Starbucks Urges Lawmakers to “Come Together” to Avoid Fiscal Cliff
With the fiscal cliff looming ahead, Starbucks is attempting to use its popularity to foster political cooperation. As lawmakers return to Washington this week for their final attempt at a compromise, Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz is encouraging barristas in approximately 120 D.C.-area stores to write “come together” on all coffee cups served today and Friday.
But Starbucks’ political push goes beyond written encouragement on paper cups. The company will reportedly utilize its social media accounts and plans to advertise in The Washington Post and The New York Times to voice the “come together” message. Schultz also stated that the company’s efforts will continue to escalate if legislative talks do not progress.
Starbucks’ willingness to put itself out there and spend money on what it believes is right is a refreshing change in the corporate world, and the well-designed campaign demonstrates the depth of the company’s public relations savvy. The stunt has already garnered significant publicity for Starbucks and the campaign is very low risk as nearly all citizens would agree that America’s political leaders need to do a better job of coming together to represent us all. Additionally, Starbucks’ utilization of its powerful platform to address a public interest issue connects customers to the company.
This is not the first time that the company has used its global standing in the business world to send a political message, and the latest campaign is not a surprise from an organization with a strong and spirited history. Starbucks often takes intelligent risks and is well-rewarded for its business acumen.
The company’s success has been built around its championing of core values and investment in its employees. To learn more about Starbucks’ corporate culture and how it prepares its employees for the unexpected, we suggest that you pick up a copy of Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. The book holds great lessons for companies considering crisis communications training or developing crisis communications plans for their future.
Red Banyan Group applauds Starbucks for having both the guts and the PR savvy to send a clear message to America’s lawmakers.