Reputation - Arthur W. Page Society

Report
CITIZEN ACTIVISM AND
NGO’S INFLUENCE ON
ORGANIZATIONAL
REPUTATION
Arthur W. Page Society
Case Study Competition in
Corporate Communications
Introduction
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The Calgary Stampede attracts more than one million visitors.
More than 7,500 animals participate in Stampede events.
Every year animal-welfare advocates pressure the Stampede to
stop “cruel events.”
Big cash prizes offered put pressure on competitors to win.
Animal-welfare activists were more vocal than ever in 2010.
This case reflects on:
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Citizen activism and NGO’s influence on organizational reputation.
The importance of managing an organization’s reputation.
The importance of building goodwill and becoming more resilient.
Calgary Stampede
Stampede Overview and History
Stampede Events
Source: YouTube
Animal-welfare Advocates

Western Canadian (Alberta and British Columbia)
animal-welfare groups that either worked with or
protested the Calgary Stampede in 2010:
 Calgary
Humane Society
 Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
(Alberta SPCA)
 Calgary Animal Rights Effort
 Vancouver Humane Society
 People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Calgary Stampede and Animal Care
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The Stampede takes “care of the animals very
seriously” and “welcomes the input of all organizations
and experts who share their passion for animals.”
The Stampede has established a collaborative working
relationship with the CHS and the Alberta SPCA.
In June 2010, the Stampede assembled a group of
leading experts to advise them on continuous
improvement.
A rule change for steer-wrestling was also announced.
Three Shots Across the Bow
Shot One – Debunking the myth
 June
21, 2010 – VHS, published an op-ed in the
Calgary Herald calling the “Stampede rodeo a stale
myth” and pointing out the fact that the Stampede is a
“piece of American mythology parading as Canadian
culture.”
Three Shots Across the Bow
Shot Two – Buck the Rodeo
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PETA turned the
attention of its “Buck the
Rodeo” campaign on the
Stampede
The campaign pressured
Stampede sponsors to
disassociate themselves
with this event.
Source: PETA
Three Shots Across the Bow
Shot Two – Buck the Rodeo
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The Vancouver Humane
Society joined p the
campaign and decreed
that “Rodeo is cruel: Tell
Bell!”
The Calgary Animal
Rights Meetup Group
took PETA’s message to
the streets of Calgary.
Source: Calgary Animal Rights Meetup Group
Three Shots Across the Bow
Shot Three – “That’s Entertainment?”
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The Vancouver Humane
Society placed the first antirodeo ad to run in the
Calgary Herald.
The Calgary Humane
Society, PETA and the
Vancouver Humane Society
called for officials to ban
the “violent” calf-roping
event.
Source: Vancouver Humane Society
Horse Deaths Chronology
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Friday, July 9, 2010
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Sunday, July 11, 2010
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A chuckwagon horse suffered a suspected heart attack and died.
A third horse broke its back during a bucking event.
A fourth horse suffered a shoulder injury during a chuckwagon race and
was euthanized.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
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A horse suffers a suspected heart attack in the team cattle penning
competition.
Monday, July 12, 2010
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And we’re off!
A horse died following a chuckwagon race.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
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A horse died after the chuckwagon races.
Social and Traditional Media Outrage
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Tuesday, July 13, 2010
 “Horses
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are being put under unnecessary stress.”
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
 “Renewed
calls to stop the use of animals for
entertainment.”
 “The rash of deaths has altered public attitudes.”
 “50 percent want to keep the rodeo while the other half
want to see the events shut down.”
Social and Traditional Media Outrage
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Thursday, July 15, 2010
“Please take action.”
 “Horses on race tracks
around the work have
injuries.. and have sudden
deaths..”
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Friday, July 16, 2010
“Rodeos are demeaning to
us all.”
 “We love animals and
rodeo.”
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Source: Calgary Herald
Social and Traditional Media Outrage
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Saturday, July 17, 2010
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“Six dead horses so far for
entertainment.”
Sunday, July 18, 2010
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Call for an immediate halt
to the Calgary Stampede
chuckwagon races.
Source: YouTube
Curtain Draws on another Stampede
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Reported to be one of the worst on record in terms
of animal deaths and human injuries.
 Animal
death toll “depressingly predictable.”
 The weather wreaked havoc on the 10-day event.
 A midway accident injured 10 people and sent six to
the hospital.
 Attendance was down 41,242 turnstiles compared to
2009.
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Media requests were denied the final day of the
Stampede.
Reputational Impact
Online/social media
1) July 9-19, 2010, 2) July 3-13, 2009.
Traditional media
1) July 9-19, 2010, 2) July 3-13, 2009.
Source: Sysomos Map
Three Relevant Concepts
1.
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Citizen activism and NGO’s influence on
organizational reputation.
NGO’s and citizen activist groups serve an important
role in society.
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Act as change catalysts.
Can influence opinions (negative or positive) through
social and traditional media, and other means.
Three Relevant Concepts
2.
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The importance of managing an organization’s
reputation.
A good reputation is an intangible asset that is built
over many years and can be lost overnight.
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Reputations are valued and have value.
Reputation can be managed.
Reputation and financial performance are linked.
Being considered a great place to work enhances staff
and volunteer recruitment and retention.
A good reputation provides a second chance during a
crisis – good will.
Three Relevant Concepts
3.
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The importance of being resilient.
The best way to minimize reputation risk is to have a
sufficient “resiliency” before problems occur.
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Reputation (good, neutral or poor) continues to build
overtime.
Companies with good reputations over time amass
resiliency to manage short-term reputation issues better
than those with neutral or poor reputations.
Negative publicity is more impactful than positive
publicity, but companies with good reputations are
impacted to a lesser extent.
Source: Ipsos-Public Affairs, 2004
Testing the Mood
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Who believes animals should be used for
entertainment purposes?
Are farm animals used in rodeo events treated as
cruelly as animal-welfare activists’ claim?
Should farm animals used in rodeo events be the
subject of moral consideration?
Are animal rights important?
Do animals have a sense of self similar to humans?
Testing the Mood
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Is it enough for the Stampede to work only with the
Calgary Humane Society and Alberta SPCA in
developing its animal care policies?
Are the demands of the animal-welfare activists in
this case fair and realistic?
What are the implications of PETA’s “Buck the
Rodeo” campaign tactics?
Breakout Groups
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Group A:
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Group B:
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Discuss how the Calgary Stampede responded to the outrage
using both the principles of reputation management and Arthur
W. Page.
Using both the principles of reputation management and Arthur
W. Page review the Calgary Stampede’s current attendance and
reputational challenges as presented in the case study.
Prepare a brief 10-15 minute presentation outlining
alternate approaches the Calgary Stampede could have
taken to mitigate the effects of the outrage and protect its
reputation.
Discussion Questions
Group A – Calgary Stampede
Response
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What could the Calgary Stampede
have done to reduce the negative
impact of the six dead horses?
If you were in charge of the Calgary
Stampede’s public relations function,
how would you have handled the
request for interview at the end of
the 10-day event?
What other approaches could the
Calgary Stampede have taken in
handling this issue?
How could the Calgary Stampede
have better communicated its
commitment to animal care?
Group B – Attendance and
Reputational Challenges
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How would you evaluate and prioritize
the risks to the Calgary Stampede’s
reputation in the wake of the six dead
horses and midway accident?
What opportunities exist for the Calgary
Stampede to improve its reputation?
What would the benefits be to the
Stampede of building goodwill with its
stakeholders throughout the year and
becoming more resilient? What strategies
would you recommend the Calgary
Stampede implement to rebuild its
positive reputation?
How should the Calgary Stampede
address its relationships with the broader
animal-welfare community?
Presentation Response
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Discuss the concepts presented from the perspective
of the following stakeholders:
o
o
o
o
o
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Sponsors and potential sponsors
Rodeo participants (professional cowboys)
Animal-welfare advocates
Traditional and social media influencers
Visitors to the Stampede (local, national and
international)
General public (Calgarians)
Page Principles and the Calgary Stampede
1.
2.
3.
Tell the truth.
Be transparent and forthcoming about each and every
animal death related to Stampede activities.
Prove it with action.
Show empathy and concern.
Follow-up on all of the Calgary Humane Society, Alberta
SPCA and Animal Care Advisory group’s recommendations
and report changes made.
Listen to the customer.
Improve two-way communication with the following
“consumer” groups: traditional and social media
influencers, animal-welfare advocates, visitors to the
Stampede and the general public.
Page Principles and the Calgary Stampede
4.
5.
Manage for tomorrow.
Actively manage its reputation.
Gain a better understanding of the ongoing changes
in society and its expectations of an organization, and
the influence of citizen activism through social media.
Conduct public relations as if the whole company
depended on it.
Public relations, community relations, stakeholder
engagement, communications and risk management
should be high priorities as part of the overall
reputation management strategy.
Page Principles and the Calgary Stampede
6.
7.
A company’s true character is expressed by its people.
Establish a reputation management strategy that
engages key stakeholders and emphasizes empathy,
transparency and accountability in issues and crisis
management.
Remain calm, patient and good humored.
Focus on rebuilding its reputation for the future.
Present a consistent, credible spokesperson that
resonates with all audiences who is always available,
always forthcoming and never defensive.
Reputation Management Principles
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Fombrum and Van Riel’s (2004) five principles
1.
2.
Visibility: “The more familiar you are to the public,
the better the public rates you” (p. 104).
Authenticity: “To earn the benefit of the doubt,
organizations have to convey absolute honesty in all
their interactions with stakeholders – otherwise, any
discredit by one stakeholder will instantly be
communicated to all of them, reducing the degree of
support they feel for the organization” (p. 163).
Reputation Management Principles
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Fombrum and Van Riel’s (2004) five principles
3.
4.
5.
Consistency: “An organization’s reputation platform has to be
consistently enacted across all stakeholder groups and through
all of the organization’s communications and initiatives” (p.
218).
Distinctiveness: “Distinctiveness builds strength of association
and comes from a success at building a reputation platform (its
customized slogans, unique trademarks and logos, and
personalized corporate stories) that is strategically aligned
and emotionally appealing” (p. 157).
