Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Don't Let Everyone Else Hog the Swine Flu Spotlight

The only good news coming out of the H1N1/swine flu situation is that some small businesses and nonprofit groups have been able to use the ongoing news story to bring attention to their organizations.

Take churches, for example. The Wall Street Journal ran a story on how those offering communion have to approach that ritual differently now that so many in congregations worry about being exposed to the disease through practices that were considered safe and acceptable before. Small businesses are gaining exposure in their local media by talking about how fear of spreading the disease is changing everything from the trinkets they hand out at trade shows to the number of in-person meetings they require, as this article, "Companies limit personal contact," illustrates.

What is your organization doing because of concerns about the spread of the swine flu? Have you made internal changes, conducted educational seminars, provided shots to employees, or do you provide support services to those giving or receiving the shots? The hospital lobby I visited recently replaced its usual wrapped hard candy with complimentary bottles of hand disinfectant at the registration desk, for example.

If you've made changes or provide support to those working to keep the public healthy, contact your local media and let them know what you're going. Better yet, find out what a few other organizations in your area are doing, too, and present the story to reporters with a full package of interview sources. Here's who to contact locally:
  • Daily newspapers: Small business reporter, health reporter
  • Weekly newspaper: The reporter covering your community
  • TV stations: Assignment editor or health reporter
Do it, and do it now. Perhaps your example will encourage others in your community to make the same changes to help prevent the spread of the disease among employees, customers, and others.

What have you seen about how companies are coping in your local media?

No comments: