Susan G. Komen Crisis Assessment
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This was a presentation for a graduate DePaul University Crisis Communications course. It analyzed the Susan G. Komen crisis that unfolded upon the announcement that it would not fund future Planned ...

This was a presentation for a graduate DePaul University Crisis Communications course. It analyzed the Susan G. Komen crisis that unfolded upon the announcement that it would not fund future Planned Parenthood grants. Recommendations were also made that could have eased or alleviated the media and public outcry against the non-profit.

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Susan G. Komen Crisis Assessment Presentation Transcript

  • 1. By: Stephanie Colpo, Dionne Gomez, Gina Knapik, and Joanna Scott
  • 2.   Jan. 31: Planned Parenthood makes announcement stating Susan G. Komen will cut funding to the organization.   Feb. 1: Susan G. Komen issues a response to Planned Parenthood’s statement.   Feb. 2: Susan G. Komen posts social media statements, but do not directly address the issue.   Feb. 3: The decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood is reversed by Susan G. Komen. 2
  • 3. “We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past the issue.”   Feb. 7: Karen Handel, senior vice president, resigns.   Feb. 7: Susan G. Komen founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker issues statement, taking accountability for mishandling the situation with Planned Parenthood.   Aug. 8: AP publishes story stating the president and founder of Susan G. Komen are stepping down. 3
  • 4. 4
  • 5.                 Board of Directors Shareholders Fund Development Committee Republicans Conservative organizations Catholic Church Conservative Leaders and Donors Anti-abortion rights groups   Americans United for Life Perceived key stakeholders/publics                   Volunteers Employees/affiliates Donors or sponsors Survivors/those fighting Racers Supporters of Planned Parenthood Supporters of the cause Healthcare advocates for the underserved Part of a larger women’s health care community Realistic stakeholders/publics 5
  • 6.             Did not respond immediately Defensive stance Showed no remorse Did not address key audiences or truly acknowledge concerns No real communication with key affiliates At times, lack of communication was best   Do not add fuel to the fire “We are dismayed and extremely disappointed that actions we have taken to strengthen our granting process have been widely mischaracterized.  It is necessary to set the record straight.”   -Susan G. Komen  "The seven California Affiliates of Susan G. Komen for the Cure are strongly opposed to Komen National's new grant-making policy," -Message to California's congressional delegation. 6
  • 7. “Avoiding this kind of controversy was the very reason Komen chose a quiet ending to its relationship with Planned Parenthood.” –John Raffaelli, Susan G. Komen Board Member What do you think of the statement? How could he have better communicated with the public? 7
  • 8. 8
  • 9. Planned Parenthood Facebook Page Date Message Jan. 31, 2012 BREAKING: We’re very disappointed to announce that anti-choice groups have successfully intimidated and pressured the Susan G. Komen Foundation to end funding for lifesaving breast cancer screenings for women at Planned Parenthood health centers. Komen has been an ally and supported PP health centers to provide nearly 170,000 breast exams in the past 5 years – and we’re determined to make sure it won’t stop thousands of women from getting the care they need. Stay tuned. Jan. 31, 2012 We’re taking steps to ensure that Planned Parenthood and the breast health programs our health centers provide remain strong and accessible to the thousands of women who rely on them every year. Women’s lives can’t afford to be caught up in political battles, and we appreciate any amount you can give. Feb. 1, 2012 We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we’ve received since yesterday’s announcement that Susan G. Komen will stop funding breast cancer screenings at PP health centers. On Facebook, Twitter & all over the Internet – your voice cannot be missed. Check out this open letter from one of our activists – and ADD YOUR NAME if you stand with Planned Parenthood and health care for all women! Feb. 1, 2012 Are you? Share! [A photo accompanied this post – a pink square with white lettering, stating “Still standing with Planned Parenthood.” 9
