Whatever you thought of Starbucks Corporation’s #RaceTogether campaign, most of us would agree that the concept behind it was admirable – to improve race relations in the United States by encouraging dialogue.
After the Rodney King riots, the Akron Beacon Journal won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, in part, by encouraging dialogue between the races. I was fortunate enough to play a role in that effort.
So I was disappointed when the Starbucks campaign was derailed within hours of launch, largely because of a flawed appreciation for how the campaign would play in the media.
When Starbucks launched #RaceTogether, it did a lot of things quite well. Its website featured a well-written message titled “What ‘Race Together’ Means for Starbucks Partners and…