Three Tips on How to Enter a Sensitive Conversation

October 15, 2017

Let's start with the basics. Harvey Weinstein has been accused of sexually assaulting multiple women. People seem to believe these allegations, because now senators are taking the money he contributed to their campaigns and donating them to nonprofits. That's a bold PR move on their part, and it seems like proof that people are trying to wipe their hands clean of Weinstein altogether. 


However, those who are not already involved with Weinstein may want to enter the conversation. Perhaps to show solidarity with sexual assault victims. Because naturally, nonprofits want their voices to be heard and there without a doubt will be more scandals like this one, I decided to do some research. I came up with three tips on how to effectively enter a conversation like this without ending up in hot water yourself.


Tip #1. Don't speak on an issue that you don't actively support


We are seeing a few celebrities speak out in defense of Weinstein, like Donna Karan. In an article posted on the WWD website, people have been discussing the backlash from the women are "asking for it" themed comments Karan made in a Daily Mail interview. This interview had a pretty immediate reaction, resulting in backlash and boycotting of DKNY, a brand formerly owned by Karan. We can look at Donna Karan's situation as a real PR nightmare. She did not need to speak on the issue, and by doing so she has become a large part of the Weinstein conversation. The moral here is, if your founder is known for having an unpopular opinion, tell her to shut her mouth at least until a scandal has blown over.


Tip #2. Speak out, but do it effectively. 


Unlike Donna Karan New York, there are some companies who should be discussing the Weinstein dilemma. Nonprofits are one of them. My first thought when I heard about this scandal was, "what are the feminist activists saying?" And when I scrolled through twitter, I was not disappointed. The National Organization for Women has been very active on twitter this week, but they have spoken on the Weinstien case somewhat indirectly. Instead of just tweeting their opinion, which could easily get lost in a timeline of Weinstein opinion pieces, NOW turned their twitter page into a sort of hub for Weinstein updates. Their use of retweeting was effective in stating their opinion and providing utility for visiting their page. If you're curious about it, you can view their feed here


Tip #3. Be there for those affected

Another effective way to put yourself on the right side of an issue is to offer solidarity with those affected. A great example of this is on the Women's March Instagram page. They wrote, "It's been a really hard week for sexual assault survivors. To all the survivors out there: we are thinking of you. You are not alone." This is a simple gesture, but very effective in a situation like this because t provides solidarity with the issue in a timeless fashion. If you look at that post in 6 months, it will still be meaningful even though Weinstein may not.

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