Box 102 Example of a direct quote in a preprepared press release

Lesley Stewart, Head of the MRC Clinical Trials Unit Meta-analysis Group at the Clinical Trials Unit said: 'This is a comprehensive review of trials worldwide giving the most reliable estimate of the benefit of this treatment, that patients, their families and doctors can use to help make choices about treatment options.'

♦ Give a fair and balanced account, emphasizing the scientific validity of the trial and the implications of its results for routine practice. Explain both the advantages and disadvantages of a new treatment policy. Avoid being enticed into using inappropriate 'major breakthrough' terminology.

♦ Acknowledge the importance of the patients who took part.

Finally, when any lay media interest can be anticipated, it can be very helpful to contact relevant patient support and information groups with information in advance so that they can be prepared for questions which may come their way.

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