August 7, 2015

Dear Planned Parenthood: Some Friendly Advice

planned parenthood

To: Cecile Richards, et al:

I’ve got about 20 years of activism in various forms under my belt. I’ve walked neighborhoods and knocked doors and passed out flyers. I’ve folded mailers and licked envelopes and stamps (my parents even turned my 11-year-old birthday party into a “mailer party.” I did not like it). I’ve been up past midnight putting out campaign signs on street corners and I’ve been a precinct vice chairman and a local activist group officer. I’ve been a ground pounder and I’ve done social media work. I’ve written leaflet material that affected the state party platform during a major election year. Also I have a liberal arts degree. I’ve even worked on response pieces to dirty campaigning, as in reacting to genuinely false campaign material during actual political election campaigns.

So let me offer some suggestions.

+ Grab all of the employees featured in the videos – you know who they are, even the ones the public hasn’t seen yet – and get them to those state and congressional hearings to clear the air. Their testimonies stating exactly how they were misquoted and misrepresented are pretty crucial to proving your case that they were…misquoted and misrepresented.

+ Take on the videos directly. StemExpress getting the courts to block more videos being released is counter-productive. You can use the viral nature of the internet in this regard and the fervor of your supporters to your advantage. Get college students. College students have all the passion and time you need to get this done lickity-split. Get a few of Women’s Studies clubs and assign each of them a video. Let them sit and dissect each full-length version and compile their own projects showing when and where exactly each recorded conversation was edited in such a way to alter the basic spirit of what your employees were saying.

+ Get your social media people out sharing the links to the original, unedited videos. Every day. Throughout the day. There’s a reason you swear in court to testify to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If they whole truth is in your favor, get it into the hands and onto the screens of as many people as possible.

Right now, this is basically a situation where CMP releases conversations that gives the impression that your organization repeatedly, systemically, unblinkingly violates federal law as a matter of practice on a daily basis across the nation – and you simply say, “Nuh-uh we don’t.”

You can do better. If the truth is on your side, you can do better. None of these Ideas I’m offering you are expensive, complicated, or even that creative. They’re pretty simple and obvious to anyone who sits down and spends 5 minutes trying to come up with effective methods of damage control.

So why aren’t you doing them?


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