What do helium and Lance Armstrong have in common?

Not sure about you, but I am very much “over” hearing about what Lance Armstrong plans to say, has said, is rumored to disclose, or what he won’t say in his upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey. 

For the past several weeks it seems like this is the lead story for news outlets everywhere. Somehow this story has captured the attention of everyone, and I have grown quite weary of hearing it. I get the story angle, but is this the most important conversation we need to have?

On the other hand, it was not until I was grocery shopping last week that I learned of the international helium shortage we are now facing! For goodness sake, why have I not heard of this before? I read the paper, I am a bit of an internet news junkie, so how did I miss this? It seems serious. Non-reversible. A little complicated for me to explain in this forum, but certainly an issue that would rise to the top… (I could not resist this!) 

This is a story that has now been labeled a “crisis” by federal officials. In case you did not know, helium is the second most common element in the universe and is used in everything from balloons to medical and technology equipment. Not only party stores are affected; this will impact many sectors of our economy.

It just makes me think about how some issues capture our attention and others never even make our radar or seem to quickly fade from focus. What is it about some information that is somehow more compelling; the way it is presented? The people?  The subject matter? 

How do we present information about our work in a way that is compelling, clear and moves people to action?  Nonprofit organizations in our communities are all struggling with how to tell their stories and how to capture local interest. Some have very compelling stories to tell of the work they are doing. Others have yet to find the hook or the voice that captures our interest and support. 

You and I have important information for those nonprofits we support. We can give them feedback on what captures our attention. What resonates with us? And how can we share within our own circles the stories that matter to us?

With that helium shortage, we won’t be able to count on the Goodyear blimp to carry those great message banners.

I guess we’ll have to get on Oprah…