For a generation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), has represented a grassroots effort grown into a huge non-profit success story. Their mission to protect animals in various ways has become a major international movement. Millions donate to the cause ,and celebrities volunteer for revealing ad campaigns.
But recently, PETA has come under fire for allegedly editing a video – which surprised – and horrified – donors across the globe. Some advice for how PETA can dig their way out of this PR crisis. First, they need to make it clear that the accusations are only telling part of the story. There is much more that people need to know, more that will exonerate PETA in the eyes of their fans and supporters.
But, this revelation cannot just be tossed out there for consumption, it must contain three basic attributes to be fully successful –
You Have to be More Believable
It’s not enough to offer facts that are believable. Your story must be more believable than the accusations against you. The tone and style of the communication must infer both righteousness and humility in equal parts. It cannot come off as defensive or self righteousness.
You Have to be More Accurate
You better know what you are talking about. The accusations in this case include some truly horrific images. Visuals are very difficult to get past, but they are possible to counteract. You have to include your own positive visuals, but more importantly, your information must be obviously accurate, more accurate than the accusations against you.
You Have to Offer More Complete Information
One of the most vulnerable aspects of the accusations against PETA is that the content is remarkably incomplete. There are a ton of accusations and implications, but very little researched facts and entire contexts. PETA can fire back by revealing the entire context. That might make them partially vulnerable, because they will have to admit that some of the accusations are true, but they are true in a much different context.
Any one of these attributes alone will not be enough. PETA will have to hit all of these out of the park if they want to kill this horrific story, and get back to being defenders of the vulnerable animals of the world.