Starbucks has had a rough week after an issue of racial discrimination at one of its stores in Philadelphia led to national headlines. In response, the company has gone beyond the traditional CEO apology and announced that it will close more than 8,000 stores across the U.S. for one day for antibias training among its employees.
Starbucks found itself in hot water that had nothing to do with brewing coffee when the manager at a downtown Philadelphia location called the police on two black men who were sitting in the shop, waiting for a colleague to show. For communicators, this crisis offers substantial takeaways about the power of social listening and the need for timely accountability.
To be meaningful to all stakeholders, and thus have staying power, CSR must be aligned with the core business and products of the company.