Preparing for a Pandemic: Putting H1N1 into a Business Survival Perspective

Sometimes, it’s the unexpected that can throw a savvy business into a tailspin. The recent H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic has not only put the general public on guard for their personal health, but it has influenced a fundamental shift in business work policy for many companies. In the face of this pandemic, business leaders must meet the challenges of maintaining operations, protecting employees and reducing business losses. Attorney Andrew J. Cataldo, a partner at Atlanta-based McGuireWoods LLP, helps businesses prepare for and respond to business disruptions and crises, including the current swine flu pandemic.

In August 2009, CNN producers wanted to look at the swine flu pandemic from a new perspective, but traditional search methods weren’t yielding results. A solution came in the form of NewsCertified Exchange, a new online tool that provides journalists with free access to a community of interview-ready experts and a searchable database of story ideas. Because Mr. Cataldo was listed on the Exchange, CNN was able to find his story idea “How Swine Flu Can Hurt the Bottom Line of Companies.” A quick review of Mr. Cataldo’s profile page and video clip confirmed that Mr. Cataldo was the expert that CNN was looking for.

On August 28, 2009, Mr. Cataldo participated in a five-minute live interview with CNN Newsroom anchor Kyra Phillips where he explained what businesses can and should be doing to prepare for and respond to swine flu. Throughout the interview, the name of Mr. Cataldo’s law firm was prominently featured on the screen.

The experience for both CNN and Mr. Cataldo was a positive one. A month later, Mr. Cataldo was contacted by Bloomberg to consult on the potential economic impact of swine flu, and two months later CNN had him back on air.

Mr. Cataldo attributes much of his on-air success to his work with NewsCertified. “The feedback, coaching and tools that I received from NewsCertified were instrumental for both the preliminary producer screening (where the producer gets a sense of your capability during a phone interview) and for the actual live interview on CNN. I particularly leveraged the "Your View Key" tool as a roadmap to make my qualifications and comments relevant, interesting and practical.”

With NewsCertified Exchange, experts like Mr. Cataldo can promote unique and authentic perspectives on news events that may not be obvious to the media.

NewsCertified Expert Quickfacts

Andrew J. Cataldo

McGuireWoods LLP

Expertise: Business, Law

Story Pitch: “Swine Flu Can Harm the Bottom Line of Companies”

View profile.


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