Starbucks Crisis communication management case study

Document Type:Case Study

Subject Area:Media

Document 1

The coffee shop was initially located on 2000 Western Avenue since 1971 to 1976 and it later relocated to its current location on 1912 pike place. During this time, Starbucks only majored in the selling of roasted whole coffee without brewing (Coffee. org). The brewed coffee that was served in the store by then was free samples and started buying green coffee beans directly from the growers. Starbuck’s chairman and CEO first walked into the store to have a cup of Sumatra in the year 1981 and joined a year later. He gave an assurance of conducting and “unconscious bias” in training of the top bar managers. The request for forgiveness ensued a clip which went viral on the police arresting black men in the City center district of Down town Philadelphia.

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The Starbucks employees alleged that the men had trespassed while the police reported that the men had requested to use the rest room (Adams 2018). However, the store employees refused, citing the policy of the store requires the users to pay before using the restroom. The two black men sat down and refused to evacuate the room when asked by the employees. The Starbucks management acted with urgency. The speed at which the organizations handle the scenario was a show of importance for preserving the company’s reputation (Fast casual 2018). The organization turned this situation into a PR opportunity. Communication theories used by the Starbuck Apologia theory Organizations in crisis usually use the apologia theory to counter damage made to their brand image.

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The organization might either defend its actions against the public or issue an apology to protect brand image or repair the image (Benoit 1997). Diffusion Theory The diffusion theory in communication and crisis management enables organizations to learn from their past crisis and set up strategies that will be better practices for future crisis management (Taylor & Perry 2005). The company goes to use past experiences to inform how they deal with future crisis. In the case study of Starbucks, the company created a curriculum through a body of experts on racial discrimination. The company began using the curriculum in their first racial sensitivity training when the crisis began (Bernstein crisis management). Racial discrimination has been a sensitive subject in the United States for the longest time and Starbucks invoked a lot of strategies to ensure that the crisis was properly contained and the employees prepared for the future.

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The brand has been supporting those values even to the point of losing millions of dollars in the name of training workforce on the best organizational practices (Fast casual 2018). The Company went to an extent of closing down the stores, which put money against the idea. Employees are the most important audience during a crisis: having the right employees is a privilege for the management and business owners during difficult situations. In most, the employees can become your advocate in such difficult moments. CEO Johnson was swift to send an apology memo to the entire workforce, which gave clarity regarding the organization’s firm stand against discrimination or racial profiling. Works cited Adams, Susie. Crisis Management – A Starbucks Case Study – Interact Authentically.

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