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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Vibrio Vulnificus Health Education Kit - Timeline

March 2004

This timeline assumes that public relations and community outreach activities will be launched prior to the anticipated launch of the "Vibrio" season - usually sometime around April. Assuming that timing, we recommend the following timeline:
January - February:
  • Tailor education and press materials:
    • Identify local experts and tailor quotes as needed
    • Include news about area deaths/illnesses in the press release
    • Provide local contact information
    • Include your information for blue, bracketed areas - don't forget the date, dateline and headline in your release
    • Obtain all required approvals - particularly for quotes
  • Identify a bilingual expert and spokesperson
    *Please ensure that this person is a fluent, native speaker comfortable engaging in rapid and in-depth conversations with reporters, in Spanish
  • Identify community-based organizations to partner with on community outreach
    Local chapters of:
    • Parent Access Centers (through school districts)
    • YMCA's
    • Health "Promotoras" and other community outreach programs
    • National Hispanic Healthcare Alliance Chapters
      *A good place to go for information are schools, clinics and churches
  • Schedule meetings; bring along background information
  • Print fotonovelas in English and Spanish. PDF versions are on the web: Vibrio Vulnificus Health Education Kit.
  • Distribute to:
    • Area emergency rooms, clinics, Hispanic physicians, community based organizations
    • Provide template or means to produce copies for organizations who have little funding
    • Include an introductory letter and referrals to your web site and other related experts and communications tools
March:
  • Research local media contact list
    • Identify general market and Hispanic reporters in your area
    • Obtain e-mail, fax number and phone number and determine reporters' preference for receiving information
    • Create media database
    • Identify newswire service for distribution of launch release and camera ready articles
  • Pick a "launch" date - a day when you will officially launch your media outreach effort
  • Draft a "pitch" letter to media asking them to meet with your spokesperson to discuss the issue of Vibrio vulnificus and how it impacts the Hispanic community.
    • Include dates of when your spokesperson will be available for radio, television and in-person interviews with print journalists - this is commonly referred to as a "media tour"
      • Schedule interview dates with your spokesperson and create a schedule of interviews
      • Distribute your media alert informing area media that you have a spokesperson available for interviews in market, during key dates in April.
April:
  • Distribute your tailored launch release to the general and Hispanic media coincide with your media tour
  • Distribute your feature article via to general market and Hispanic media. Determine if your budget allows distribution through a fee-based wire service to assure local pick-up.
  • After interviews are completed, follow up with reporters or a clipping service to collect articles that have run
  • If your budget allows, contract with media tracking companies to monitor radio and television interviews. It is important to let the tracking companies know ahead of time when an interview is taking place. They will need the market, call letters and time of the interview or the time it aired, in the case of taped interviews.
April - Sept.:

Following your initial outreach to the media you should be prepared for a possible resurgence in interest in the event of a Vibrio vulnificus illness or death in your area. If this occurs you have the materials ready to distribute to reporters. In addition you may need to:

  • Media train your spokesperson on the issue - provide him/her with all of the facts related to the crisis and all key messages related to the FDA's position as well as other agencies involved in the response to the media
  • Prepare this spokesperson in both Spanish and English
  • Educational materials such as the fact sheet and myths sheet will be critically important as it will give reporters facts that they need to write their stories. In addition you will need to:
    • Draft a new release recognizing what has occurred
    • Provide a community resource for concerned individuals who may have a problem and are seeking assistance