I first considered writing another column about the solid program we have for members and guests at the next luncheon. But that seemed like fluff when put up against a local, sensitive topic, the discussion of which substantially advances the PR profession and professional.
Sometimes working in PR and strategic communications sucks. That's where I believe the leadership and communications teams at JPS Health Network found themselves over the last few months. The situation of a patient and family leading up to a judge's ruling and follow-through on the order is unbelievably sad. To be clear, I have no interest mulling in print the thorny sociopolitical issues of this episode because it is so emotionally charged. Instead I would point to the well-presented and effective updates JPS released to the media.
JPS was stuck between a shock and a tarred place. No outcome was pleasant. Whether you're an in-house PR pro or hired consultant, in health care or nonprofit, a corporate communicator in education or in any part of the vast PR realm, at times things will go wrong. And the pain, the hurt, the confusion can last months.
Communication professionals provide strategic value to an organization in situations like these by being the voice of reason, conscience or even dissent to help leadership through the thicket. At such moments I appreciate the colleagues I know through PRSA who can help me strengthen an idea, clarify some wording, or just be a friendly ear. It’s great to know I’m not alone.
I tip my hat to the JPS Health Network communications and community affairs team.
You do good work.
Photo credit: brookenovak via Flickr Creative Commons
The content for this post first appeared in the February eChaser newsletter as the my submission for the monthly President's Column. The eChaser is a joint digital newsletter for the Greater Ft. Worth Chapter of PRSA, SPJ of Ft. Worth, and IABC Ft. Worth.