PR blunders are almost always due to a bad decision upstream, not the reaction to them. You could say DPS’s recent decision to offer a southern style lunch of fried chicken and collard greens in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a bad decision. You could say a lot worse.
They said it was well intentioned so let’s give them that. Looking at this with a light most favorable, how do you think it possibly could have gone down? Maybe I’m naive, but I’m having a hard time imagining there wasn’t at least one person who raised a concern.
Don’t you think that someone – anyone – just had to have wondered aloud “I wonder if this might come across as stereotyping?” Why didn’t anyone listen to this voice?
The mother who brought the menu to our attention called this “a teaching moment.” Indeed. As a starting place, before DPS tackles cultural sensitivity issues which at this point seem depressingly out of their reach, I suggest DPS should learn a basic public relations principle:
When in doubt – when there’s a sliver of a doubt – don’t do it. Just don’t.
Did DPS even weigh an alternative? If they did, what were they afraid of? Bad press as a result of not offering a special menu in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?