‘Kony 2012’ Controversy Puts Spotlight on Crisis Response Time

When the “Kony 2012” video hit the Internet on March 5, 2012, it’s safe to say that the majority of the public had no clue about the organization behind it, Invisible Children. But six days and 100+ million views later, the public became very interested in Invisible Children, as criticism of the 30-minute film’s content and questions about the group’s financial model cropped up on Facebook, Twitter and in the mainstream media. Invisible Children didn’t take long to respond to its critics—in a matter of hours it posted a video that featured CEO Ben Keesey deliberately and calmly answering every criticism. A written response was also posted on the group’s Web site. It was clear that Invisible Children had handled the situation in Crisis 101 textbook fashion, quickly responding to the issues raised in a transparent manner.

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About Scott Van Camp

Scott Van Camp is editor of PR News, an executive-level, reader-supported publication that helps enhance the business impact of PR. Scott has a rich background in both journalism and PR/marketing. He has more than 15 years of experience as a writer/editor at various consumer and trade publications. Scott was with VNU Business Publications for five years, including stints as managing editor at IQ News and Technology Marketing magazines and senior editor at Brandweek. In the PR/marketing sphere, he has served as corporate communications manager at MarketBridge, a marketing and sales consultancy, and as editorial director for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. While at the Council, Scott led several high-profile marketing research projects. He has also operated his own communications and media consulting firm, SVC Communications.

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