How Important Are Brands In A Crisis?

Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina

PEOPLE ALL OVER AMERICA WERE emotionally and intellectually overwhelmed by the plight of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Everyone wanted to do what they could to help – but how?  That was the question, and to answer it, America turned to trusted brands: The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, MSNBC, MTV, CNN to name a few.  The bigger the brand, the bigger the trust.  In fact, President Bush asked Americans to send money to the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army during one of his first press conferences after the hurricane.

If you type Katrina Hurricane Relief or a similar phrase into a search engine, you’ll get hundreds of thousands of sites.  Add the word “donate” to your search query, and the keyword marketing kicks in hard.  You’ll find companies like Amazon (where you can donate to the Red Cross with one click) right in the middle of the effort.

Is there a better way to help?  There are hundreds of interesting Web site that have popped up this week offering to help people find loved ones, donate money, build houses, or work on the recovery effort.  In fact, almost anything you can think of has a Web site dedicated to making it happen. (Which, by the way, is a wonderful benchmark in our transition to an information economy.) I assume that most of these sites are genuine and that the people running them are trustworthy and will do what they say they will do, but how can I be sure?

Are the issues of brand trust, consumer permissions and brand relevance amplified in the aftermath of a crisis, or are consumers more motivated to find exactly what they want in stressful times?  Are there trusted search tools (other than word of mouth and asking friends) that will be more trusted?

I’ve included a list of organizations that are dedicated to helping America heal itself.  Shelly Palmer

Donate and Volunteer

Adventist Development Relief Agency — (800) 424-2372

American Friends Service Committee — (888) 588-2372

American Red Cross — (800) 435-7669 / (800) HELP-NOW / (800) 257-7575 (Spanish)

AmeriCares — (800) 486-4357

American Refugee Committee — (612) 872-7060

America’s Second Harvest — (877) 817-2307

ASPCA — (866) 275-3923

BAPS Care International

Baptist World Aid — (703) 790-8980

B’nai B’rith International — (888) 388-4224

Brother’s Brother Foundation — (888) 323-1916

Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund

” Catholic Charities USA — (800) 919-9338

Catholic Relief Services

Christian Children’s Fund — (800) 776-6767

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee — (800) 55-CRWRC

Church World Service — (800) 297-1516 ext 222

Counterpart International, Inc. — (888) 296-9676

Direct Relief International — (805) 962-3700

Episcopal Relief and Development — (800) 334-7626

” Feed the Children — (800) 525-7575

Florida Hurricane Relief Fund

Food for the Hungry — (877) 780-4261 ext 2506

” Gifts In Kind International

Habitat for Humanity — (866) 720-2800

Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless — (404) 755-3353

Interchurch Medical Assistance — (877) 241-7952

International Aid — (800) 251-2502

International Medical Corps — (800) 481-4462

” International Mission Board

International Orthodox Christian Charities — (877) 803 4622

International Relief and Development, Inc. — (703) 248-0161

International Relief Teams — (619) 284-7979

International Rescue Committee — (877) 733-8433

Islamic Relief — (888) 479-4968

Life for Relief and Development — (800) 827-3543

Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation

Lutheran Disaster Response — (800) 638-3522

MAP International — (866) 627-4483

Mennonite Disaster Service

Mercy (M-USA) — (800) 55-MERCY

MercyCorps — (800) 852-2100

” Mission to the World

Moveon.org: Hurricane housing

National Organization for Victims Assistance — (800) TRY-NOVA

Network for Good

Noah’s Wish — (530) 622-9313

North Shore Animal League — (877) 4savepet

Northwest Medical Teams — (800) 959-4325

Operation Blessing — (800) 730-2537

Operation USA — (800) 678-7255

Oxfam America — (800) 77OXFAM

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance — (800) 872-3283

Project HOPE

Quarters From Kids

Relief International — (800) 573-3332

Salvation Army — (800) SAL-ARMY

Samaritan’s Purse — (800) 665-2843

Save the Children — (800) 728-3843

Society of St. Vincent de Paul

Southern Baptist Convention — (888) 571-5895

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation — (877) 387-6126

The US Coast Guard Foundation — (860) 535-0786

The Humane Society of the United States — (888) 259-5431

The United Way — (800) 272-4630

UNICEF USA — (800) 4UNICEF

” Union for Reform Judaism

United Jewish Communities

United Methodist Committee on Relief — (800) 554-8583

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) — (202) 347-3507

Water Missions International — (843) 769-7395

World Concern — (800) 755-5022 ext. 0

World Emergency Relief

World Health Organization

World Hope International — (888) 466-4673

World Relief — (800) 535-5433

World Vision — (888) 56-CHILD

Locate the Missing

” Alabama Hospital Association

American Red Cross Family Links Registry — (877) 568-3317 / (877) LOVED-1S

” Homeport: Hurricane Katrina Disaster Recovery Assistance

Hurricane Katrina Connection message board

Hurricane Katrina Official Government Website

Katrina people search

National Next of Kin Registry — (800) 915-5413

” NOLA.com Missing Persons Forum

” Official Web site of Louisiana

” Operation get-in-touch

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, co-founder of Metacademy, and the CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC and writes a popular daily business blog. He’s the Co-Host of the award-winning podcast Techstream with Shelly Palmer & Seth Everett and his latest book, Blockchain - Cryptocurrency, NFTs & Smart Contracts: An executive guide to the world of decentralized finance, is an Amazon #1 Bestseller. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.

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