It’s rare that we – as professional PR people, news people, internal comms specialists and public information officers – are able to band together to work on a common project for the common good. But that time is here. Now.
I’m pleased to have played a small role in helping the community find its voice when it comes to talking about coronavirus and what we can all do to help slow its spread and give our healthcare workers the time and space they need to treat our residents when they become sick and injured. The microsite we’ve built and host is a free and open resource to all communicators in the Quad Cities – and the more everyone uses it (and shares their thoughts, ideas and work) – the better it will become.
What You Can Do
Here are a few recommendations on how you can use the site and why your personal engagement with it is vital to our long-term success:
• Be sure to check out the message matrix created to help give professional communicators a framework for your content development and messaging. This document doesn’t provide hard-and-fast talking points, but rather helps create a foundation on which you can build your own messaging and know that it will find support in the broader community. This helps build credibility in our key messages and, as a result, some of that glow will shine on your messages too. Because when we reinforce the most important points from dozens of different angles, we all grow stronger as a result.
• Become part of the broader community and let us know what you’re doing. By sending us a brief update for our Community Activity Diary, we’ll be able to share your achievements, questions and requests with our news and communications colleagues. Whether you’re a reporter looking for a new angle or a volunteer coordinator in search of a new mission – this online resource should provide a decent snapshot of local activity for you.
• We’ve made plenty of bandwidth available to share images, graphics, audio and video files and much more in through an online gallery. And if you’ve got something you’d like to share (or see it go viral), you can upload into our online inbasket so we can post it to the site. Just make sure you send me an email to let me know it’s there.
• Not sure who to call for answers? We’re building an online directory of professional communicators. Be sure your information is on the list – and if it is, make sure your name, email address and phone number are correct. Please!
• Finally, we know we don’t have all the answers on the website. But we know who to turn to when we’re stumped. If you’ve got a question or a need, use our Inquiry Form to let us know.
Your Participation Is Essential
It’s vitally important you join with us and contribute your thoughts, ideas, reports and content so others can see it and continue to leverage off of it to keep the conversation going. By working together, we can succeed in making people aware of the role they play in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the community and giving our healthcare resources the time they need to be successful.
There’s never been a time of greater need.
I hope you’ll join me in answering the call today.
– Mike Bawden; Partner, BLPR