Since DKNY’s response to the almost-crisis situation they beautifully handled last week, they’ve been faced with an outcry of anger, disappointment and backlash for not donating the full 100K to the YMCA, as originally requested by Humans of New York. Here is just a small taste of what DKNY is experiencing on their Facebook page:
So what should DKNY do?
Honestly, it depends on them. If they want to match the donation and calm the cries, then they could, though this could potentially lead to more banter about how they only did it because everyone made them. The fact of the matter is, DKNY handled the initial mistake beautifully. They immediately corrected the error, issued an apology, complimented the photographer and decided to make a donation of 25K to the YMCA. The initial request for a donation of 100K was a little extreme, *in my opinion*, and one would have hoped that the brand would have been praised for their quick response and rectification of the situation AND for their generous donation. Unfortunately, such was not the case.
Though I talk often of the “court of public opinion” and as it’s important to consider this court prior to and during any crisis response/management, brands can also not succumb to bullying when they’ve done everything in their power to sincerely right a wrong. In my opinion, DKNY is doing right by standing by their initial response and decision.
Let’s not forget that the positive end to this entire situation remains that the YMCA has received $100,000 in donations and that Humans of New York were not only righted for the wrong done, but have also gained exponentially in brand-awareness.
Author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is a coveted keynote speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today’s leading organizations faced with the greatest risks. Learn more about Melissa and her work here.