Starbucks #RaceTogether Campaign // Let’s have a discussion about Starbucks…

Public relations is the key to raising a companies reputation. A companies reputation is the key in making a businesses shelf life lengthy.


In 2015, many companies are focused on reputation management as reputation has now become more important to publics. Companies are using clever social media, PR stunts or even print media to create a buzz.  This week, Starbucks created a buzz for all the wrong reasons. Starbucks released the diversity and racial inequality campaign called ‘Race together’ in America. The campaign was launched after national protests in the US over several police killings of black men in New York, Ferguson, and Missouri.

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Promoted through baristas writing #RaceTogether on the Starbucks cups of customers showing the company’s effort to promote discussion of racial issues. The cups were always “just the catalyst” for a larger conversation and Starbucks co-produced special sections in USA TODAY and put more stores in minority communities as part of theimages Race Together initiative, according to a company memo from CEO Howard Schultz said. Starbucks were flooded with customer feedback online and off.

The negative reaction towards the ‘feel good’ views of Starbucks spiking tweet_2your morning coffee with their in-house-blend of racial sanctimony wasn’t enough to get them to rethink their disastrous campaign, nope, the coffee house has raised the stakes by lacing your morning paper with an in depth ‘race in your face’ quiz. So, in an effort to be less racist, is to label non-white people ‘other’ and quantify them.

BN-HN664_SKYBOX_P_20150322195359Starbucks customers want coffee, not a political agenda. I understand that Starbucks wanted to do something about America’s troubled race relations but this campaign was always going to have a sharp backlash.

People started to not only pick the campaign apart but the company. Looking at the Starbucks leadership team it did not show much diversity, questioning Starbucks own diversity as a company. The campaign seems to have been put together without thought or care, which could not be done with such a delicate topic.

Due to this campaign, Starbucks has seriously damaged it’s reputation.  Starbucks clearly have not heard Warren Buffet’s “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” As a company they now have to rebuild their reputation constructively and carefully. Overall, the campaign was successful in starting a discussion not about race but Starbucks itself.

Fashion PR, a possible path? // London Fashion Week AW15

I started looking into Fashion PR because this year I worked at London Fashion Week. I had a lot of assumptions when it came to the ‘fashion world’ but the experience opened my eyes to fashion PR as a potential pathway.


Working 11026671_800244686708257_936445421_nbackstage I saw how many people work on creating one show. A team of people work for months on creating a show that lasts no more than twenty minutes. I started to ask myself why? Why go through all the stress and preparation? The team rushing round, trying to seat people, keep models happy, get models dressed – it was very hectic. As the last girl walked into backstage, the music cut and the room was full of applause I realized I had found the answer, pure accomplishment. The team had worked so hard on getting this show perfect and in the end it equated to great press reviews and media coverage.

The fashion world is dependent on promotion and media coverage it’s how designers gather a following. Look at Alexander Wang known for his stunts and image, his success was all down to his PR. Looking further into this topic, I discovered that the fashion world are trends that need to attract and retain constant attention from the public to be successful. Certainly very similar to consumer PR. Fashion needs to create a buzz among influential people. Journalist, bloggers, celebrities, the perfect platform for this is fashion week. More than ever it is important to create a buzz on social media. Bloggers are now at the forefront of promoting a brand and this is why they were all perfectly positioned front row on the catwalk .

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The brand is most important in a fashion public relations role. The role of public relations in fashion PR is clearly defining and maintaining a company’s “brand.” Good public relations representatives must strive to keep their promotions consistent by never sending out a mixed message. For example, if the company’s line is geared toward professional dress, you want to create professional-styled events that will attract customers interested in that niche.

I never considered a career path into fashion PR because I was always so concerned about the stereotype. In fact, in my small experience at LFW, everyone was welcoming and I got a quick snap shot of what the industry is really like. It’s all about the brand, very much like consumer PR but with a touch glamour. Before this experience I had completely ruled out fashion PR. Now, I’m not too sure. The excitement and glamour has put me on the fence. Fashion PR is now a path I might just stroll down.

See how you can get involved in London Fashion Week here – here. 
Hints & Tips for working in Fashion PR – here.