American Cleaning Institute Recalls Year of Crisis Communication

Cleaning poster from CDC and ACI

In March 2020, finding a can of Lysol disinfectant or a bottle of Purell hand sanitizer felt like uncovering buried treasure. With COVID-19 quickly spreading to a global pandemic, people turned to a familiar form of protection when it came to germs—cleaning. 

The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) represents the $59 billion cleaning product industry. Members include the makers of Clorox and Lysol, as well as Unilever, Procter & Gamble and many more. When the pandemic hit, the ACI found itself as one of the most essential voices within the news and communication landscape. 

Brian Sansoni, SVP, communication, outreach and membership, never endured such a media frenzy in his 20 years with ACI.

“[It was] the most intensive time for media requests coming into ACI on all facets of cleaning—hygiene, disinfecting, laundering,” he said. “We went into crisis mode at the end of Feb. 2020. And fortunately, we had the resources, skill sets and talents to respond rapidly."  

Sansoni confirmed that ACI is no longer in crisis mode, but inquiries have not let up all that much. Questions continue to include: how to use products, their properties, how businesses and schools should reopen and more.


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