Another Look at Rebranding
It seems I ignited some well-received feedback from my first blog on the issue of industry rebranding. That’s fantastic to see, as it means at least a few folks out there are taking the time to read our blog. In response to the feedback, I’d like to clarify my thoughts surrounding the naming and branding of the profession.
Fundamentally, I believe the term “industrial hygiene” does not resonate anymore, which leads me to think it is time for the profession to explore doing a comprehensive PR campaign regardless of what we call ourselves.
That said, any discussion about whether to call ourselves something different needs to consider not only the perspectives of AIHA members but those of our allied partners—BGC (which runs the CIH credential) and ACGIH. We also need to get out of our comfort zone and talk to people who are “not us.” This means engaging with audiences that know little to nothing about who we are or what we do.
And that includes students of all ages, from upper elementary school through high school (perhaps leveraging new, innovative programs like Safety Matters), and ensuring that college-age students who are deliberating on their majors have a clear understanding of what it means to dedicate themselves to protecting worker health.
When you think about the critical role industrial hygienists play in “first response” actions to a terrorist incident or natural disaster, we have a powerful story to tell. Let’s capitalize on this.
If we agree on the shift in nomenclature, we will then need to deploy the resources of a PR firm skilled in crafting a clear and thought-out campaign that can address the multi-faceted complexities of the profession. To this end, AIHA is forming a volunteer Rebranding Task Team, led by me and comprising practitioners young and experienced alike. Ideally we would like to include “outsiders” as well.
The acronym “AIHA” and the “CIH” designation are positively regarded around the world. I’m confident we can clarify our message without literally renaming the association (which, I understand, has been considered multiple times in the past). I feel the time is ripe to take a more holistic look at what our profession “is” so we can help generate and sustain a steady pipeline of aspiring practitioners for generations to come.
If you’re interested in playing a role in this exciting initiative, please drop me a line. We’re looking for a few innovative thinkers who are invested in shaping the public’s perception of the IH profession for the betterment of all of us.