Transparency: “Research has shown that the more transparent
an organization is, the more likely stakeholders are to rely on
their disclosures and to have faith in the organization’s
prospects” (p. 186).
Reputation Management Principles
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Dowling’s (2001) concepts of identity, image and
performance
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Identity: “The symbols and nomenclature an organization uses to
identify itself to people (such as the corporate name, logo,
advertising slogan, livery, etc.)” (p. 19).
Image: “Images of things (countries, industries, companies, and
brands) reside in the heads of people – they are not fixed
attributes of an organization” (p. 18).
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“Developing an organization’s desired image into a strategic asset
starts on the inside of the organization. When an organization builds
its desired image from the inside out, that is, on its values, policies,
capabilities, commitments and stakeholders, and culture, it has an
opportunity to present itself as authentic, concerned, unique, reliable,
honest, and trustworthy” (pp. 60-61). Dowling also refers to this as
“behavior before branding” (p. 61).
Reputation Management Principles
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Dowling’s (2001) concepts of identity, image and
performance
Reputation: “The attributed values (such as authenticity,
honesty, responsibility, and integrity) evoked from the
person’s corporate image” (p. 19).
 Super-brand: “The trust, confidence, and support that flow
from the person’s corporate reputation” (p. 19). “Good
super-brands are strategic assets that allow organizations to
grow and enter new markets” (p. 61).
 Performance: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. If
it’s difficult to pin down the quality of the reputations
people hold of your company, then it becomes doubly
difficult to manage this strategic asset” (p.11).
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Escalation – Part B
National and international voices weigh-in
 “Baywatch” star accused the Stampede of animal
cruelty.
 PETA and other animal-rights advocates compare
the Stampede to the seal hunt.
 The Humane Society of Canada speaks out.
 League Against Cruel Sports garnered support of
more than 50 British MPs in calling for the Canadian
government to end cruelty to animals.
Escalation – Part B
National and international voices weigh-in
 League Against Cruel Sports urged supporters to
write the Canadian High Commission to voice
opposition.
 League asked British travel agencies to stop
offering vacation packages to the Stampede.
 International SPCA’s oppose rodeo.
 “British support is a first step toward
internationalizing opposition to rodeos in Canada.”
Escalation – Part B
National and international voices weigh-in
 League’s campaign challenge by Calgary Humane
Society relationship.
 “Quit
their complicity in this animal abuse.”
Escalation – Pat B
Discussion Questions
 Would you advise incoming Stampede President
Michael Casey to begin planning for the potential
of a Stampede without the three events or the
entire rodeo itself?
 What, if anything, can the Stampede do to stave
off the pressure from these activist groups?
 What should the Stampede do to manage its
relationships with the Calgary Humane Society and
the Alberta SPCA amid this growing pressure?
Escalation – Part B
Applying the Page Principles
4.
Manage for tomorrow.
Reputation management must be conducted with a
long-term view.
Gain a better understanding of the ongoing changes
in society and its expectations of an organization, and
the influence of citizen activism through social media.
Conduct long-range scenario planning.
Manage relationships with the Calgary Humane
Society and Alberta SPCA to ensure positive, longterm working relationships with both organizations.
Escalation – Part C
Carbon Drilling Animal Abusers
 International attack on Alberta’s tourism industry.
 League
Against Cruel Sports: “Boycott the Calgary
Stampede.”

Corporate Ethics International “Rethink Alberta”
campaign launched half-way through the Stampede
 “Alberta:
the Other Oil Disaster.”
 “Rethink planning a trip to Alberta.”
Escalation – Part C
Carbon Drilling Animal Abusers
 International attack on Alberta’s tourism industry.
 Corporate Ethics International launched “Rethink
Alberta” campaign half-way through the Stampede
 “Alberta:
the Other Oil Disaster.”
 “Rethink planning a trip to Alberta.”
Escalation – Part C
Discussion Questions
 As the focal point of one of two international
campaigns adversely affecting Alberta’s tourism
industry, how would you advise incoming Stampede
President Michael Casey to respond?
 What would you do to manage key relationships
with Tourism Calgary, the City of Calgary, Travel
Alberta, and the Province of Alberta?
 How would you respond to pressure to fight back?
Escalation – Part C
Applying the Page Principles
5.
Conduct public relations as if the whole company
depended on it.
Public relations, community relations, stakeholder
engagement, communications and risk management
should be high priorities as part of the overall
reputation management strategy.
Manage its relationships with the Province of Alberta,
Travel Alberta, the City of Calgary, and Tourism
Calgary are paramount to the Calgary Stampede’s
ongoing success.
Escalation – Part C
Applying the Page Principles
7.
Remain calm, patient and good humored.
Focus on rebuilding its reputation for the future.
Present a consistent, credible spokesperson that
resonates with all audiences who is always available,
always forthcoming and never defensive.
Managing relationships with sponsors, staff, volunteers,
competitors, Province of Alberta, Travel Alberta, the
City of Calgary, and Tourism Calgary is paramount to
the Calgary Stampede’s ongoing success.

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