News stories about the spinach-related E. coli outbreaks all over the United States offer lots of opportunity for savvy Publicity Hounds to piggyback onto this story.
Here are some ideas off the top of my head:
—What’s the effect on restaurants? Have they pulled spinach completely from their menus or are they using frozen spinach in place of the fresh stuff? Are restaurants reprinting menus?
—Are more people flocking to nurseries to buy spinach seeds, hoping to plant a crop before the first frost?
—How do you know if you’ve ingested food tainted with E. coli? What are the warning signs, and what should you do if you have the signs?
—Are supermarkets refunding customers’ money if they return bags of spinach to the stores?
—Are spinach distributors doing a good enough PR job during the crisis? PR people can submit op-ed columns to their trade magazines.
—If a cook is making a recipe that calls for spinach, what
greens are good substitutes? Chefs and restaurant owners can comment and offer recipes to food editors.
—Health officials in Canada aren’t recommending precautions
because they haven’t found any similar patterns of disease in
Canada. Even so, are consumers leaving spinach on the shelves?
—Are consumers in the U.S. afraid of buying any kind of bagged lettuce? Should they be? Health officials can comment.
The media love covering stories related to food. As I explained during the interview I did with Jaime Oikle called “Publicity Tips for Restaurants, Chefs & Foodies,” everybody eats.