Sick Cows. Sick Abuse. And a Vigorous, Effective Response.
Fallout from the dramatic and disturbing undercover video of the gross abuse of sick cows in a meat processing plant in California continued to capture the attention of the national and international tv networks and newspapers this week.
The video, shot by an undercover agent for the Humane Society of the United States, triggered the recall of 140 million + pounds of meat and a tsunami of public outrage.
The event also triggered in me a wave of admiration for the vision and leadership of Wayne Pacelle, the President and CEO of the Humane Society, and his effectiveness in transforming a venerable, but somewhat quiet animal rights organization into a fighting tiger with a set of communcations "best practices" we all can learn from when it comes to inspiring donor loyalty, attracting new support and demonstrating in a very specific way an organization worthy of support.
Just take a quick tour of HSUS’ website today and you’ll see what I mean. Not does the undercover video and the story of horrific abuse lead the homepage, but readers are given a range of options –both informational and action-oriented — to become involved.
First, there’s a link to the full-story behind the investigation. Then a link to give the reader a chance to get involved by sending a message to the US Dept of Agriculture demanding action. Finally, check out the message from "Brian", the undercover investigator, urging readers to help meet the costs of such investigations. This message and the donation page on which it appears is masterful.
What tops it all off in my judgment is Wayne’s blog entry concerning the investigation and what he hopes the legal fall-out will be. In clear and personal terms you can feel his outrage and concern.
As one of the 10 million members and supporters of the Humane Society of the United States, I’m feelin’ mighty proud of HSUS this morning and ready to do whatever I can to help.
Wayne Pacelle, you deserve a raise!