Once your organization’s reputation is seriously damaged, it’s difficult to restore trust and focus on successes.

And once your organization’s reputation is damaged multiple times—as is the case for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, with its screw-ups in de-funding Planned Parenthood, suing other organizations with “cure” in their organizational or program names and partnering with the heart-stopping Kentucky Fried Chicken—restoring confidence and support is almost impossible.

Nancy Schwartz in Crisis Communications | 3 comments
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nonprofit-branding-strategiesThanks for your intense interest in the Komen-KFC busted brand case study.

You jumped into the conversation on a critical issue in nonprofit marketing–what Komen should do next and ongoing standards for choosing partners, with an unprecedented level of participation. The 100 plus comments and emails submitted by Getting Attention e-update and blog  readers indicate the strong feelings about this deal.

What’s so compelling here is the range of issues the story raises for nonprofits of all foci, size and budget, including:

  1. The impact a bad decision makes on your organization, now and in the future—Komen and KFC forever?
  2. The importance of being poised for effective crisis communications—Komen has kept very quiet about the KFC partnership, letting others fill the space with their perspectives on the deal, and the issue.
  3. The necessity to define standards for partner selection—Standards are key baselines for decision making on partnerships of all kinds, although in general corporate partnerships require even more scrutiny.

Read the full article to learn how to handle these challenges to strengthen your nonprofit marketing now and in the long-term.

P.S. Messages that connect are a priority for all organizations and the prerequisite for motivating your base to act. Learn how to craft the most essential message — your tagline. Download the Nonprofit Tagline Report, filled with must-dos, don’t dos, case studies and 2,500+ nonprofit tagline examples!

Nancy Schwartz in Branding and Messages, Cause Marketing | 0 comments
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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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