Starbucks focuses on community with (RED)

SEATTLE: Starbucks says it is expanding its social responsibility platform and reinforcing its commitment to the communities that produce its coffee through its partnership with (RED) that was announced last week.

SEATTLE: Starbucks says it is expanding its social responsibility platform and reinforcing its commitment to the communities that produce its coffee through its partnership with (RED) that was announced last week.

PR for the multiyear partnership with (RED), which works to eliminate AIDS in Africa, includes traditional media relations, online outreach, and in-store marketing and events, said Stacey Krum, a spokeswoman for Starbucks.

Online, the campaign will focus on Starbucks' Web site and JoinRed.com, and customers will soon have the chance to upload photographs of themselves between (RED)'s well-known red parentheses.

The announcement took place on October 29 at a Starbucks leadership conference in New Orleans, and the company, along with AOR Edelman, planned media relations to include outreach to key reporters and b-roll from the event.

Last week built buzz around the partnership, Krum said, but the campaign going forward will come up with unique ways for Starbucks customers to give to the Global Fund. From November 27 to January 2, 2009, $0.05 from three (Starbucks) RED holiday drinks will go to the Global Fund.

The partnership with (RED) "is about connecting the consumers and product with a cause," Krum said. "It's about [supporting] where our coffee comes from and addressing such a huge crisis." The partnership is also in line with the existing Starbucks Shared Planet social responsibility initiative and comes at a time when the coffee company is working to refocus its business.

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