Susan G. Komen… PR disaster?

There’s no denying that Susan G. Komen has gotten themselves into a big mess last week.

I know its been written about and re-written about but I chose to analyze this case in a Public Relations point of view. This case shows just how much power the public has and how much of that power stems from social media. In this situation the pubic relations department and the organization itself was hopeless and stood no chance against the fury of the public.

Image per IGBtimes

So for those of you who aren’t quite up to date on the whole debacle here is a VERY simplistic summary of what happened. Susan G. Komen headquarters decided to pull funding to planned parenthood because it was under government investigation. There was an immediate backlash from the public, donors and political figures. In  addition many of the Komen’s individual affiliates such as Susan G. Komen Connecticut and Oregon chapters did not agree with the policy change. After a couple of days of a media frenzy Komen issues a statement reversing the original decision.

What I think is so interesting about this whole episode is that it only took Komen a couple of days to reverse their position. Which, in my opinion happened for two main reasons. 1. They lost support of many donors and influential people while planned parenthood saw an increase in support and donations. 2. Social Media. As soon as the nation hear about the news it didn’t take long for the whole world to start speaking about it, and it took even less time for  people to begin commenting and showing their disgust. Facebook and twitter were blowing up with comments about Susan G. Komen.

This shows that it wasn’t the media that made an impact it was the viewers that made an impact on the Susan G. Komen’s decision to reverse their initial decision. It is only now that the public relations department can begin to mend ties again.


One thought on “Susan G. Komen… PR disaster?

  1. Jennifer – The Komen disaster demonstrated the power of social media. Social media gives everyone a voice, and people aren’t afraid to use it. In today’s society, companies need to understand how crises management has changed.

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