New pain dfinition aims to better comprehend, treat those whose pain is not visible

Introducing the New Definition of Pain: International Media Relations Campaign


International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)


In 2021, IASP engaged the Gavilan team to implement a media relations strategy to introduce the revised definition of pain. The definition of pain had not been revised since 1979, and an IASP task force worked for two years on the new definition.


A comprehensive media strategy included:

  • Developing message points
  • Building a comprehensive, global media list
  • Developing media story angles and a Q&A for media spokespersons
  • Training media spokespersons
  • Writing and distributing the press release
  • Pitching reporters and securing interviews


  • Media coverage for the new definition of pain reached 36,313,000, and was featured in several leading medical publications, websites, and journals. Social media posts reached many audiences over several weeks.
  • Facebook posts received 374 Likes and were shared 344 times; Twitter posts were retweeted 840 times and were liked 1,047 times