ALEXANDRIA, VA: The National Association of Convenience Stores
(NACS) and its member companies (such as 7-Eleven and Store 24) have
mounted campaigns across the country to thwart racially motivated
attacks on employees and other issues related to the events September
Hill & Knowlton, NACS' agency of record, worked on the projects, which
involved culling the best examples of members' own crisis plans (some
recycled from Y2K programs), and creating models for other stores.
"On September 11, we were already in touch with members like 7-Eleven to
look at some of the implications of the attack, including ethnic
hostility, rescue efforts, and gas pricing and supply," said Jeff
Lenard, NACS director of communications.
Attacks on clerks with Arab appearance have already been reported.
7-Eleven worked with local law enforcement to increase patrols of its
stores, and also set up a hotline for reporting attacks. Information was
sent to stores about how to respond to incidents of abuse.
7-Eleven also launched a fundraising effort in association with the
American Red Cross, and took out a full-page ad of an American flag in
Bob Gordon, CEO of Store 24, sent an open letter to all employees,
assuring them of his support. "We employ many people from the Middle
East," he wrote. "They are good people, and we are proud that they are
New York-area convenience stores have also been supplying food,
gasoline, and other supplies to the relief effort.
The NACS and its members were the subject of a Wall Street Journal
article that detailed its communications efforts.