  • 10. Susan G. Komen Facebook Page Date Message Feb 1, 2012 At Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the women we serve are our highest priority in everything we do. Last year, we invested $93 million in community health programs, which included 700,000 mammograms. Additionally, we began an initiative to further strengthen our grants program to be even more outcomesdriven and to allow for even greater investments in programs that directly serve women. We also implemented more stringent eligibility and performance criteria to support these strategies. While it is regrettable when changes in priorities and policies affect any of our grantees, such as a longstanding partner like Planned Parenthood, we must continue to evolve to best meet the needs of the women we serve and most fully advance our mission. It is critical to underscore that the women we serve in communities remain our priority. We are working together with Komen Affiliates to ensure there is no interruption or gaps in services for women who need breast health screenings and services. Grant making decisions are not about politics – our priority is and always will be the women we serve. Making this issue political or leveraging it for fundraising purposes would be a disservice to women. Feb. 1, 2012 Susan G. Komen has spent 30 years providing real help to low-income, uninsured and underinsured women, and recent changes to Komen’s granting policies only reinforce our commitment. Recent reports about those policies aren’t getting it right. See the real story from SGK Founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker in the Straight Talk video. 10
  • 11. Susan G. Komen began reacting to online content on Twitter at the height of the crisis. Planned Parenthood released consistent content before, during and after the disagreement with Susan G. Komen. 11
  • 12. 12
  • 13. Media Source Fox 16 - Online San Francisco Chronicle Title Cancer charity halts grants to Planned Parenthood Komen affiliates blast cuts to Planned Parenthood New York Times Outcry is Fierce to Cut in Funds by Cancer Group Huffington Post Susan G. Komen Loses Support After Planned Parenthood Decision Fox 16 – Broadcast ABC News, GMA NBC Nightly News Tone Informational Balanced Critical Local Confrontational Political Informal Personable Descriptive Words “creating a bitter rift, linked to the abortion debate” “Since the backlash against Komen” “with rising dissension in its own ranks and a roiling anger” “Komen has faced a massive social media backlash…with angry people” Cancer charity halts grants to Planned Parenthood Positive Local “It sounds like in the short run this is not going to hurt Planned Parenthood” Planned Parenthood Donations Soar After Funding Stripped by Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Critical Political “Brinker has offered changing explanations for decision” --- Negative Accusatory “Komen CEO Nancy Brinker struggled to contain the damage” 13
  • 14. “Her comments directly contradicted those of John D. Raffaelli, a Komen board member and Washington lobbyist, who told The New York Times on Wednesday that Komen made the changes to its grant-making process specifically to end its relationship with Planned Parenthood.” 14
  • 15.   Online         AP story Susan G. Komen spokeswoman, Planned Parenthood affiliates, Planned Parenthood president, anti-abortion group Overview of the situation with different perspectives Broadcast       Local story Little Rock Susan G. Komen & Planned Parenthood staff Greater time allocated to Susan G. Komen spokeswoman, explanation, promotion   Print       Local story California Susan G. Komen affiliates statement, local Planned Parenthood, California senator Attention on affiliates who were separating from the national decision 15
  • 16.   Conflicting   reasons Grant Requirements (direct service, stronger performance)     Statement from Nancy Brinker Investigation   Barring grants to organizations under investigation from Leslie Aun, spokeswoman   Timeliness   Emotion vs. Ration   Political Argument   Multiple Voices Boards   Affiliates   16
