Question: We use TV, radio and the press to reach the metro area on the causes and prevention of childhood obesity. Because we are in a major metro area the number of people reached per the various media outlets is over two million people. If this activity can be counted, can (or should) we use the two million plus people served when reporting community benefit under Category A1. Community Health Education?
Recommendation: Reporting "persons served" is an optional item in the CHA, IRS and Community Benefit Inventory for Social Accountability (CBISA) reporting frameworks.
If reporting, count as the number of persons served only those who actually respond to the media coverage. This could be the number who call for more information or the number who attend a session that is referenced in the media content. We recommend taking a very conservative approach to counting persons served through general media coverage. It may be better to report these activities in the narrative report only. Regarding whether the activity itself can be counted, the case is strongest if the programming lets people know about community-wide prevention/treatment resources rather than only about your hospital.
A Guide for Planning and Reporting Community Benefit page 135 gives examples of how to count programs/activities and persons served.