The role of Social Media in the Susan G. Komen Foundation debacle…and beyond

With the recent decision by the Susan G. Komen Foundation to stop funding to Planned Parenthood, and their reversal of that decision days later, the organization inadvertently created a firestorm. Add to that the resignation of the foundations V.P. of Public Policy, Karen Handel, and a perfect storm was created that did little to calm the waters stirred up by the hierarchy of the organization. As we speak it is safe to assume the process of adding the shine back to the tarnished image of SGK will be undoubtedly be launching soon.

One lesson that we can learn from this P.R. nightmare is that social media is a powerful tool…when used for good, or evil. Also, the truest lesson is that many voices joined together can quiet the voice of one…especially one with a self serving political agenda.

The Huffington Post posted an entry all about the power of social media. The power is evident in the turnaround done by SGK after the backlash by social media-philes everywhere.

Now, another “conservative grassroots” organization has taken to the social media network with their own cause du jour. The group One Million Moms has been rallying for newly revamped retailer J.C. Penney to drop spokesperson Ellen DeGeneres. Their reasons were outlined in a lengthy press release, which included the following statement:

“Funny that JC Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of its customers are traditional families.”

The retailer has said they had no intention of dropping DeGeneres. And whether you agree with their effort or not, OMM has tapped into the concept of social media and its importance in reaching the most people…hoping to inspire those people to spread their message to others. Agree with their message or not, the process works…as evidenced by the SGK situation.

So how do you feel about the upsurge in the power of social media? We welcome your comments.


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