Business & Politics – Should We, Or Shouldn’t We?
February 12, 2017
Emily Post would’ve told us that talking politics at the dinner table, or in the board room, is impolite. But in 2017, it seems nearly impossible not to talk about it. Our newsfeeds, company meetings, first dates and family dinners somehow always transition to Trump, or at least to his Twitter feed!
Companies are finding that becoming politically involved may actually be good business for them. For example, Lyft’s stance against Trump’s travel ban and whopping $1 million pledged donation to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) not only made headlines, but spawned a #DeleteUber social media campaign, 200,000 unique users to delete the rival Uber app — and ultimately lead to Uber CEO’s resignation from Trump’s economic advisory council.
When advising our clients to “come out” on their politics, a few things come to mind. First, the best step is to get your bearings internally. Many CEOs have written company-wide letters to their employees reinstating the values and culture of the company, and how that may or may not fit in with the current messaging of the administration. Consider embedding political acts within the company – arranging times to call local representatives together, for example, if that feels right within your corporate culture. Then decide together if it makes sense for your company to make a public announcement of some sort – whether it be a donation to an organization you believe in or a simple message of what is important to you. Remember that no one expects or anticipates such announcement, and it should always be self-willed.