Cartoon by Lian
In following this week’s debacle between Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood, it has been interesting to see the role social media has played. I’ve also been particularly struck by how inept Komen has been at handling the PR crisis that was bound to happen from their decision to de-fund PP.
The backlash on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms was tremendous. Many people campaigned to raise money for PP or ask Komen to reverse their decision. (I’ve also seen mean-spirited jabs at Komen – that part is disappointing.)
I was surprised that an organization of Komen’s size and visibility didn’t appear to have a communications strategy in place to deal with the PR crisis. They let others take over the story, and when they did respond it was wishy washy. Then I learned this morning that Komen has PR giant Ogilvy on retainer. So, even a big-time nonprofit organization with a big-time PR firm can go wrong.
I wonder what the organization’s leadership (i.e., the board) will do to repair the damage done to the Komen brand. I think they also need to take a hard look at how the organization has crept a bit too far from its mission.