The summer heat wave that is recording record temperatures up and down the East Coast is proving to be a mid-recession business boom for air conditioner sales and service, but it is putting an unhealthy strain on a lot of people who have no choice but to work in this heat with little or no relief as they go about their jobs.
So today’s “Props” are going to:
- Utility workers responding to spot blackouts and exploded transformers, climbing up poles in the searing heat with hard hats and gloves to get your air conditioners back on
- EMTs and emergency room personnel who are preparing for and treating victims of heat stroke and issuing warnings to us all to keep at-risk elderly and others in a cool and comfortable place until the heat passes
- Police officers and firefighters who are criticized publicly for working road details or for excessive pay, but who are rarely thanked even privately when doing the job under extreme conditions
- Emergency workers, particularly in our cities, who literally take to the streets in search of our homeless population who die in this weather as much as they do in the cold
The heat wave isn’t all bad. In fact, it’s a news boon for the media – the more extreme the temperatures (hot or cold), the better the story. This is good to bear in mind if you are in PR and you are pitching a story that has absolutely nothing to do with the weather. But if you were trying to get into a weather story and you were a…
- Local hospital… send out an advisory before the heat wave hits reminding people about staying hydrated, staying indoors, keeping your air conditioner on if you are leaving someone at home, and then a “hot” line telephone number to call if you have questions
- A veterinarian… pets need even more care in hot weather and are at special risk of overheating in cars or at home if there isn’t adequate water and indoor cooling for them. An advisory for being Pet-Smart (great name for a store!) might catch someone’s attention
- A lunch restaurant… people don’t want to leave their air conditioned office to walk very far for lunch. Promote a free delivery service and bring lunch to them
And did you know that ice cream sales actually go down when the heat is this high? It must be true, because I read it in a newspaper story about how ice cream vendors are now strategizing about how to get their customers in and served.