Howard Schultz doesn't like the situation the country is in, and he's saying something about it. So what, a lot of us are unhappy about the state of things. So maybe Schultz will get some ears and stir some resolve. He's the billionaire CEO of Starbucks and his full-page "open letter" is appearing in national publications, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Schultz doesn't want to have just a coffee shop conversation.
Good for him and good, likely, for Starbucks, too. True, coffee shops are a natural setting for conversation and debate. But suppose other brands made their views on our dire government stalemate known in a concerned, respectful manner, too. That would be good for all of us. Sure, it's PR from a soapbox, but it would be good PR — identifying businesses with a national need for civility and leadership. We could all sip lattes to that.
Sounding ethical and environmental alarms isn't new to Starbucks, of course. And it clearly hasn't hurt it as a business. Other firms might consider doing so as an aspect of good corporate citizenship, and PR.
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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