Thursday, December 6, 2007

Local News Angles Playing Out After Omaha Mall Massacre

Can you help people make sense of the tragic shootings at the Omaha mall? If you can, now's the time to contact the media -- don't wait another minute.

Local media outlets will be all over this story today, talking to local sources about whether or not this could happen "here," whether local shoppers should be concerned about shopping at area malls, how consumers might reassure their children that the malls are safe, the potential impact on local retailers, and so on.

If you can provide expert advice, call the assignment editors at your TV stations and the city editor at your daily newspaper. Explain your credentials briefly -- "I'm a retired city policeman who now owns a security firm that provides guards to Westview Mall and I can comment on how our guards are trained to spot suspicious people or react in this situation" or "Our nonprofit offers safety training to women and we can offer tips for people who might be anxious about safety when they're at the mall" or "I own a retail store in the village and would be happy to talk to you about the impact I think this incident might have on stores like mine that are not based in a mall."

People shouldn't be worried about shopping at malls now but many will be, so anyone who can help them see that they are safe -- that they're more likely to get in a car accident on the way to the mall than they are to be shot by a lunatic at the mall -- needs to be talking to the press now.

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