178804 Tailoring Pandemic Influenza Communications for the Business Sector

Monday, October 27, 2008

Matthew Sones, MS, MPH , National Center for Health Marketing, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Sally Crelia, MPH , Social Marketing & Appplied Research Team, BearingPoint, Atlanta, GA
Eric Resultan , Public Services, Healthcare, BearingPoint, Atlanta, GA
Objective: In the event of an influenza pandemic, businesses will play a key role in protecting employees' health as well as limiting the negative impact to society as a whole. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through contract with DB Consulting and BearingPoint, is developing tools to assist businesses identify specific activities that they can take to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a pandemic influenza.

Methods: Environmental scans to assess existing information pertaining to pandemic influenza, and to identify key gaps addressing the business community; formative research to further segment the audience and to identify information gaps; development and testing of pandemic influenza messages and materials targeting businesses; and design of dissemination strategies specific to the businesses audience.

Results: Developed messages and tools designed to meet the unique information needs of each business sector audience, with a particular focus on reaching small to medium size businesses. Messages focused on steps businesses can take to plan for the impact; to protect their employees, customers, and partners; and to coordinate with other business and agencies in their communities. Also developed tools to assist businesses in accomplishing the recommended steps.

Conclusions: Initial research suggested that while much of the business sector is aware of the need for preparedness, many small to mid size businesses lack the knowledge and self-efficacy to identify important, specific activities that they can take to develop and implement viable plans and begin preparing now for a pandemic. These tools help to address such shortcomings.

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of this session, the participants will be able to: 1. List information needs of small to mid size businesses around pandemic influenza planning. 2. Recognize the importance of developing educational information and tools based on audience specific research. 3. Discuss ideas and opportunities for reaching additional audiences with pandemic influenza planning and preparedness information through additional channels and/or partnerships.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a communicator for 20 years, 6 years as a consultant to CDC directly involved in bioterrorism preparedness and pandemic influenza preparedness. Most recently, I played a prominent role in the development of pan flue messaging for small-to-mid sized businesses for CDC National Center for Health Marketing.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.