Former CIGNA communications chief turned activist/author Wendell Potter has been called everything from a public relations hero to a traitorous villain for his decision to walk away from the corporate world and testify before the U.S. Senate panel on health care reform.
His testimony on how the health care industry uses propaganda and lobbying efforts to maintain profits at the expense of patients sparked outrage among activists and health care providers alike. And the behind-the-scenes view he provides of the role of public relations in these debates has ignited passionate discussion in the public relations community.
Potter now is a Senior Fellow on Health Care for the Center for Media and Democracy, and he has followed up his initial testimony with a recently released book, Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans. He will be at the Tattered Cover on Colfax on Thursday, Jan. 20, at 7:30 p.m. to sign copies of the book.
If you are interested in an insider’s account of how public relations often is played at the highest and most sophisticated levels – and what impact that has on you, your career and your clients – you should attend.
[Disclosure: I am friends with Wendell Potter, and I worked closely with him when CIGNA was a client of mine at Weber Shandwick. However, my work (and Weber Shandwick’s work) with CIGNA did not include any of the industry policy, regulatory or lobbying efforts that he chronicles in his book.]