Challenge

A respected nonprofit organization was facing a potentially destructive crisis when its long-time leader was forced to step down due to a variety of circumstances beyond his control. For legal reasons, the individual could not provide details, but needed to effectively communicate his resignation to the board of directors, the members of the organization and the general public. Doing so required the delicate consideration of many factors to successfully navigate the risks associated with the announcement.

At this critical point in its history, the nonprofit required a public relations agency that it could rely upon and trust for sound guidance. Red Banyan Group was called in during this difficult time to help the director navigate the sensitive and high-stakes situation.

Realizing that concerns might arise as to how the organization would fair without his ongoing leadership, it was necessary for the retiring executive to reassure members that the nonprofit and its mission would continue after his resignation. Negative attention from the media also needed to be minimized to preserve the director’s privacy and to maintain the organization’s forward momentum.

Strategy

Red Banyan Group developed a comprehensive crisis and corporate communications plan to steer the organization through these challenging circumstances. The expert team worked closely with the resigning leader to create an effective public relations strategy for rolling out the news. Key messaging points and a detailed media strategy were mapped out in advance of the announcement. Red Banyan remained readily available as press counsel and took steps to minimize negative repercussions in all instances where complications arose.

Results

The transition announcement went smoothly and did not produce any significant degree of blowback from inside or outside the organization. Due to Red Banyan Group’s strategic guidance and proactive counsel, the director’s resignation did not become a prominent media story, nor did it generate panic within the nonprofit. Business and personal relationships emerged unscathed and the former executive to this day remains well-liked and well-respected by the board of directors and the members. Despite facing what could have been a substantial setback (or even the dissolution of the organization if not handled properly), the nonprofit’s work with Red Banyan has enabled it to continue forging ahead.