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September 01, 2011

PRSA: PR Pros Must Deliver Facts, Not Hyperbole, in Health Care Debate — PRWeek Op-Ed

Nancy Hughes, APR, chair of PRSA’s Health Academy, has an op-ed published in the September 2011 issue of PRWeek addressing the need for transparent and forthright communications from health care professionals.
Hughes writes that in the face of contentious health-care debates, such as the Affordable Care Act, “Healthcare communicators are bringing together engaged stakeholders who seek fact-based information that can be used in balanced, complex debates.”
She asks public relations professionals working in the health care industry to “imagine how productive communicators would be in crafting pragmatic solutions for clients and employers if more offered an objective viewpoint and championed the use of scientific fact.”

Contentious Debates Deserve Facts, Not Hyperbole, From PR

Nancy Hughes, APR, PRSA Health Academcy Chair
Published: Sept. 1, 2011

As an Army brat, I learned there are situations where you live by the command, like it or not. One can feel constrained by certain regulations and legal concerns.
This experience drew me to Daniel McIntyre's recent piece, "Permission to speak freely." He advised healthcare communicators to guide employers and clients to respectful, candid conversations that inform the public, rather than add hyperbole to a heated issue.
While it is good to facilitate such dialogue, communicators can do more than bring civility to the debate. PR goes beyond simply managing the flow of information. Broad, honest conversations over difficult issues must include scientific facts because such data can be the stabilizing force in heated, but necessary, discussions.

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