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Disaster Preparedness: Zombie Apocalypse Campaign Through Relevant Media Outlets

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One fateful afternoon in 2011, David Daigle, Associate Communication Director, at the Center for Disease Control (CDC), purchased eighty-seven dollars worth of zombie related stock photography – convinced that this would be the key to engaging a young and media savvy audience in a conversation about disaster preparedness. Daigle concluded – based on his personal affinity to zombie culture – that there are a similarities to the items one would need in a disaster kit and to those necessary to survive a zombie attack and that this unique connection would be relevant to a zombie crazed society.
Realistic shows that depict the horrifying life of surviving a disease prone society, such as: The Walking Dead (a popular television series on AMC), have citizens convinced that the pragmatic story telling of Hollywood’s finest is palpable. While, citizens have a healthy fear for the undead, there remains a high demand on the entertainment industry to provide more zombie folklore. Without delay authors, entertainers, and the like have developed a large zombie pop culture that surrounds books, movies, blogs, televisions series, fan fiction forums, and even realistic online groups geared toward preparing for such an event. With the growing alarm for the seemingly viable coming of the zombie apocalypse, it is no wonder Daigle came to his conclusion.
There is no question that when a natural, man-made or zombie disaster strikes, it is important to be prepared. However, the challenge for CDC was how to engage an audience in this seemingly lifeless –literally– and uninteresting information. The purpose of this case study is to (1) track CDC’s disaster preparedness zombie apocalypse campaign through relevant media outlets, (2) examine the key messag...


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...dc.gov/about/
Dillingham, I. (2014, April 5). Zombies invade local community center. Retrieved from https://www.michigandaily.com/news/zombies-invade-ann-arbor-train-public-health-students
Haiken, M. (2014, March 18). Is the CDC planning for a walking dead zombie apocalypse? Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2014/03/18/is-the-cdc-really-preparing-for-a-zombie-apocalypse-not-exactly/
Holiday, R. (2012). Trust Me, I'm Lying: The Tactics and Confessions of a Media Manipulator. New York, NY: Portfolio.
Muncie Free Press. (2012, September 7). CDC and FEMA warn of impending zombie apocalypse. Retrieved from http://www.munciefreepress.com/node/26819
Shirky, C. (2008). Gin, television, and cognitive surplus. Edge, (255).
Zhang, C. (2014). CDC Creates 'Zombie Survival Guide'. Retrieved from http://www.newsy.com/videos/cdc-creates-zombie-survival-guide/



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