They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but public relations directors know that promoting an organization’s message to the world while mitigating mistakes and managing bad news is hard work. Laura Gore, who has been ACEP’s public relations director since 1997, knows how critical a strong PR team is to an organization’s success and how vital it can be to accomplishing ambitious goals. After more than 20 years with ACEP, Ms. Gore is leaving in late December.
Ms. Gore recently sat down with ACEP Now Medical Editor-in-Chief Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD, FACEP, to discuss her experience promoting ACEP and its agenda to the public and some of the highlights of her time with the organization.
KK: You are one of ACEP’s unsung heroes behind the scenes who rarely gets the recognition she deserves. This interview is also bittersweet because you’re retiring, leaving the organization. I don’t know that we will ever fully fill your role because of the great service you‘ve provided. Tell us a little bit about what serving ACEP and our membership has meant to you.
LG: When I started with ACEP, there were 17,000 members. We used fax machines to send press releases. I didn’t even have a personal cellphone yet. Larry Bedard was president; I missed Greg Henry by one year. It’s just meant everything for me to be part of ACEP. I love what emergency physicians do, and it’s been my privilege and honor to serve this organization for more than 20 years.
KK: Well, that‘s very, very humble of you. Your service has been outstanding.
You just said something that wasn’t lost on me—you missed Greg Henry as president by a year. Was that a positive or a negative? Greg did tend, during his presidency, to push the envelope a bit with making sure emergency medicine was represented. Would you have been up for such a challenge?
LG: All kidding aside, he is a strong communicator. There is no one who could put a sound bite together better than Greg Henry. But I do remember being at a Scientific Assembly meeting where an NBC News reporter wanted to cover one of Greg’s presentations. I do remember Greg started out by saying something like, “We all have to come to grips with we have to kill Grandma.” And I leaned over to the NBC reporter and basically said, “Well, he doesn’t necessarily represent ACEP’s views on everything.” I love Greg Henry. He has always been there whenever we’ve solicited information from our spokespeople.