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Advance Man for the Pope's Visit to Philadelphia
By: Doug Bedell
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Dan Hilferty, CEO and president of Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia, is demonstrating how stature and reliability – his own – are making it possible for Pope Francis’ visit to the city next month (Sept. 26 and 27) to proceed smoothly. And that’s no small challenge, indeed. 

With well over a million people expected in the city to honor the Pope, Hilferty, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, “has had one foot in the health care world – Blue Cross covers 10 million people in 24 states – and another schmoozing with the city’s most powerful corporations and philanthropists to bring in the $45 million needed for the city’s papal visit.”

This is a great example of how both stature and technique are primary to successful PR on a grand scale.  “But what I love about this guy,” Hilferty says of Pope Francis, “is not only his theology but the practical use of what we should be doing as human beings to improve the world.” That’s PR’s mission, too.   

(Photo of Dan Hilferty by Jonathan Wilson for The Philadelphia Inquirer.) 

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About the Author
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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