Tag Archives: controversy

Learning From Komen’s Race For The Clue

8 Feb

What do these things have in common: Netflix, Bank of America, SOPA, Susan G. Komen for the Cure?

Answer: they’ve all got tread marks on their backs from social media protests.

The last six months have provided an amazing string of case studies on how protests movements are being changed forever by the speed and reach of social media.

Forget about organizing workers to gather signatures on a petition, or emails calling for a boycott of some company’s product. Those are your grandfather’s protest tools. Today’s protests take shape in a matter of days, and the battles can pivot in a matter of minutes. Gone are colorful posters with catch slogans. Today the canvases are short emotional messages with hash tags or links.

So every company that deals with the general public, makes large donations to causes, or has a line of business that can be considered even remotely politically influenced needs to rethink its communications plan. If you don’t have a disaster plan already on the shelf then this is your chance to prepare for being hit by a runaway train.

Let’s use the events surrounding Komen for our example. If you’ve been living under a rock you can find a good summary of the controversy here (under the heading Relationship With Planned Parenthood). If we pick apart the past seven days we come away with six critical lessons.

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