On this week’s Inside PR, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and I talk about three issues: Starbuck’s #RaceTogether initiative, the change to Google’s search algorithm to penalize Websites that are not mobile-friendly, and another move by Facebook to make itself more inviting to advertisers.

Starbucks #RaceTogether

Looking back at  Starbucks’ #RaceTogether campaign, I can’t help but feel that, while laudable in intent, RaceTogether showed a remarkable lack of self awareness on Starbucks’ account. Martin and Gini disagree. They see more positive than negative in Starbucks’ initiative and its handling of the subsequent fallout.

Gini feels that Starbucks succeeded in getting us to talk about the issue. I think that Starbucks succeeded in getting us to talk about Starbucks – and not in a positive way. I think the issue came apart because of a lack of self awareness on Starbucks’ part. I see it as an unequal power relationship. A chain that sells premium-priced coffee to a well-heeled clientele asks its fairly low paid employees to raise a highly sensitive topic across the counter. Gini pushes back. She talks about her experience of her local Starbucks. Martin sees it as a grand gesture in the finest tradition of liberalism. Gini gets the last word. We’re talking about it. Starbucks had some success and she suggests they should not be timid about this type of social initiative in the future.

Mobile-friendly by April 21 or else

But that’s not all we talk about. We also point to the pending April 21 change to Google’s algorithm penalize Websites that are not mobile-friendly. Communications execs, make sure that your sites are up to date or be ready to see them disappear from the front page of Google Search.

Facebook entices advertisers

Finally, we discuss the disappearance of comments from corporate Facebook pages. Just one more step by Facebook to make Facebook a more attractive platform for advertisers.

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Thank you to the people behind Inside PR.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Ashlea McGrath.






  1. I am on the fence about Starbucks. I appreciate their efforts to bring a serious issue to a “captive” audience and they did a good job of handling the fallout when it went wrong. That said, I don’t want to be “pitched” about anything when I’m in line for my morning coffee whether it’s the treat receipt, pressure to register my gift card or a discussion on race relations. I just want to get my beverage and go.


  1. Sure, your coffee may have hazelnut but my coffee is stopping racism. | Evolution of a PR Girl

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