PR Field Still Negotiating Post-9/11 Communications


Before the September 11 attacks, Aetna Inc had in place various crisis communications plans for unforeseen events like weather-related disasters and airline accidents. But in the immediate aftermath of that horrible day, Roger Bolton, senior VP/communications at Aetna, noticed that, all told, the insurer's plans left a lot to be desired. "We noticed that [the plans] were not well coordinated, a lot of the responsibilities had been dispersed, and our lists were out of place and hadn't been updated," said Bolton, who is also a board member and treasurer of the Arthur W. Page Society, which represents corporate PR executives. To improve its overall security Aetna in 2001 created its "Crisis Event Response Team," or CERT, which reports directly to Aetna President-CEO Dr.

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