We would have left this bit of news for today’s “Spin the AOR” post, but it’s a big one: a New York Times article shared by our friends at Everything PR revealed that Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has hired Burson-Marsteller to improve its admittedly poor response to the Ebola crisis.
Note the line near the bottom of the article: “On Friday, the hospital hired Burson-Marsteller, the global public relations firm, to help tell its side.”
While the health org has repeatedly admitted that mistakes were made on both the operational and messaging fronts, news that a second worker has been diagnosed with the condition ensures that the story will only continue to grow.
For reference, the org’s handle has been tweeting links to related resources. The account also released a statement from Nina Pham, the first employee to be diagnosed with Ebola, two days ago:
— Neetzan Zimmerman (@neetzan) October 14, 2014
As for what Burson will do, that’s not yet clear. But admitting to mistakes is a good start. False internet rumors aside, the firm has a history of working for clients stuck in extended crisis mode.
We never thought we would write this, but yesterday Shep Smith of Fox News gave the world a smart, level-headed take on why everyone should stop with the screaming headlines and approach this problem rationally:
Maybe the hospital should hire him, too.
ALSO: great job placing the announcement in what we like to call “The Friday Dump.”