I just talked to Chris, the brains behind this site. One of the main topics of discussion we had was the fact that the general public, as well as those with this allergy, need information. Accurate information. The best way to get it to everyone is through the media. I have experience in the media and I am a professional writer. I'm looking for a few people with similar experience or backgrounds to join a media team.
The goal of the media team is simple. We will establish a relationship between the media and PeanutAllergy.Com. Then, we can use that relationship with respect to other teams in the organization, such as those involved in the school or airline issue. The media team will be the central communication force.
If you want to help out of have some ideas, please post them here. Email is fine too.
On Feb 3, 1999
Dear Kyla & Chris,
Great idea. I have thought about using the approach, for airlines, of getting articles in the airline trade magazines (the magazines that get sifted through the airport lounges of the workers themselves).
Also, when educating the airlines about this problem I've been told by different people within the airline industry that we're hitting the wrong people. We should be directly contacting the caterers that are contracted to supply the food to their airlines. Going through PR/customer service departments in Airlines is just an unnecessary link, and often a waste of time.
I am doing research for a book on living abroad and one of my tasks was to write to as many international airlines as possible. I was told that if there were to be policy changes made within an airline (regarding food) I'd have to contact the caterers themselves. There are very few airlines that own their own catering company (such as British Airways) and can therefore change policy freely and easily.
Hope this is a helpful suggestion.
Cheers, Michelyne Callan
On Feb 3, 1999
This is a great idea.
A suggestion before mounting an all-out campaign. Let's make a list of questions, common mistakes and misconceptions that people and the media have.
A common misconception: people think that a person with a peanut allergy will start sneezing if they come in contact with peanuts.
A possible misconception: the only place we have to worry about peanuts is on airplanes. (EVERYONE I talk to has heard about the ban on peanuts on planes from the media...)
A common mistake: accidentally using the peanut butter knife to spread jelly on the "jelly only" sandwich, or using the peanut-butter knife to slice apples for the peanut-allergic child (this was an actual incident a friend just told me about).
Some of these might sound silly, but you've got to account for all sorts of backgrounds and intelligence levels. If we put our heads together to come up with an official media document of these things which we update, I think that would help.
Since the only thing we can do is avoid peanuts, education and communication are our only defense. And the squeaky wheels get the grease... So let's start squeaking loudly!
My 2 cents.
On Feb 10, 1999
Kyla: I would like to become a member of the media team to help educate the public and create awareness of the allergy. Let me know what I can do to help.