PR rep, heal thyself: Asheville-based Mission Health marketer creates PR crisis while speaking at a conference about how to avoid one

by Jennifer Saylor on October 22, 2011

Mission Health marketer Janet Moore created her own PR crisis while speaking at a conference about how to manage one: while presenting in Arizona recently about the 2009 Mission CEO/Ashvegas blog debacle (background here) that resulted in a CEO’s resignation, Moore called WNC people “hillbillies” and made other controversial remarks.

The  YouTube video of her presentation caused concern when it was shared with area officials. She resigned on Friday.

Her hour-long presentation is here.

From the AC-T:

Her comments about neighboring Haywood County caught criticism on Friday. Leaders in the county listened to them at the request of the newspaper.

She mimicked a woman living there with her “best Haywood County accent” and said the woman was “clearly not investing in dental care” though she was selling fighting roosters and curly horned sheep over the Internet.

She said people might assume a region of “lots of hillbillies” in Western North Carolina and noted that serial bomber Eric Robert Rudolph hid out in the region for years.

More quotes from the presentation appear here in a Mountain Xpress article. Interesting quote: “Long before Hosni Mubarak was brought down by social media, our CEO was brought down by social media in our community.”

Members of the local blog community might be amused at her characterization of Ashvegas as run by a “young journalist” (veteran 20+-year journalist Jason Sandford, who’s in his mid-40s) and sold for profit to the Asheville Citizen-Times after the series of posts about Mission Hospitals “put [Ashvegas] on the map.”

“We made you what you are,” said Moore in the presentation, referring to Ashvegas.

Word to those less familiar with the local blog scene: Ashvegas has been consecutively voted the best blog in WNC by Mountain Xpress readers since at least 2007, two years before the Mission story broke. Ashvegas is affiliated with the AC-T, Sandford’s employer, but the paper neither owns nor controls the blog.

Social media users might also be amused (or worse) at Moore’s comparison of a series of blog posts that let local residents air concerns over leadership at a major Asheville employer to “incessant barking” by a cartoon dog.

More from the AC-T is hereStereotyping remarks by Asheville-based Mission official stir outrage and hereHaywood leaders ‘appalled’ by Mission official’s comments

An Oct. 21 Ashvegas post on Moore’s presentation is here.

Ashvegas background on the 2009 Mission Hospitals CEO resignation debacle is here.

Via the AC-T, Mission Health President and current CEO Ron Paulus’ statement on Janet Moore’s resignation:

Janet Moore’s comments at a recent presentation to a professional audience were ill-advised, and she apologizes. Ms. Moore has tendered her resignation, and it has been accepted. The views reflected in that presentation in no way represent the beliefs of Mission’s Board, leadership, employees or physicians. Mission remains committed to serving the residents of Western North Carolina with humility and respect.

Added 10/23: A transcript and audio of parts of Moore’s presentation appear in this WLOS video.

 

  • http://scrutinyhooligans.us Gordon Smith

    Hear, hear, Jennifer. Well said.

    • http://jennifersaylor.wordpress.com/ Jennifer Saylor

      Thanks, blood. I consider Ms. Moore’s statements to be an attack on the institution of blogging. Made out of ignorance, arrogance and condescension rather than malice, but an attack nonetheless.

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