The Front Line is at My Front Door

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

And, it’s at your front door, and your neighbor’s front door.

It’s the line between today and tomorrow, between what was “normal” and what will be the “new normal.”

The line divides those who demonstrate compassion, civility and decency from those ghouls, fiends and cowards who attempt to capitalize.

The line will provide a demarcation of sorts to identify the brave, the resilient, the heroes who stand firm against the silent aggressor.

Every day, or sometimes every hour, the line moves, often radically, causing uncertainty and even terror.

Regardless of when the line is obliterated, it will have permeated your psyche and your soul.

Actually, no one knows who drew the line, but perhaps history will come to a decision on who did, on why it crossed oceans and crossed demographics.

The line is insidious, and it will be erased some day.

I wish that day was tomorrow.

Questions on COVID-19 Aftershocks and Three More Ways to Stay Safe

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

As this post is about to be published, developments related to the COVID-19 outbreak here in Chicago and around the nation evolve at a rapid pace, literally sometimes by the minute.

If you’re like me, you own glasses and contact lenses. Wear the former until further notice.

So, no need to provide any linked references to news reports. Just google to learn updates if you prefer.

The purpose of this post is twofold: 1) To pose questions on how our society, our way of interacting with each other, our lives will change once this pandemic has concluded. 2) To offer three ways to help keep the virus at bay.

And, the pandemic will end. It will end.

Questions I have are:

  • Interpersonal Greetings: People interact physically as a matter of custom. Will handshakes, hugs, double pecks on the cheek and other physical forms of greeting be halted forever?
  • Crime and Disobedience: Authorities are calling for people to stay confined as much as possible. Will there be fewer robberies, burglaries, physical assaults and other criminal activities?
  • Making an Entrance. Door handles and knobs are potential harbors of bad stuff, like the virus. Will using your elbow, hip or foot replace using your hand to open a door?

What suggestions can you add to this list?

Last week, I published a post on the importance of responsible communications to help mitigate the crisis ahead and provide the sharing of accurate information. In that post I also provided a simple suggestion on keeping the virus off your hands.

Now, onto three more ways to help reduce the chance you’ll get the virus by contact.

1. Go to Glasses. A long-time contact lens wearer, I also own several pair of eye glasses. Until this pandemic is history, I’ll wear glasses — one way to prevent touching my eyes.

2. Care When Using Digital Menu Boards. Yes, these relatively new devices may make ordering food and other stuff or buying a ticket easier and quicker. But think about this: Lots of people touch the screens! Wear gloves or use a napkin. Or, enter the field with your knuckle.

3. Plastic Coated Restaurant Menus. From a similar perspective, many casual restaurants offer guests a menu that’s coated in plastic. Use sanitizer or wash your hands immediately after handling one of these menus.

Stay safe. Stay calm. Stay focused.



The Value of Honest, Ethical Communications During The COVID-19 Crisis

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

So, you’re probably wondering: What’s the purpose of the image that accompanies this post? Isn’t this commentary about a serious health issue?

Let me make this very clear: The coronavirus, or more precisely COVID 19, is the dominant news story today and will continue to impact our world for the foreseeable future.

A form of self-defense of sorts during these challenging times.

Not a breakthrough statement, I know. But stay with me.

What follows is a reaffirmation of sorts of how effective communications can help mitigate what unquestionably is the most serious global health crisis of recent times, one changing by the day.

From a public relations perspective, I believe this deadly viral outbreak qualifies as a “sustained crisis” — that is a crisis that is clearly defined, but without any tangible date of conclusion.

And, unlike a crisis that affects a company, organization or government, this virus — whether we contract it or not — affects all of us.

So, what can those responsible for communications do? Here are three directives:

  • Timely, Honest and Accurate. Only disseminate messages related to the coronavirus that originate from proven, established and reliable medical and government sources that meet these three criteria. Period. Do not share commentary from blowhards and quacks.
  • Call Out The Bogus and Dishonest. If you learn about a communication that is false, inaccurate or inflammatory, make that known.  Don’t let false, inaccurate or inflammatory information remain unchallenged.
  • Don’t Take Advantage of the Crisis.  This is not the time get ahead at the expense of others. I can’t fathom why the New York-headquartered 5W Public Relations firm initiated a “survey” of beer drinkers asking whether they would purchase and drink Corona beer. This was nonsense and became the fodder for deserved ridicule.

Now, to the image here.

Yes, it’s a paper hand towel, and here’s how I use it daily to avoid getting sick.  The hand towel becomes my barrier between door handles and any hard surface that requires me to use my hand or fingers.  I keep one in my right pocket and use it throughout the day while at work or elsewhere. When the day is done, I discard the hand towel.


My contributions to helping us combat this serious health challenge that shows no signs of fading away any time soon.