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AA and the Media 

"To reach more alcoholics, understanding of AA and public goodwill towards AA must go on growing everywhere. We need to be on still better terms with medicine, religion, employers, government, courts, prisons, mental hospitals and all enterprises in the alcoholic field. We need the ever-increasing goodwill of editors, writers, television and radio channels. These publicity outlets need to be opened ever wider.
Bill W (Our co-founder) 1951

Alcoholics Anonymous works towards bringing more communication, understanding, respect and co-operation between AA and any professional person who works directly or indirectly with alcoholics, so that more and more alcoholics may recover.

AA is keen to work effectively with the media. Our primary goal is to ensure active alcoholics hear how we can help others stop drinking and then learn about the effective long-term solution AA has to offer.

In carrying this out, it is important to establish a working relationship with the features, health or community desks of local newspapers, radio and TV stations. Initial contacts by telephone can be made to set up a meeting and developed from there. Opportunities for anonymous interviews, phone-ins, articles and programmes on AA, as well as advertisements and community service announcements can be arranged.

Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our Traditions and statements to the media concerning this can be found below. In addition AA has no opinion on outside issues. Even when a member states that an opinion is his or hers, and not AA's, it might be seen by others as AA's opinion. It is usually better to give no opinion at all.

It is also important to explain the relevant Traditions before an interview or talk takes place.

In all media reports of any kind, try to ensure that the AA helpline number
0800 9177 650 and the web site address https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk are mentioned at least once.

N.B. - We are not able to participate in discussions on alcoholism and treatment methods, other agencies and organisations or medication and drugs. We are simply there to carry the message of AA.

Relevant resources (can all be found in the Document Library:-

  • Anonymity letter to the media
  •  PI Extracts from Service Handbook
  •  Media Extracts from Service Handbook
  •  How AA Members Co-operate with Professionals
  •  Personal application of 12 Traditions
  •  Former Press releases
  •  Articles by Non Alcoholic Trustees
  •  Hints & Suggestions for (standard) letters used in contacting Outside Agencies and Professionals (2005)
  •  Public Relations in AA

The following readings might be of use;-

  • Language of the Heart (a compilation of Bill W's writings in 'Grapevine') in particular the chapters: Anonymity; Relations with the media; Traditions 1 to 12; Public Relations; AA Not a religion; Cooperation with ...
  •  12 Concepts Illustrated
  •  12 Traditions Illustrated