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March 23, 2015
Starbucks Lesson: Attend to Coffee, Not the Cups
 
Don’t trifle with PR initiatives, however well intended they might be. That’s our takeaway, a caution, actually, to anyone who might be considering a splashy PR campaign, from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz ending his “Race Together” initiative at its coffee shops.

There’s no doubting Schultz’ sincerity about wanting to contribute to improving the nation’s racial climate. But “Race Together” was a muddled effort that, as it’s turned out, only lasted a week. More harm, possibly, than good was accomplished there.

Public relations is, after all, a discipline, not merely a prompting.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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