More than a hollow and cookie-cutter corporate document, “Toward a Vision for Racial Equity & Inclusion at Starbucks: Review and Recommendations” reads as a realigning of perspectives and priorities. This is the work of a brand that has taken a hard, honest look at itself and is ready to share what it has learned.
Conventional wisdom held that brands should avoid weighing in on politics or social issues. But as research reports and surveys show, consumers now want brands to stand for something beyond goods and services. That said, brands wade into the political world on several levels, although they do so at their peril, and sometimes their motivation is unclear.
As we know, brands must stand for something beyond the products and services they offer. This means they can no longer remain silent in the face of an attack. They also need to admit when they make mistakes. Margaret Hoerster, a senior partner at Finn Partners, and Ameet Sachdev, a VP at the firm, argue timing, messaging and relevance play important roles when brands decide they should address an issue publicly.
Should your brand and CEO address a social or political issue? How about one that on its face seems to have little to do with your company? Last week during an IPR conference in Washington, D.C., Southwest Airlines’ CCO Linda Rutherford discussed a mechanism the carrier uses to advise its CEO about the social and political topics he should engage with.
Ethics has become an issue for businesses, including PR. The new Global Communications Report from the Center for PR at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism finds PR pros and students certainly are concerned with ethics and the public’s perception of PR’s ethics. The respondents are less clear about what to do about it.
With the March for Our Lives set for Saturday at venues around the country, what should brands be doing, if anything, to prepare? We asked Barie Carmichael , a senior counselor at APCO Worldwide and a former communicator at iconic brands. In sum, it’s a delicate dance and one size does not fit all.
The Global RepTrak 100, the gold standard of corporate reputation, shows corporate reputation declining for the first time since 2009. Why has it declined and what can brands do about it? We answer those questions and more in our coverage.
Not long ago, companies were counseled to stay out of politics and social causes. ‘Stick to business and you won’t offend customers or potential customers,’ was thought to be the best route. Things have changed. Radically. In a collaboration with 3BL Media, a CSR news distribution and content marketing firm, PR News convened a roundtable to discuss CSR best practices.
At the Oscars, celebrity influences spoke out as conscious, mindful advocates instead of talking heads. Some of the most significant moments include the snubbing of Ryan Seacrest, a passionate advocation for dreamers and the suggestion of a rider that would make inclusion in productions a requirement. These tactics have implications that reverberate for beyond the Hollywood Hills.
When Delta joined a growing list of companies rescinding discounts for NRA members, it did so by proclaiming its neutrality. And when FedEx decided to keep its NRA discount in place, the brand also attempted to stay neutral. But both quickly found that when it comes to an issue as controversial as gun control, brands can’t have it both ways.