Komen digs an even deeper hole

I wasn’t going to weigh in on the Susan G. Komen for the Cure PR nightmare because I thought it has been already sufficiently digested and analyzed, if not overly, by many others. But the latest wrinkle makes my blood boil.

Two days after pulling grants from Planned Parenthood because Komen doesn’t fund organizations under investigation, and deleting negative reactions to it on its Facebook page, it is now back-tracking from that argument to a much more disingenuous one.

Now SGK is saying it isn’t funding Planned Parenthood because it doesn’t actually perform mammograms and breast cancer screenings, only refers women to other organizations.

Really? For the last five years there was no problem awarding grants that help 170,000 needy women get the referrals they require to have essential breast cancer screenings. All of a sudden, this is no longer OK.

If the PR folks at Komen didn’t think they had enough trouble as it is, now they have to deal with their founder issuing a non-statement statement that is full of jargon and corporate speak sure to just make people madder.

Komen does a lot of great work to fight the battle against breast cancer. But what it is doing to respond to its decision not to grant any more funds to Planned Parenthood not only hurts the women who use the service to obtain breast cancer screenings, it also hurts the fight against cancer.

Many people have already decided to stop donating to Komen and instead are instead sending their money directly to Planned Parenthood. The organization has received donations that more than make up the grants SGK had given it.

There doesn’t seem to be much strategy going on to bring this crisis under control. Instead, they are trying to control a message in the social media world and it is going down in flames.

When in a crisis, what businesses and non-profits need to do is be honest and human. People can see right through the lies and insincerity. Trying to cover a bad response with one that is even worse only digs the hole deeper and affects the original goal the business was created to achieve in the first place.

The people who support Susan G. Komen for the Cure will need a sincere apology if Komen wants to get back in their good graces and get the support it needs to end breast cancer.

UPDATE: The Komen Foundation has reversed its decision on giving grants to Planned Parenthood.


2 Responses to Komen digs an even deeper hole

  1. Yup. I know I’m commenting after they reversed their decision, but now we’re wondering about internal issues (ok, we were wondering about those before) and even more about the timing of this announcement, and why, if they were so convinced earlier that pulling the funding was the right decision to make, suddenly it’s not. What a mess.

    • It’s hard to say. I am really flabbergasted at the way this whole thing progressed, and in such warp speed. Their heads had to be spinning.

      The timing really has to be about donations, doesn’t it? The longer they tried to defend their actions the more money that was being filtered to Planned Parenthood instead of the Komen Foundation. I mean in 48 hours they lost nearly a million dollars in donations.

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