  • 17. Given her political history and background, do you think Nancy G. Brinker, the former CEO, was the best spokesperson for the crisis? 17
  • 18. 18
  • 19.   Loss of staff members and volunteers       Loss of financial support       New York Times 11/8/12: “I personally wouldn’t walk for Komen” 19% fewer volunteers $50,000 in corporate sponsorships for the Race for the Cure Bad press continues via social media Harris Interactive Study     “Brand health” declines by 21% Second largest drop ever seen 19
  • 20. 20
  • 21. Notable Quotes   “Mutually agreed” to decision   “So non political”   Not prepared for “vicious mugging”   “A bunch of schoolyard thugs”   Disappointed with Susan G. Komen’s surrender 21
  • 22. "When I learned that Komen provided breast cancer screenings and treatment for uninsured, low-income women, I knew I had to participate in the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure even though it would be just one week after my last chemo treatment." Use of personal stories to reinvigorate support “31 Days of Impact” Blog “Remind people that you are saving lives.” “I am Susan G. Komen” Campaign -Daniel Diermeier, author of “Reputation Rules” 22
  • 23. Do you think using “everyday” people as the voice of the organization will be an effective communication and rebuilding strategy? 23
  • 24. Bad press still exists but dialogue is slowly shifting Anti-Komen FB Page Key Shifts 1.  Opponents change conversations 2.  Susan G. Komen interacts with key publics via social media 24
  • 25. 25
  • 26.  No immediate response  Message was defensive   Listening and engaging is more important  Message was not consistent  Did not truly reach their key stakeholders and publics  Failed to see power of social media 26
  • 27. •  Diminishment •  Denied intent to harm women who benefit from Planned Parenthood •  Bolstered by talking about all the things done to help women •  Minimized by stating that Planned Parenthood still receives some grants and can apply for grants in the next year •  Justified the decision by wrapping it in a principle – uphold and advance the mission statement •  Post Reversal Strategy: Rebuilding •  Addressed the political accusations •  Released statement by CEO Nancy G. Brinker and the board of directors “It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women. We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the past few days to help us move past this issue.” 27
  • 28. 28
  • 29. •  Timing of the Announcement •  Not during election time •  Be ready to respond after announcement •  Include a statement that addresses where funding will go in place of Planned Parenthood to cover those services/programs •  Have a consistent message across all internal and external communication efforts •  Communicate with board members and individual affiliates and prepare them with media training. 29
  • 30. •  Be open and realistic about how much granted to Planned Parenthood •  Dedicated social media team •  Respond to social media with approved responses •  Use third-party sources and testimonials for support •  Communicate better with Planned Parenthood •  Backlash would still happen but not to same extent 30
  • 31. 31
  • 32. 32
  • 33.               1. Associated Press (2012, February 1). Cancer charity halts grants to Planned Parenthood. Fox 16. Retrieved April 27, 2013, from http://www.fox16.com/news/story/Cancer-charity-halts-grants-to-PlannedParenthood/Q0iCrvrZk0uHg9ThBmc1Iw.cspx. 2. Cancer charity halts grants to Planned Parenthood. (2012, February 1). Broadcast. Little Rock: Fox 16. Retrieved April 27, 2013, from http://www.fox16.com/news/story/Cancer-charity-halts-grants-to-PlannedParenthood/Q0iCrvrZk0uHg9ThBmc1Iw.cspx. 3. Colliver, V. (2012, February 3). Komen blast cuts to Planned Parenthood. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 27, 2013 from http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Komen-affiliates-blast-cuts-to-PlannedParenthood-2976506.php. 4. Preston, J., & Harris, G. (2012, February 2). Outcry is Fierce to Cut in Funds by Cancer Group. The New York Times. Retrieved April 27, 2013 from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/03/us/komen-foundation-urged-to-restoreplanned-parenthood-funds.html?_r=1&. 5. Bassett, L. (2012, February 1). Susan G. Komen Loses Support After Planned Parenthood Decision. Huffington Post. Retrieved April 27, 2013 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/01/susan-g-komen_n_1247262.html. 6. Planned Parenthood Donations Soar After Funding Stripped by Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (2012, Febraury 3). Broadcast. ABC News. Retrieved April 27, 2013 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpw9I6eAO6k. 7. Tan, T. (2012, February 2). Komen vs. Planned Parenthood: CEOs Speak Out. Broadcast. Texas Tribune. Retrieved April 27, 2013 from http://www.texastribune.org/m/story/36703/. 33
