When the founder, flounders…


When your founder faces public disgrace and is the target of negative media speculation, how does your organization recover?  Moreso, how do you do this when your founder is a high-profile, world renown athlete?

Apparently, Livestrong Foundation has the answers to that.  However, they still struggle with balanced media coverage since the scandal broke about their founder’s doping.  For some reason, they can’t hide from the public speculation that somehow they too are as “murky” as the man who founded them.

Livestrong Foundation is doing fine.  Actually, they’re doing pretty damn good! They’re doing everything right, which is what many fail to do when things go wrong in the organization. 

Livestrong still remains a powerhouse nonprofit, dedicated to the mission of providing direct care to patients in a variety of ways:  through financial assistance, programs, and awareness.   However, reporters have since reported stories that have put the organization in a very difficult place to recover their noble public reputation.  If you do a Google search, I’m sure it will be flooded with information about the founder’s scandal that may or may not tie to Livestrong.

In a recent blog post on the Huffington Post’s website, Katherine McLane, VP of External Affairs expressed her frustration with how the reporters handle the group, when they report their stories.  Clearly, she’s doing her part, which is to convince us that the stories are not true and moreover that the organization is thriving. 

I don’t know if Livestrong can ever live down the Lance Amstrong doping scandal.  He is an integral part of the organization’s foundation.    And, consequently, this organization will be a part of the Lance Armstrong legacy, long when he’s gone.  It seems to me a few things need to happen.  Lance needs to change his public perception or the organization needs to do a drastic makeover that doesn’t include Lance.   Things that some may see as necessary would include a huge rebranding effort, ushering in a new brand ambassador, and to continue highlighting the work that they do in other ways like, social media. 

Over time, the stink will go away (we hope) of Lance Armstrong, provided he doesn’t do anything to worsen his image, because the reporters will continue looking into everything that he’s done, involved with and/or created.  If that’s the case, there is no insurance that the negative stories will ever stop beating down their door. 

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