Pull a nonprofit media stunt

Two weeks ago I did something I haven’t done in 20 years.  I talked (and cared) about the NBA.

Long story short, Kobe Bryant said that the 2012 Olympic Team could beat the original Dream Team (rude).  Michael Jordan laughed and Larry Bird ended the debate (with this tweet).

Yes, I own this.

How’d I get drawn in? I saw a friend’s Facebook post and saw the Pacer’s tweet about Larry Bird’s response, then read a couple sports blogs and now I’m writing this.

What shocked me more was that all of a sudden I was fired up about something that I normally couldn’t care less about, which, ironically, is the challenge nonprofit leaders and fundraisers alike face. Every. Single. Day.

This may have been a publicity stunt but even if it was, it worked, and if it wasn’t…it worked.  So, it got me thinking.

What if you and your organization explicitly called out those who are in your way of making progress?

To the media? In a very dramatic way?

Yes, you want to be careful. Yes, you want to be calculated. Yes, you might need to build some context or build the quote into a story. No, you don’t want to be flippant, accusatory, blindly courageous, negative or spread rumors. Yes, you want to be prepared for a backlash, returned scrutiny or a direct call from those you call-out.

But, maybe, just maybe, the public deserves to know what you think.  Maybe they need to know what (or who) is standing in the way of you moving your organization forward and solving the social problem at hand.  Maybe it’s a tool in your belt that you need to dust off and give a chance.

What do you think? Too risky? Too stunt-ish? Or just what’s needed? Let me know in the comments.

Agree? Disagree? Something to add?

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