Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, named one of "Most Ethical Retailers" by Ethisphere Institute, has the power to end the PRSA press boycott. His VP of corporate communications is co-chair of the Society's conference in D.C. Oct. 11-14.
This is an open letter to Schultz, whose company is one of only three named by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the "most ethical retailers" (along with Target and Gap).
Schultz is one of the most open of all corporate executives, his phone number, e-mail, company address and even home address are readily available on the web.
People often want to contact him directly and “avoid corporate red tape,” says about.com.
Schultz is in the news because a column by Timothy Egan in the June 22 New York Times raked both Walmart and Starbucks over the coals although Starbucks came off looking better.
Starbucks is noted for championing free and open discussion and for being responsive to its local communities.
Its culture is the opposite of PRSA, which has barred reporters from its Assembly for the past three years and accuses reporters who try to cover it of committing the crime of "harassment."
Starbucks is now up to its ears in the Society because VP-CC James Olson is co-chair of the national conference Oct. 11-14 in Washington, D.C., the seat of our democracy.
Accusing reporters of crimes and jailing them for seven years is what is now taking place in Egypt. Lying in the same bed with Egypt is the Society, which convicts members and the press without any sort of hearing or due process.
It has barred O’Dwyer reporters from the exhibit hall for the past four years and will do so again in October unless Starbucks takes action.
Members have lost their right of using PRSA's website on mere "suspicion" that they may have passed information from the Society website to reporters. No trial or hearing takes place. There is no right of appeal.
A copy of this blog is being sent via regular mail to Schultz along with documents showing that the Society has a formal, written boycott against the O'Dwyer Co. and any staffers and anyone the company may "assign" to cover Society events.
Included is the e-mail from former CEO Bill Murray to the website of Christopher Elliott in which Murray describes the formal O’Dwyer boycott and the report on Murray quitting the Society March 7, 2014 to join the National Coffee Assn., headed by Willard "Dub" Hay, retired SVP of Starbucks.
Neither Society leaders nor any staffers have ever presented any charges against us to our face or even talked to us on the telephone.