  • 34.             8. Benning, T. (2012, February 3, 2012). Komen apologizes for ‘recent decisions,’ pledges to continue funding Planned Parenthood. Dallas News. Retrieved April 24, 2013 from http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2012/02/komen-apologizes-forrecent-de.html 9. Nolan,C., Tata, S. (2012, February 2). Susan G. Komen Pulls Planned Parenthood Funding. NBC Los Angeles. Retrieved April 24, 2013 from http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Susan-G-Komen-PullsPlanned-Parenthood-Funding-138541484.html 10. Flock, E. (2012, February 2). Susan G. Komen’s funding cut to Planned Parenthood only latest in string of controversies. The Washington Post. Retrieved April 24, 2013 from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/susan-g-komensfunding-cut-to-planned-parenthood-only-latest-in-string-of-controversies/ 2012/02/01/gIQAeQlXhQ_blog.html 11. Scudder, V. (2012, April 11). Lessons from the Susan G. Komen Planned Parenthood Debacle. PRSA. Retrieved April 24, 2013 from http://www.prsa.org/Intelligence/TheStrategist/Articles/view/ 9721/1047/Lessons_from_the_Susan_G_Komen_Planned_Parenthood 12. Gaudet, G Lessons from the Komen Controversy. GaggleAMP. Retrieved April 27, 2013 from https://gaggleamp.com/blog/lessons-from-the-komen-controversy/ 13. Kliff, S (2012, February 3). Susan G. Komen foundation revises policy that barred Planned Parenthood funding. The Washington Post. Retrieved April 28, 2013 from http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/komen-revisesfunding-policy/2012/02/03/gIQAVRa3mQ_story.html 34
  • 35.             14. Dziak, M (2013, January 4). Relating to Public: Susan G. Komen vs Planned Parenthood: Who handled PR better? The last Bag of Funyuns. Retrieved April 25, 2013 from http://mgdcomml.blogspot.com/2013/01/relating-to-public-susan-gkomen-vs.html?zx=e573c8ed65b07483 15. Scudder, V (2012, April 11). Lessons from the Susan G. Komen Planned Parenthood Debacle. The Public Relations Strategist. Retrieved on April 24, 2013 from http://www.prsa.org/Intelligence/TheStrategist/Articles/view/ 9721/1047/Lessons_from_the_Susan_G_Komen_Planned_Parenthood 16. Wallis, D (2012, November 8). Komen Foundation Struggles to Regain Wide Support. The New York Times. Retrieved on April 27, 2013 from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/09/giving/komen-foundation-worksto-regain-support-after-planned-parenthood-controversy.html? pagewanted=all&_r=1& 17. Fleming, M & O’Connor, A (2012, February 10). Tracking a Social Media Crisis: Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood. Banyan Branch. Retrieved on April 30, 2013 from http://banyanbranch.com/social-blog/tracking-a-social-media-crisissusan-g-komen-for-the-cure-and-planned-parenthood/ 18. Phillips, B (2012, February 6). Even in its reversal, Susan G. Komen’s crisis PR erred. PR Daily. Retrieved on April 25, 2013 from http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/ Even_in_its_reversal_Susan_G_Komens_crisis_PR_erre_10751.aspx 19. Phillips, B (2011, January 25). Seven Rules to Remember When a Crisis Strikes. Mr. Media Training. Retrieved on April 25, 2013 from http://www.mrmediatraining.com/2011/01/25/seven-rules-toremember-when-a-crisis-strikes/ 35
  • 36.   20. Gaudet, G (2012, February 7). Lessons from the Komen Controversy. Social Media Today. Retrieved on April 25, 2013 from http://socialmediatoday.com/glenn-gaudet/441446/lessons-komencontroversy   21. Wallace, T (2012, August 9). Komen president resigning, founder shifting roles. Yahoo Finance. Retrieved on April 25, 2013 from http://finance.yahoo.com/news/komen-president-resigning-foundershifting-roles-010547085.html 36