Session to Highlight Disease Outbreak Messaging

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO—If you want to learn the tips and tricks to effectively and efficiently communicate an emergency disease outbreak to constituents, livestock owners and other involved groups, then a 90-minute presentation on tap at the National Institute for Animal Agriculture’s Equine Committee, Tuesday, April 1, in Omaha, Neb., is for you. A representative from Weber Shandwick will share what to include in your message, how to position your message, the best delivery mechanism to alert intended audiences in a timely fashion and more.

“Weber Shandwick provides astute and actionable counsel for the digital age to many of the world’s leading companies and has successfully managed crises in a wide range of areas, and we are fortunate to have a Weber Shandwick PR staff member present during this committee meeting,” states Tom Lenz, DVM, co-chair of NIAA’s Equine Committee. “Malissa Fritz, vice president of Weber Shandwick’s Farm and Food Advocacy Team, will use a real-life equine case scenario—last summer’s herpes virus outbreak at the National Cutting Horse Association’s Western National Championships in Utah—to illustrate the power of messaging and delivery systems.

”This session will give us the tools and confidence needed so the messages we issue—whether on the local, state or national level—have the ingredients and the reach needed to avoid further disease spread—and without creating undue alarm within unaffected audiences.”

Dr. Lenz adds that this reaching-intended-audiences-through-effective-communication session is applicable not only to those working in the equine field but to all within animal agriculture.

"At the first sign of an outbreak, all players in the industry would need to implement enhanced biosecurity measures, and this session sponsored by Zoetis will outline how to effectively and efficiently reach those individuals," Lenz explains.

NIAA’s Equine Committee is one of 12 committee and council meetings conducted during NIAA’s Annual Conference, “The Precautionary Principle – How Will Animal Agriculture Thrive.” The Equine Committee will meet at 10:00 a.m. immediately following the conference’s Opening General Session, “The Precautionary Principle—Turning Prejudice into Policy.”

To register for NIAA’s Annual Conference and participate in the Equine Committee’s 90-minute communicating during an emergency disease outbreak session, please go online to or call NIAA at 719-538-8843.


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