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    Crisis Communication Lessons from Planned Parenthood

    Anatomy of Strong Crisis Communication: What Planned Parenthood Did Right

    • Prepared – It already had a crisis communication plan in place that it could tailor and put into action quickly; it recognized more attacks were coming and prepared its supporters to brace themselves.
    • Decisive – It responded quickly (with the facts in hand) and decisively through written and digital channels (email, video, Twitter).
    • Empathetic – PPFA’s response struck the right tone. It was strong and did not concede wrongdoing but acknowledged that the optics weren’t optimal.
    • Engaging – Planned Parenthood’s supporters are passionate and ready to act – through Twitter, blog posts, emails to Congress, etc. The group used the power of personal stories to connect with people on the issue.
    • Connected – PPFA prioritizes building and maintaining strong ties with allies and decision makers willing to stand in support of the organization

    Planned Parenthood has had a rough few weeks.

    To recap, an anti-choice organization called the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), a fake corporate entity, captured undercover videos of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) executives allegedly discussing the sale of fetal tissue. Actors posing as buyers from a fictional medical company met with a PPFA official while hidden cameras rolled. CMP then sliced and diced three hours of footage to create an eight-minute clip that makes it appear as though Planned Parenthood was acting nefariously. CMP’s main purpose is to put Planned Parenthood out of business.

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    How Do I Love You, Let Me Assess the Ways

    This is a preview of ComNet15 Breakout Session Communications and Evaluation: Kindred Spirits or Mortal Enemies?, sponsored by The Atlantic Philanthropies.

    How Do I Love You, Let Me Assess The Ways

    A musical in 2 Acts (with some acting out)

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    Big Data

    Narratives shape how we perceive the world and have a profound impact on organizations seeking to address pressing public issues. But how do you know which narratives define the discourse on a given topic? With people around the globe expressing narratives online in unprecedented volumes, there are new opportunities to better understand and influence opinion — if you know how to filter the signal from the noise.

    Narrative Analytics leverages millions of data points in traditional and social media to decode people’s underlying narratives, map them at scale, and use them to inform strategy. Watch this webinar to learn more about this process and how to draw on the power of “big data” to address the communications challenges your organization faces.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Techniques for quantifying the impact of a narrative
    • Different kinds of data and what they reveal about a narrative’s volume, “stickiness,” or representativeness
    • Evaluating foundation communication efforts through narrative monitoring


    Duration: 66 minutes

    For more information, please visit www.monitor-360.com.


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    This is a preview of ComNet15 Breakout Session Ready Are You? Communications Jedi Training For Your Next Frontier, sponsored by Barr Foundation.

    For The Communications Network’s annual conference, I like proposing breakout sessions that center on questions I don’t know the answers to, questions I suspect many of us share, and for which I’ve also got a hunch the best answers lie on the other side of a group of us hashing it out together.

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  • The Selfie — July 2015

    Mandy Van Deven
    Communications Officer, Foundation for a Just Society

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