Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Advertising Sweat

When cellular circuits are busy and the people you have to reach can’t reach a computer, voice and Internet vectors may not be enough – just what’s happened in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Despite the stories you hear about the impending demise of print and other older media forms, there are times when you have to use every weapon in the inventory. When getting the word out is critical, companies turn to…advertising.

There are several kinds of communications. First, recent appearances of ads and broadcast announcements drive home the point that corporations are doing everything in their power to get information in front of their employees and employee families. In the Houston Chronicle alone, there has been a stream large-space advertising from a host of companies – Northrop Grumman and BP, to name just two – offering every kind of assistance: benefits information, housing options, contact phone numbers, paycheck pickup locations.

The advertising is supplemented by highly visible corporate home-page links to relief and assistance pages for employees and families.

Second, companies like Visa and Pfizer have been messaging in ethical ways about disaster-related topics: information about credit card fraud monitoring or emergency supplies of medicines. (See last Sunday’s post about “Disaster Marketing.”) There are more of these ads, more from these companies, at a time when information can make a major difference in how people get through this trauma.

I know some of the corporate communications professionals who have working hard, long hours to get these messages in place and in front of their people. You might say they’re just doing their jobs…but isn’t this exactly the time when you want them to do those jobs with care, passion, and a lot of sweat?

I do.

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