Komen Cost for the Cure

13 Apr

Image by: Barbara Boxer

The Susan G. Komen crisis occurred when the organization decided to cut grant funding to Planned Parenthood for concerns that the money was being spent on abortions instead of breast screening services. Komen placed itself in a very problematic situation once it became publicly involved in the abortion conflict. With very strong support or opposition on the issue, Komen lost the pro-abortion public when it cut financial assistance to Planned Parenthood; however, when it reversed its decision the anti-abortionists, whom may not have even been aware that Komen supported Planned Parenthood, were outraged when Kormen reversed its decision about cutting the financial help.

The reputation repair strategies that Komen used mostly resemble a combination of reminder, denial and apology. For starters, the reminder reputation repair strategy was used when Mrs. Brinker, Komen CEO,  had an interview where she stated the mission statement, of the Susan G. Kormen Foundation.  Also during the same interview she mentioned the reversal of the action making it seem as if there was no problem or crisis, which plays a factor in the denial reputation repair strategy. In the apology reputation repair strategy a “crisis manager indicates the organization takes full responsibility for the crisis and asks stakeholders for forgiveness.” That is exactly what Nancy Brinker did when she made the following statement, “We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives. The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen.”

This specific crisis is very controversial because it involves an issue where individuals take very strong pro or anti stances. The decision to cut grant funding towards Planned Parenthood because it was “under investigation” would have been controversial no matter what, but what would have helped the Komen Foundation is if they had been the ones to release the news to the public instead of having Planned Parenthood be the first to report it. Another aspect that would have helped Komen is if they had included the budgeting plans of the previous year,  so those who are anti-abortion individuals could see that only a small portion of the grant budget was spent on Planned Parenthood. The  backlash Komen received after its reversal could have been minimized. For example, if they had been aware that Komen only spent $700,000 for Planned Parenthood of the $93 million budget for grants available, they would have been more understanding. However, all of the other aspects of the reputation repair strategies used by Komen were done well and in a professional and proper process.


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