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.
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.