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October 18, 2014
Latest Advice to Texas Hospital: 'Forget the Ads, Focus on Performance'
Reuters has a blog post, partly referencing a New York Times piece a day earlier, on Burson-Marsteller being hired by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital to handle PR aspects of the unfortunately botched care the hospital provided to Thomas Eric Duncan, who died there of Ebola. It's an example of how a crisis can open up all sorts of windows into an institution.

On Sunday, the president of Texas Health Resources, owner of Texas Health Presbyterian, apologized for making mistakes in part because "training and education programs had not been fully deployed before the virus struck." The apology letter, by Barclay Berdan, CEO of Texas Health Resources, was published as a full-page ad in The Dallas Morning News and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 

Now Fraser Seitel, who once worked for Burson-Marsteller, is advising institutions like Texas Health Presbyterian via Forbes to "Forget the ads. Focus on fixing the performance first. That's the key to positive public relations, action not cosmetics." Good advice.

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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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