Look Before You Leap

Today is Leap Day, that extra day in February we earn every four years.

It's not among the observances commonly marked by health-care organizations, but we can learn from how others have sought to seize the opportunity.

"People jumped off tall buildings all around the country Wednesday, but no one got hurt," proclaimed the provocative lead-in to an AP story published online by the Washington Post, Fox News and Newsday.

The story went on to say that parachutists leaped off skyscrapers in Miami, Detroit and Las Vegas to be filmed for an energy drink commercial. The energy drink wasn't mentioned by name, but one of the stories carried a photo with a parachute emblazoned with the Red Bull logo.

The stunts were right on target because they fit the Red Bull brand promise of "giving wings to people who want to be mentally and physically active and have a zest for life." But when I went to the Red Bull website to learn more, there was no mention of Leap Day or the parachutists.

Red Bull missed the opportunity to leverage its event in another channel. Social media could have connected to the website, which could have amplified the story and perhaps offered a promotion.

When marking an observance or holding an event, be sure to look at all the possibilities. It pays to look before you leap.

— Tom DeSanto

Image:AP Photo/Mel Evans Cropped

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