Breast Feeding at Starbucks Identify Case Study

Excerpt from Case Study :

Other Retailers want to see Starbucks resolve the breastfeeding issue without drastic changes to its corporate policies and procedures. They realize that Starbucks has been chosen to set the precedent for all retailers. If Starbucks loses control of its corporate policies and brand image, they can expect to become the foci of similar protests in the future. State legislators may find themselves under increased pressure as a result of the outcome at Starbucks. Protesters may target legislators under the assumption that some states are lacking sufficient laws regarding breastfeeding. Protesters may be tempted to shift the focus from Starbucks to legislators in order to find another method of advancing their cause. In addition, legislators looking for ways to attract the "soccer mom" demographic may also find this an attractive topic.

The vision articulated by Arthur W. Page (Vice President, Public Relations, AT&T, 1927 to 1946) offers a template for the practice of corporate communication in a crisis. Here are Page's principles that apply and a sampling of Starbucks Corporation's application of each.

1. Tell the Truth. The manager relating a clear narrative that was not fully

2. Prove It with Action. This is more difficult. But clearly, actions will speak much louder than words in this case. If the company is committed to the well-being of its customers, and keen on complying with varying state laws and local ordinances, they'll probably have to invest in some form of privacy accommodation that will permit mothers to breastfeed while not offending other customers. A fine line exists between listening to "customers" and listening to every protest and special interest group with an agenda to advance. In this case, if these women truly are customers careful attention to their needs will pay significant dividends. If they aren't actually customers, corporate management will have to gauge how much space and investment in decor they can afford for facilities that are rarely or seldom used.

3. Picking a fight with others and infants is a losing cause, no matter what the cost. Starbucks corporate public relations and communications group must seek to position the firm as friendly to the needs of families, women, young mothers, and others. Even if the company is protected by law, it may not be a good idea to confront such people, particularly if they are sincere in their efforts to nurture their children and carry on with their daily lives. Long-term damage to corporate image and reputation can occur if Starbucks permits an interest group s to portray the company unflatteringly ("The page principles," 2011).

Conclusion

The people who will make the company's policies work at the employees behind the counter. All the expensive public relations counsel and market strategy in the world will not help a bit if the young man behind the counter does not understand the issue and how it handle it when it arises. This is clearly an opportunity for training and a clarification of both policy and procedure at each Starbucks store.

Accommodation, goodwill, a cooperative nature and an appropriate sense of humor will go a long way toward making people feel welcome in a Starbucks store. People are unlikely to sue an organization such as Starbucks over access to a cup of coffee, but they may well decide to go to court if they feel they've been treated badly. This worked so well for Arthur Page and should work in the case of Star bucks Restaurants.

Works Cited

Arak, Joel. (2003, November 22). Burger king: breast-feeding fine. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/11/22/national/main585110.shtml

Breast-feeding moms! discrimination at starbucks. (2005, August 8). Retrieved from http://www.starbucksunion.org/node/332

The page principles. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.awpagesociety.com/site/about/page_principles/

Moms nurse their babies at starbucks to protest incident. (2004, August 9). Retrieved from http://starbucksgossip.typepad.com/_/2004/08/moms_nurse_thei.html

Weston, N. (2006, June 15). "Moms protest south beach starbucks." Retrieved from http://www.slashfood.com/2006/06/15/moms-protest-south-beach-starbucks/

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Arak, Joel. (2003, November 22). Burger king: breast-feeding fine. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/11/22/national/main585110.shtml

Breast-feeding moms! discrimination at starbucks. (2005, August 8). Retrieved from http://www.starbucksunion.org/node/332

The page principles. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.awpagesociety.com/site/about/page_principles/

Moms nurse their babies at starbucks to protest incident. (2004, August 9). Retrieved from http://starbucksgossip.typepad.com/_/2004/08/moms_nurse_thei.html

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