Canadian Cancer Society: Fundraising Controversy
(4 pages of text)
On July 6, 2011, the communication director for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) in Toronto, Ontario, was faced with a challenging situation. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) had just released an online article that focused on the 2011 CCS budget and how the CCS allocated millions of dollars each year. The article provided details on how the proportion of donation money that the CCS spent on cancer research each year had decreased from 40 per cent in 2000 to under 22 per cent in 2011. With the CBC report circulating in both television and online media, public speculation into the CCS’s financial management of public donations was starting to grow. It was clear that the CCS communication team would need to respond. A communication strategy would need to be developed for the CCS to follow, along with a press release to be posted the next day on the CCS website.
This case places students directly into the role of an organization facing a crisis communication situation in the media, and mounting public speculation requires the organization to officially respond. Students consider the challenges management faces when being pressured to quickly develop a communication plan to resolve a crisis situation. Students also get a chance to develop their analytical and communication skills with the assistance of the communication plan framework. Using the framework, students must decide upon a starting point, a strategy, and tools in order to formulate and deliver a successful communication plan, along with a press release to be posted by the company the next day.
Possible areas of focus:
- Ways that an organization develops a communication plan to respond to a communication crisis.
- Determining what information is important to include in a press release when an organization responds publicly.
- Highlighting the importance of identifying and prioritizing different stakeholders.
Health Care Services
Canada, Large, 2011
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