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BETHLEHEM STEEL CHAIRMAN ADDRESSES MINING CONVENTION ON COMMUNICATIONS TO IMPROVE IMAGE OF BASIC INDUSTRIES

 SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The chairman of Bethlehem Steel Corporation (NYSE: BS) called upon members of the American Mining Congress to help improve the public image of America's basic industries by becoming more actively involved in communicating the vital contributions mining makes to the nation's economic strength.
 Speaking to the AMC convention here today, Curtis H. Barnette, Bethlehem's chairman and chief executive officer, said because basic industries such as mining and steelmaking have long been part of the American industrial landscape, "they tend to be taken for granted and their economic importance vastly underrated. We need to change that perception."
 He cited U.S. Bureau of Mines' figures showing that the American mining industry produced $32 billion worth of minerals in 1992 and that the value of materials processed from these minerals amounted to $310 billion. He also noted that mining directly employs more than 280,000 people and operates in all 50 states.
 "Those are very impressive bottom-line numbers," he said. "Any way you look at it -- value of products, number of jobs, breadth of operations -- mining is a vital component of the U.S. economy. This is a great message, and it deserves to be told more broadly."
 Barnette said the high-tech world of electronic communications, computers and space satellites could not exist without the wide variety of minerals supplied by America's mines. "It is interesting to learn," he said, "that a color television set contains at least 35 mineral materials and a telephone no less than 50 mineral materials. And the numbers are just as high for PCs and other computers as well. This is another major story that more people need to know."
 In discussing communications, the Bethlehem executive told the AMC members an image should accurately reflect an industry's strengths and importance and warned, "If we don't take action to shape the image of our company and our industry, others will do it for us -- and that image may be distorted."
 Barnette said, "The image of an industry affects the laws that are written, the ability to raise capital funds, and the recruiting of talented employees. One way or another, it does affect the bottom line." He added, "A good image program can also support the overall marketing effort."
 Among the actions suggested by Barnette to improve an industry's image through better communications were: benchmarking to establish a standard, developing a communications plan as an integral part of the business plan, selecting key issues and messages, targeting the audiences, and developing the delivery systems.
 Barnette said he believes the chief executive officer of an organization must also be the chief communications officer -- with responsibility for leading communications efforts by words, by actions, by active participation. "So let's communicate," he said, "more often, more effectively and more efficiently."
 /delval/
 -0- 9/20/93 R
 /CONTACT: H.H. Von Spreckelsen, manager, corporate communications, of Bethlehem Steel, 215-694-3711/
 (BS)


CO: Bethlehem Steel Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: MNG SU:

MJ-MK -- PH019 -- 4225 09/21/93 13:57 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 21, 1993
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