If you ever thought these Twitter and Facebook things were passing fads or merely ways to pass time, you’d only need to look at posts to both in recent weeks about Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s decision regarding grants to some Planned Parenthood organizations to recognize the enormous influence of social media. Regardless of one’s feelings on the funding issue, there are certainly some lessons for nonprofits; ranging from how organizational decisions are made and policies applied, the impact decisions made at the national level can have on local affiliates, the power of social media and perhaps the most important of all, the critical need for a crisis communications plan. The Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence in Kentucky tools note that a communications plan and, more specifically, a crisis communications plan is a best practice. Recent events with Komen and Planned Parenthood as well as some recent challenges facing charities in the Bluegrass region would indicate plans like this are not a best practice luxury, but a requirement. The last thing your organization wants to do in a time of crisis is risk your good name, reputation and hard work by making a potentially damaging public relations move . Or even worse, making no move at all – being paralyzed and allowing others to dictate and frame the discussion.
This was on our long to do list at KNN, but it just got a good bump to the top! How about your organization? Have you developed a communications and/or crisis communications plan? What challenges have you experienced in creating the plan? Have you ever had to implement the crisis component? Please comment below!