I had a good weekend of cross blogging with Robin Parker and Lise Kerwin of Cross Blog, the terrific blog of the Red Cross’ Oregon chapter. I wanted to mention one more thing about Cross Blog that I think is worth noting: a typically playful, eye-catching post on Saturday titled “Can CPR Get You A Date” listed several Portland, Oregon Craig’s List postings of potential romantic liaisons post-CPR training (here, here and here).
Whether or not any of that CPR love is requited or resuscitated, the point that Lise and Robin are making with that post and throughout their blog is that the Red Cross and preparedness activities can be fun, exciting, social and even romantic — as well as the usual responsible and helpful to society.
To me (and I think Robin and Lise) if we are to build a more ready, resilient American nation, we need to get more of the public’s heart beating again about preparedness. That means repositioning and repackaging the subject in the minds of Americans — moving from duct tape and duck & cover to a new 21st Century model and language — using creativity and intelligence as well as the emerging social media tools and popular culture (ie. tying together Top Chef & Craig’s List with the Red Cross & preparedness as they have in the past week). This is where Robin and Lise are showing the way, and it is definitely worth keeping an eye on Cross Blog (as well as the excellent work of Wendy Harman and Claire Johnson of the American Red Cross’s Social Media unit) to see what new and surprising approaches they’ll find next. I know I will be. And it looks like Gail McGovern, the American Red Cross’ new CEO, in her first hours on the job, already is as well.