By Matt Polka, President and CEO, ACA Connects
I’m a big movie buff, and two movies I have watched that are oddly parallel to today’s events are “Outbreak” and “Contagion,” with the plots centering on the spread of an unchecked virus and the herculean efforts to protect the citizenry and find a cure. Both are good movies, in my view, although you may want to hold off for now if you haven’t seen them.
What’s not portrayed in either movie is the economic impact created by such pandemics and the unsung efforts of many who are stepping up to help others in a time of critical national need.
All of us at ACA Connects are acutely aware of the challenges faced by our members to maintain and deploy their broadband networks at a time when more people than ever are relying on them for work, education, health care, and entertainment. And we are also hearing wonderful stories from our members of selfless service to others in need.
Among the many things we are doing at ACA Connects to CONNECT and COMMUNICATE during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis, is to create this blog where our team can share with you good ideas and best practices, and where we welcome your blog submissions too. The more we COMMUNICATE, the more we will CONNECT.
We’ll post this blog to our ACA Connects web page at www.acaconnects.org and to our COVID-19 page at www.acaconnects.org/covid-19, and we’ll keep it updated for as long as the crisis lasts and even beyond. Details are below on how you can share your responses to a blog or submit a blog of your own. We welcome your input!
To start, let’s talk about things our ACA Connects members can do to help increase information and awareness in your communities about the virus, support those who are most in need, and help create more connection among us at a time when most of us are “self-isolating.”
Ideas to Create “Connection”
- Create COVID-19 pages on member websites.
- Try to help elderly and other vulnerable customers.
- Buy sponsorships (e.g., banner ads etc.) on local news websites to ensure paywalls (if any) do not impede access to local info on the coronavirus crisis.
- Post on member websites maps with pins or other navigation tools showing where free Wi-Fi hot spots are located.
- Run PSAs warning about coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic scammers, such as those going around trying to sell fake coronavirus testing kits.
- Stock company vans with hand sanitizers and cleaning wipes to offer customers after a truck roll and home visit.
- Sponsor a high school essay contest related to COVID-19 with a nice prize to the winner.
What additional ideas do you have? Let us know, and we will be glad to post them for all to see. In the meantime, don’t be a stranger, and don’t feel you are alone in this crisis. All of us at ACA Connects are here for you every step of the way!