In class this week, we talked about communications crises. Coincidentally, the Wildrose Party of Alberta was facing a crisis of their own. On Monday, an email went out from the Wildrose on Campus Calgary group with the subject line: ‘Feminism is Cancer.’
This email was widely discussed on social media because of its content. Between attacking feminism and equating advocating for equality as a debilitating disease, many were angry at the WROC and with the Wildrose Party in general.
Quickly, Brian Jean came onto Twitter to make a comment:
The communications director of the WROC was fired and the party was quick to cancel the movie showing and state their position against the “feminism is cancer” stance.
Despite my views on their political platform, I’m pretty impressed with their reaction to this social media tire fire. They distanced themselves from the damaging message, they took action against the person who posted the message, and they didn’t try to pretend the message didn’t happen. This is quite the change from Brian Jean’s comment last summer about beating Rachel Notley, especially from a communications standpoint.
We can learn a lesson here. When someone representing our organization screws up this publicly, this kind of reaction could be the appropriate one. And while it could be argued that this is a bit hypocritical, at least this is a step in the right direction.
And we need to give a shout-out to Alberta NDP’s outstanding clapback: