Protecting Your Reputation: An Insight on How to Limit Media Damage for Female Led Charitable Organisations


Ngozi Fulani's story is a cautionary tale of what can happen when you don't have a public relations strategy in place.  However, like any reputable author it is imperative to set out the parameters and context of this article. 


The Importance of Public Relations

  • Having a long-term approach to PR and focusing on building businesses with legacy and heritage in mind is our demonstration and commitment to sustainability and longevity to equity equality, which can help businesses to weather short-term disruptions and adapt to changing market conditions. 

We live in a society where there is a rapid consumption of information.  Marketing With Love Digital has a long-term approach to PR and views our sector through the lens of building businesses with legacy and heritage in mind. It's important to have a clear understanding of FP Comms' perspective, and business approach when discussing public relations, particularly in the fast-paced and ever-evolving digital marketing landscape.

In today's digital world, where information is readily available and easily accessible, it's essential to have a clear and consistent message that aligns with the company's values and vision.  We know that:

  • Building a long-term approach to PR helps businesses establish themselves as trustworthy and reliable sources of information, which can lead to a positive reputation and increased brand loyalty.
  • By focusing on legacy and heritage, businesses can create a sense of continuity that resonates with consumers and builds trust over time. This approach can also help companies weather short-term challenges or changes in the marketplace by emphasising their long-standing commitment to their customers and stakeholders.
  • In addition to building trust, a long-term approach to PR can also help businesses stay ahead of the curve by anticipating changes in the market and adapting to new technologies and trends. By taking a proactive approach to public relations, companies can position themselves as industry leaders and influencers, which can attract new customers and partnerships.

That said, it is also important that we recognise the complicated and complex relationship marginalised communities within the UK have with the media, and how problematic it can be in a number of ways.

Here are some of the issues FP Comms works to counteract:

  1. Negative Stereotyping: The media has historically depicted black people in a negative light, portraying them as criminals, gang members, and other negative stereotypes. This type of representation can contribute to racial bias and prejudice.
  2. Lack of Diversity: The UK media industry has been criticised for its lack of diversity, particularly in terms of representation of black people. This lack of diversity means that black people are often underrepresented or portrayed in a stereotypical manner.
  3. Misrepresentation: When black people are featured in the media, they are often represented in a way that does not reflect the reality of their lives. This can include a lack of representation of positive role models, and a failure to report on important issues affecting black communities.
  4. Lack of Voice: Black people are often excluded from decision-making positions in the media industry, which means that they do not have a say in the way they are portrayed. This can lead to a lack of authentic representation and perpetuate negative stereotypes.
  5. Impact on Mental Health: Negative portrayal of black people in the media can have a significant impact on the mental health of black individuals. This can include feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.

Overall, we know that the problematic nature of the UK media for marginalised people is complex and multifaceted, and it is clear that there is a need for greater diversity and representation in the media industry, for more people to be in the position to control their own narrative within the media landscape. 


The case of Sistah Space - How the narrative unravelled out of control?

Fulani's story is a reminder that reputation management should be taken seriously, and that the risks associated with not having a PR strategy should not be ignored. Without a well-thought-out plan, it becomes difficult to control the narrative and manage any potential damage the PR noise will cause your business and your livelihood.

When appearing on mainstream TV shows like Good Morning Britain with Richard Madeley, there is a pre-requisite required to have a clear objective in mind.  Why?

Making important announcements such as resigning from your role within your organisation, it is advisable that a pre-prepared statement to all of your stakeholders should be issued, prior to making that public announcement. 

If there is  an absence of having a set or pre-prepared statement on your website or other forms of internal and external communication, an individual is left open to attacks from the media and other sources who will and can interpret the news as they wish, leaving room for establishments and outlets to propose assumptions and questions about why there was no official statement or press release about the  resignation,

Additionally, as the story unfolded, it became clear that there was a failure to secure a substantive number of media allies who could help her shape  and build momentum around the conversation in a positive way.


  • The first rule of a PR is building a strategy that successfully articulates the communication structure of the business, The strategy should be formulated and ratified by relevant stakeholders who are responsible for achieving the business' goals and objectives.

Reaching out to journalists and media contacts is certainly an important aspect of many PR strategies, however it is not necessarily the first rule. In fact, the first rule of any successful PR strategy should be to clearly define your goals and objectives.  Before you begin identifying and reaching out to journalists and media outlets, it is essential to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve with your PR efforts.


