Busted Nonprofit Brand, Part II: Anatomy of a Corporate Sponsorship Meltdown

kfc-komen-nonprofit-brandYour feedback by May 7 please!

Choosing a corporate sponsor for your nonprofit has tremendous potential to either help or harm your organization and its mission. And there are many great examples where such sponsorship has proven to be a genuine win-win.

But it can be a slippery slope once you step out. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been watching, sometimes mouth agape, an ill-conceived and poorly handled corporate partnership.

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know I’m talking about Buckets for the Cure, Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s® cause partnership with with Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), launched via a huge TV advertising campaign. The campaign came on the heels of KFC introducing its mammoth-scale, heart-stopping Double Down sandwich.  I first blogged the Komen-KFC news here.

As I see it, Komen has undermined its own brand by partnering with KFC to market one of the unhealthiest foods there is — fried chicken in a pink bucket. And this to a nation struggling with a wide-spread obesity problem, a key precursor to breast cancer. The Colonel going pink? That’s absurd.

Read the complete Komen-KFC case study to learn how to stay out of this kind of mess when selecting corporate partners and how not to fail crisis communications 101.

Your feedback please: What’s your take on the Komen-KFC deal? What should be the standards for partnerships, particularly with corporate partners? And what should Komen do now to pull itself out of this hole?

Please share your thoughts by May 7. Just comment below or email me, and I’ll share your perspectives out with the Getting Attention community next week.

Some compelling recommendations have come in already, on both issues, and I’d like to add yours.  You can get an idea of the range of perspectives from reviewing these comments on the initial blog post. Thanks.

P.S. To follow the story as it develops, subscribe to the Getting Attention e-update.

Nancy Schwartz in Branding and Messages, Cause Marketing | 11 comments
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