The Fourth of July is typically a relaxing holiday, with a lull in business activity as people go on vacation and summer finally begins. However, there’s an elite corps of PR pros whose workload shifts into high gear just as the rest of us are heading to the beach.
Here are a few of Critical Mention’s predictions for the busiest PR pros in the coming days.
On Thursday, coverage spiked over an explosion that killed one person at Entertainment Fireworks in Tenino, Wash., as the firm was preparing pyrotechnics to be shipped for professional displays on July 4.
The media team at the federal agency regulating fireworks, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, sprang into action, while state and local authorities started making their annual fireworks safety appeals to citizens who might otherwise be tempted to move beyond sparklers and ladyfingers.
In the days ahead, we’ll see TV coverage of police raids of illegal fireworks warehouses, arrests of unsuspecting motorists who drive into bordering states to score cherry bombs and aerial shells, and hospital trauma doctors providing graphic descriptions of injuries attributed to fireworks.
With Independence Day falling on a Friday this year, the number of cars, SUVs, minivans, RVs, campers, motorcycles and pickups on the road is expected to surge even beyond the normal gridlock-inducing holiday rush.
Gas prices routinely rise along with demand. The escalating political and military crisis in Iraq, OPEC’s second largest exporter, is fueling (pardon the pun) interest in this consumer inflation story.
We’ll be watching as media-savvy petroleum experts like AAA, Gasbuddy.com and industry expert Trilby Lundberg battle for share of voice. There have already been 85 TV and radio references to Fourth of July gas prices since June 1.
Critical Mention has also spotted mentions from the U.S. Coast Guard and state boating officials as they make statements about the dangers of boating under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Boating accidents will garner top billing on newscasts throughout the holiday period, and PR resources will be required.
Groups that promote dog health and produce products to help alleviate thunderphobia and fear of fireworks will be on their feet this holiday promoting their remedies and providing tips for a stress-free Fourth of July.
In the run-up to Memorial Day, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals earned coverage by warning about dangers to pets associated with backyard barbecues — like charcoal, lighter fluid and matches, and also about seemingly benign food items toxic to dogs, like grapes.
The Skin Cancer Foundation, sunscreen makers and hospitals are sure to start reminding people of the dangers of UV rays and how important applying sunscreen is, and reapplying, and reapplying again.
A more recent “wearable tech” addition to this oft-repeated warning involves UV-sensitive bracelets, which alert wearers when they are at risk for sunburn.
Beef producers and wholesalers, the USDA, and supermarkets are among those on high alert over the death of a man in Texas from a fatal brain disorder believed to be caused by eating beef from cattle with mad cow disease.
With 415 TV mentions since June 1, the story could easily explode if additional cases of mad cow are reported or food recalls are expanded.