadly, in my experience, most media professionals are not familiar with AASECT and are not aware of the difference between getting quotes and insights from an AASECT-certified professional versus a non-certified professional. To this end, we need to establish AASECT as an authoritative, credible and reliable gatekeeper of cutting-edge information and insight. When a media professional is working on a sexuality-related piece and needs a quote, they should know that they can turn to AASECT to get a timely response from its membership.
My first goal as the Chair of PRMA will be to build a database of media professionals and a database of AASECT certified members who are interested in being contacted by media and facilitate interaction between these two databases in a way that is open and transparent.
So, you’ll be hearing a lot more from me down the line, but:
- If you have an interest in ensuring that the Media reports accurately and credibly when writing about sexuality
- If you have experience working with the Media and would like to grow your media presence, or
- If you would you like to learn how to connect with media but haven’t had the time or opportunities to gain experience…
Then I hope you will support the initiatives of PRMA.
Our social media channels will continue to be managed by Richelle Frabotta, who was the previous Chair of PRMA, and I’m hoping that the Advocacy committee will continue to ensure AASECT is visible on important sexual issues. On this note, I was thrilled to learn that AASECT, under Richelle’s stewardship, recently became a signatory on two important position statements: the first a Sexual Freedom Statement authored by NCSF and others for use in court cases of discrimination against kink, and the second a US Joint Statement work group headed by American Psychiatric Association which opposes reparative therapies for LBGT folks. Bravo!
The media-sphere is crowded and loud, but I hope that together we can continue to make some noise and further establish our own individual media presences as well as AASECT’s through the continued efforts of PRMA.
Ian Kerner, PhD, LMFT, CSC, Public Relations, Media & Advocacy (PRMA) Committee Chair
Above photo editorial credit: mama_mia / Shutterstock.com