Crypto is making headlines and if there’s an outbreak in your area, it’s very likely you’ll be receiving calls from reporters. The best approach is always to be proactive and honest. Following are tips for dealing with the media regarding a crypto event.
• Work in partnership with public relations staffers to
develop a plan for communicating with the media. Become familiar
with policies for responding to reporters; provide the PR team with
all relevant information on crypto and safe swimming; and
designate a spokesperson. In the event of a crypto
outbreak (or similar crisis), providing a knowledgeable and
empathetic “public face” can go a long way toward
• Create an up-to-date package of background information on
crypto. Include a description of proactive prevention
measures in place at your pool; links to the CDC information pages
and other relevant Web sites; and contact information for the
spokesperson of your operation and other professionals in the
• Consider hosting an annual press day. Invite the media for
a tour of your facility and a firsthand look at the safety measures
that are in place.
• If you’re expected to deal with the media and
you’re not comfortable with the idea, consider working with
your public relations partners on media training.
• Share the policies for dealing with the media with your
staff. Instruct them on how they should handle calls from
• Contact your facility spokesperson and PR staff to notify
them of the crypto event immediately. Remember,
they’re there to help guide you and manage the media
• With your PR team, establish talking points and prepare a
message for your spokesperson to deliver. The goal should be to
instill public confidence in the safety of your pool. Be open
regarding what’s going on and use dynamic, active phrasing to
show that you’ve been on top of the issue and have prevention
measures and safety standards in place at your facility.
• Develop and disseminate a media alert. Help the public
relations staff to get the agreed-upon message out as quickly as
• Remind your staff of proper protocols for handling media
• Return all phone calls and respond to all queries promptly
to ensure that reporters have ample time to meet deadlines.
• Watch local media for signs of misinformation and work to
correct it as quickly as possible.
• Develop a follow-up media alert. Help the public relations
team get a status update out as quickly as possible.
• Be creative. Utilize all available resources and message
channels to retain public confidence in the safety of your
• Hold a meeting with the PR group to analyze the
effectiveness of your media efforts. Was your message received on
point? Could the spokesperson do a better job when talking with
Information provided by the CDC; Elise Knox, aquatic park manager, The Colony,
Texas; Dave Strueber, assistant director, West
Region Parks & Recreation Department, Dallas; and Ray
Dunham, principal, Raymond K. Dunham and Associates.