Komen vs Women

Susan G. Komen supporters are Protesting

A few weeks ago, Susan G. Komen for the Cure was thrown into a whirlwind of publicity. A decision had been made to drop funding to Planned Parenthood due to a policy the organization has about funding programs with ongoing investigations. This decision was made on a Tuesday and two days later, the decision to no longer support Planned Parenthood had been reversed. This reversal was due to a public backlash and intense usage of social networking. Women all over the country were upset about Susan G. Komen withdrawing funding to a program that helps women. Many critics said that it was hypocritical for Susan G. Komen to have ever made such a decision because their main goal is to save women and it would be going against their morals. The decision to withdraw from Planned Parenthood put Susan G. Komen in the spotlight for political debate. In order to save face and maintain their supporters, there was no option other than reversing their decision.

In diagnosing their repair strategy it’s obvious that Susan G. Komen chose two paths to redeem themselves. The organization definitely used the “good intentions” tactic as well as “apology”. I think they mainly used apology and this is for obvious reasons. Apology is defined as when the “crisis manager indicates the organization takes full responsibility for the crisis and asks stakeholders for forgiveness”. They wanted to apologize to all the supporters and friends they have gained over the years and they needed to begin to win back their trust. Susan G. Komen’s founder, Nancy Brinker, issued a public apology. I also think they used a little bit of the “good intentions” tactic. This repair strategy is defined as meaning to do well. The only excuse I have been able to find is that Susan G. Komen had in their policy to cut funding if a partner of theirs was under investigation. It was pretty vague but that is in my opinion a weak excuse and they are attempting to use it as a positive because they were just following their own rules.

All in all, I think that Susan G. Komen did they best they could with the card they were dealt. Ideally, they never should have cut funding and they should have foreseen that the issue would be taken politically and be read into. I think that issuing a public apology was the best option at that point because when an organization can admit its own faults, I believe they have the best chance at winning back their audience over time.


Susan G. Komen cartoon