Meet Sue Leitner:
Public Relations Support for World Usability Day
Prosperity Communications Role
by Sue Leitner
World Usability Day Committee has already succeeded in generating interest
far beyond its original goals. It has been my pleasure to support that
effort by tracking and amplifying the efforts of the hard-working local
organizers. My specialty is media relations, and its been my privilege
to work with the many volunteers on this project to help make headlines
(and the fine print of event calendars) about World Usability Day.
My company, Prosperity Communications,
is based in Cincinnati, Ohio. My customers are technology-based companies
and organizations. Usually, my customers are groups of technology-based
businesses working together for a common goal.
In recent years, I have worked on projects such as the local resurrection
of the Department of Energys Clean Cities program, the Cincinnati
technology alliance, the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology
Transfer, and the manufacturers group TechSolve.
I also worked on Ecom-Ohio, a program whose panel of judges included
UPA President Whitney Quesenbery. You can imagine how flattered I was
(and how cheap I work) when she remembered me. Whitney recommended me
to World Usability Day Chair Elizabeth Rosenzweig as support for this
project. While I am dropping names, I want to be sure to acknowledge Keith
Instone, keeper of the www.worldusabilityday.net
site, as one of the many solution-focused people I have had a chance to
get to know as part of this project.
My role in World Usability Day is to find the stories that move our strategy.
Our strategy is to increase awareness, Earth Day-style, of everyones
responsibility in getting things that work right. We want to understand
how you, as professionals, execute your quests. We want to communicate
that every citizen, as a consumer, has a right to expect things that work
well, and has a responsibility to pursue usability in the marketplace.
With only about six weeks to go, as this is being written, my primary
focus is on developing the stories that move our World Usability Day strategy,
and contacting reporters and editors who can help us do that.
I also spend quite a bit of time, one-on-one, with volunteers who need
ideas for local publicity. If you havent been one of those volunteers,
heres the short form: Start looking for event calendars, and make
a database of the e-mail contacts. The instant you get your where
and when, send a notice to the event calendar editors, your customer/colleague
database, and especially, to your co-workers. Think about little stories
you can tell (and write in brief e-mails) that help those not in the field
to understand what youre talking about, and tell those stories to
anyone who might listen. If youre really ambitious, this is a great
story for local morning news shows, if you have someone articulate who
will get up early for a studio appearance.
When we started work on this project last February, our goal was to have
one World Usability Day activity per continent, with three events in the
USA. At last count, we have event coordinators in 78 locations, and more
than 30 countries. I will also note that our goal was also to have a final
event list by (last) June. If youre one of our wonderful event coordinators,
and you havent done so already, please go to the newly opened www.worldusabilityday.org
site, and enter your event coordinates.
Thanks so much to all the people who continue to work so hard toward
the success of UPAs first World Usability Day.