I wrote recently about "How to Make the Most Out Of Bad Press". The point was to help smaller organizations overcome a little bad press that may have come about through some misunderstandings or overzealous 'journalism'.
And then the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation / Planned Parenthood debacle happened. Komen was (IS) on the receiving end of some serious backlash over their decision to halt funding to Planned Parenthood for breast health programs. I watched with interest because I wanted to see how Komen would handle the rising tide and if any of my little grassroots tips would be illustrated in a real world scenario involving national organizations.
Unfortunately, it seems Komen didn't have any type of plan for handling the fallout of their decision to cut funding - a decision that was obviously controversial. It didn't take any kind of psychic powers to KNOW this decision would send social media into overdrive.
Komen's handling of the resultant backlash did more than upset an awful lot of people. It called their integrity into question, and that is not the position any organization should purposely put themselves in. It made me wonder if Komen is out of touch and just cannot communicate with the population in an effective and thoughtful manner, or if there is a serious integrity issue at the core of the foundation operations. Michael J. Rosen, CFRE has posted an excellent analysis of this issue on his blog here.
I hope you'll find it as interesting as I did. I think it really highlights the importance of clear communications and maintaining your organization's integrity. Your donors, supporters, employees and volunteers have to trust your organization in order to fully support your mission. That trust is a very special gift that should be honored.