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Susan G. Komen
Transcript of Susan G. Komen
Case Study #4
What is SGK?
Komen Image Repair
How did Komen handle the situation?
Result of the Situation
Susan G. Komen lost her 3 year fight with breast cancer in 1980
Founder: Nancy Brinker
In honor of Susan G. Komen, the organization helped fundraise for:
1. Breast cancer research
2. Community health
3. Global outreach
4. Public policy initiatives
How are SGK Funds Distributed?
SGK's Contributions to Breast Cancer Research
Reduced breast cancer death rate by 30% in the past 20 years
70% of women now receive breast cancer screenings regularly
By 2012, Komen raised $610 million towards the fight against breast cancer
Established October as breast cancer awareness month and the pink ribbon as the symbol
Komen distributes grants to health center affiliates to provide:
Breast cancer screenings
In 2012. Komen changed their grant policies which affected their relationship with Planned Parenthood
Komen's long-term affiliate, Planned Parenthood, became the subject of a congressional investigation
Negative publicity prompted Komen to rethink grant money distribution
Komen changes its policy to prevent any organization currently under investigation from receiving funding.
Does not publicly announce decision
: Planned Parenthood learns about policy change on an anti-abortion blog
Asked to meet with Komen, but was denied
January 31, 2012:
The AP breaks the news about Komen's policy change, framing the issue as a politically motivated attack.
Planned Parenthood immediately responds with its disapproval and garners support from social media
The public is outraged and donations to Komen drastically drop.
Komen used news releases, a televised interview and social media to communicate with the public.
CEO Brinker handled most of the communication.
Issued 1st statement on Facebook the day after the Associated Press broke the story.
The policy change was not based on politics and these rumors were "dangerous distractions."
Komen's Key Messages
Its first priority was to serve women.
The purpose of the policy change was to "advance [its] mission" in programs that "directly affect women."
Took "full accountability."
Komen used executive resignations, a leadership conference, and outsourced PR firms.
Senior Vice President Handel, CEO Brinker and others.
Multimillion dollar ad campaign.
Penn Schoen Berland survey to assess public opinion.
Loss of Participation
Decline in Donations
Drop in Brand Equity
Image Repair Phase
"Komen CEO on Planned Parenthood Rift"
Repeatedly defended policy, denied political nature
Failed to "steal thunder," allowed Planned Parenthood to control the story
Always one step behind
Finally, Komen changed its tune
Released apology and promise to change policy...
"We want to
apologize to the American public
for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives...We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes ...were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not.
Our desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will
amend the criteria
to make clear that
disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive
in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair...
Starting this afternoon, we will ...
refocus our attention on our mission
and get back to doing our work. We ask for the public’s understanding and patience ..."
Place any questions in our pink donation box.
Thank you for your donations!
Komen Loses The Public's Support
PRSA: "Be honest at all times."