Here Is Starbucks’ Employee Memo On How To Discuss Their #RaceTogether Campaign

Earlier this week, my digestive system and I learned the hard way that despite their idiotic new campaign to get baristas talking to customers about race, Starbucks employees didn’t really seem to know what to do past sticking a #RaceTogether sticker on coffee cups. Today, a leaked internal memo from Starbucks explains why.

The full memo (below), obtained by Gawker, is a disastrous one-sheet that’s every brand manager’s nightmare: a disorganized, incohesive mess of bullet points that offer no actual substance other than a working knowledge of Microsoft Word Clip Art. The opening points start with social media rollout, rather than talking points on the campaign is itself and how to implement it. The social strategy encourages employees to follow the campaign on Instagram and Twitter and “join the conversation.” How do you join a conversation you know nothing about?

Unfortunately, the “What You Need To Know” section is no better, offering employees tepid bullet points to answer customer queries, such as:

  • “We want to foster empathy and common understanding in the company.”
  • “Our company feels responsible to do our part as the country faces ongoing racial tensions.”

None of the three suggestions offered answer the second question any customer would have: How?

The remainder is a rollout plan of logistics but little by way of explaining how baristas and employees should deal with customers that want to talk about these things, or foster the empathy or understanding they so desperately want to bring to America’s depraved racial hotbeds. But hey, at least there are stickers.

gawker starbucks internal memo race together race campaign


[Lead Image via Getty, Memo via Gawker]