As I did my usual stalking of PR Daily, the HMA blog, social media and the PRGN blog, I came across a similar topic on each one, brands and politics. Abbie tackled this topic a little over a year ago, but with recent events I thought it was just as relevant today.
Last week, we saw the uproar revolving around Equinox and SoulCycle’s investor supporting political campaigns, and over the weekend a viral tweet featuring a list of popular fast-food and chain restaurants continued the call for consumers to boycott restaurants because of possible ties to political campaigns. While there is some speculation of the authenticity of the information in the tweet, I can say with confidence that the conversation of brands being involved in politics isn’t going anywhere.
Many brands have used their platforms this past year to take a stance on controversial topics and now many consumers expect all brands to do the same or at least want to know what the brand stands for.
As a recent journalism school graduate, I was taught throughout my whole college career that I shouldn’t have a public opinion on politics, religion or any other sensitive topic. My teaching is similar to the golden rule that our PRGN partner SCR in Barcelona, Spain mentions but with changing times this is easier said than done.
SoulCycle tweeted out this message from their CEO in response to the backlash. The message aligned with their core values and separated the brand’s identity from the views and actions of its investor.
A note from our CEO pic.twitter.com/UwxBWR76B0
— SoulCycle (@soulcycle) August 7, 2019
As the political and social opinions of company executives and investors continue to become a topic of interest, it is necessary to have a crisis response prepared that holds true to your brand’s values.
Don’t have a crisis response prepared? HMA specializes in services including crisis communications.