Ep117: Starbucks' Race Together: Critics Should Wake Up and Smell the Courage

race together

Today on CauseTalk Radio, Megan and I talk to Phil Haid, Co-Founder and CEO of Toronto-based Public Inc. about Starbucks controversial cause campaign: Race Together. While aimed at starting a conversation around race issues in America, the campaign has drawn a lot of criticism.

Naysayers call Race Together ill-timed and self-serving. But our guest Phil Haid has a different perspective. He describes the campaign as a bold and ambitious effort by Starbucks that while not perfectly executed is unflinching and a great example of a company "walking the talk." 

On today's episode, Megan, Phil and I discuss:

Phil Haid, CEO, Public Inc.

Phil Haid, CEO, Public Inc.

  • The breakdown of the Race Together campaign from beginning to execution to backlash.
  • The sincerity, authenticity and effort behind the campaign - both from Howard Schultz and Starbucks partners.
  • Starbucks waded into a serious issue and we need to respond to it with serious, thoughtful conversation and not impulsive and short-sighted tweets and social media updates.
  • Starbucks stores are made for conversation so the Race Together campaign fits - but not with busy baristas.
  • Why the teaser campaign for Race Together overcharged the issue and Starbucks should have rolled out the whole campaign at once.
  • Starbucks had the right strategy, but not the right tactics. How they can correct them and continue the campaign.
  • How does the Starbucks Race Together campaign compare to Uber's partnership with the United Nations, which has also come under fire.
cause talk radio 117