Swine flu mania

Communications professionals are in full crisis mode over the swine flu. Long hours, endless meetings, balking supervisors, obnoxious attention seekers and a feeling that every word you write or speak might be your last is all part of the fun in a crisis communications environment.

swine-flu1School districts, health departments, law enforcement, transportation providers, municipalities and companies large enough to have a communications staff are all on 24/7 caffeine-driven overdrive.

So what are we seeing? Well, Snohomish County is using Facebook and Twitter to put out advisories. Others have set up their EOCs and phone hotlines. Reverse 9-1-1 and letters home to parents are also just a few of the many tactics being employed to do rumor control and get accurate facts out to stakeholders and the media.

So what’s working? Since I have to try to earn a living, I can’t monitor the show – but I would like your feedback about who you think is doing a great job, and who you think is not – and most importantly, why.

If you’re a staffer and have an instant to spare, I’d also like you to tell us about the tactics you are using, and what you’re experiencing.

And finally, what do you think about the media’s coverage of the swine flu? I’ve seen a lot of good, informative work here in the Seattle market – which we all expect here of course – but most of the feedback from viewers I’ve seen thinks the media is going over-the-top on coverage. On the print side – I think most of the work has been great – employing lots of supplementary data in their packages.

Chime in.

On a side note, the pork industry is being hammered by this. Anybody monitoring their efforts? I don’t think the H1N1 re-brand is going to work