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Starbucks and Race

Mar 22, 2015

Well, did anybody seriously believe Starbuck baristas writing 'Race Together' on a coffee cup were going to improve race relations in this country? Especially now that CEO Howard Schultz has quit asking his employees to start coffee line hot button discussions. Is the campaign over before it started? Or is this just the beginning? Today Starbucks said this 'phase' of the campaign was always 'scheduled' to end yesterday. 

Schultz as a CEO of the second largest chain in America is maturing as a leader. A decade ago he sold his expensive NBA Seattle Sonics toy. Now he's tackling race relations in America.  Starbucks 'race together' wasn't just a twitter hash tag, it's a full fledged public relations campaign. It's a two-fer, it's a way of expanding, growing your company on the social conscience of the America.

Starbucks is planning on expanding into urban neighborhoods and over the next three years hiring 10,000 'opportunity youth'. All of this documented or should I say promoted via advertising with USA Today.

 A strange Race Together coffee line discussion campaign wasn't going to change race relationships in America....or will it? Maybe not in the few minutes while waiting for your coffee but because of the campaign it is being debated everywhere else. Everywhere else is where it needs to be discussed. Every time the phrase 'race relations' is mentioned people will also being hearing the name Starbucks.  

Social media derided the Race Together coffee cup campaign. Remember we're talking publicity here, I don't care what you say about me, just as long as you keep saying it. 

-Milt Priggee

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