  • Are you trying to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or promote a particular product or service?

Once you have defined your goals, you can then begin to develop a targeted media list and tailor your messaging to effectively reach your target audience.

In addition to goal-setting, other important elements of a successful PR strategy might include message development, media training, crisis management planning, and ongoing measurement and evaluation of your efforts. Ultimately, the most effective PR strategies are those that are well-planned, strategic, and adaptable to changing circumstances.


The speed of communication

In the age of social media and instant communication, people should always bare in-mind that  information can spread rapidly and unexpectedly. This can be both an advantage and a challenge for business owners.

On the one hand, businesses can use social media and traditional media outlets to reach a wider audience and build brand awareness quickly. However, the fast pace of online communication also means that messages can be misinterpreted, edited, or taken out of context, leading to unintended consequences.

Therefore, it is crucial for business owners to be aware of the potential risks and benefits of how, where and when they communicate, and to develop a strategy for managing their online presence across media platforms - which also include tools like podcasts. 

This management process will involve:

  • regularly monitoring social media and other online channels
  • responding promptly to feedback and criticism
  • proactively engaging with customers and other stakeholders

It is also important to ensure that messages are clear, concise, and consistent across different platforms, to avoid confusion or misinterpretation.

Because individuals do not always take into account how quickly messages can spread and change, through editing, clickbait headlines, and platform formats, people are unable to keep up with the changing tides. The result of this lack of preparation can leave a fractured public image that leaves an individual struggling to reclaim control of their own narrative and ultimately announcing on an unsympathetic platform that they was resigning as CEO.


Why Good Morning Britain was the wrong platform for her resignation and who could have been a better fit?

Having journalists on your side during a crisis can be important for a number of reasons. Journalists can help communicate your message to a wider audience, and they can also help you correct any misinformation that may be circulating and provide a level of credibility to your response.

Based on the work Sistah Space does they would have benefitted greatly from having relationships with core women-led press,  therefore a better fit for Sistah Space's CEO to confirm her resignation would have been publications like:


Here are some ways to leverage journalist support during a crisis:

  1. Build relationships with journalists before a crisis occurs. This involves proactively reaching out to journalists, providing them with accurate information and engaging with them on social media and other platforms
  2. Provide timely and accurate information. During a crisis, it's essential to provide journalists with accurate and up-to-date information as soon as possible. This helps to build trust and credibility with journalists, and ensures that accurate information is being disseminated to the public
  3. Be transparent. Journalists are more likely to support your response if you are transparent about what happened, what you are doing to address the issue, and what you plan to do in the future to prevent a similar crisis from occurring
  4. Respond quickly to media inquiries. Journalists often work on tight deadlines, so it's important to respond quickly to media inquiries. This shows that you take the issue seriously and are willing to engage with the media
  5. Use social media to your advantage. Social media can be a powerful tool for reaching a wider audience during a crisis. By sharing accurate and timely information on social media, you can help shape the narrative around the crisis and build support for your response

Overall, building strong relationships with journalists before a crisis occurs and providing timely and accurate information during a crisis can help you leverage journalist support to manage the situation effectively.


Examining Some of the Approaches Used and How They Impacted the Charity

  1. Public media platforms - Entering the public media space without proper research and messaging training, is a recipe for disaster.  You should always research the journalist, the media outlet, and the show segment you will be appearing.
  2. Social media - Utilising the incorrect social media platforms without a plan you may receive negative feedback from users who feel that your content is irrelevant or inappropriate for that platform. This can damage your reputation and hurt your brand
  3. Business Plan and Protection - As you are building a brand and business it is imperative to have a structure that protects you both.  Allowing for separation without a detrimental impact on yourself and your business

Because of the lack of strategic thinking and planning, there will be an impact on the charity. This incident highlights the need for users to be mindful of what platforms they utilise for specific messages.  It also serves as an important reminder that we should all think twice before we hit send on any post, especially when it comes to sensitive topics like politics or religion.

We hope this post provides you an opportunity to create or review your business and PR strategy and put systems in place to reduce the impact negative press and media can have on your business and livelihood.


Our next article will investigate the infrastructure surrounding Susan Hussey and the lessons that can be learned about controlling the narrative.

At Marketing With Love Digital, we believe in connecting with our audience in a way that is both meaningful and respectful, so our posts and tools are designed with this in mind.