More on the Wine Train incident to consider

Is there anyone who doesn’t know about the recent incident on the Napa Valley Wine Train?

Image result for train photos

Newspapers, radio and media everywhere have reported on it, thanks also to the hash tag #laughingwhileblack. What started out as a long-time book group get-together turned into an international fiasco.

We’re now in the third cycle or so of commentary and what-ifs. SWIG co-founder Tom Wark has suggested a simple plan for how to deal with a situation such as this.

Let me add to his suggestions that you read two other thoughtful commentaries, by Jo Diaz and Blake Gray.

Here’s some more advice.

Keep your eyes open and read whatever else you might find.

Most importantly, meet with your management and hospitality teams and walk through some scenarios which could take place in your tasting room or at an event you sponsor. What is your crisis communications plan? Who will write it? Who will be the person to talk to the media when they call?

How hospitable IS your hospitality?

How discreet are your employees?

Where does your business stand in the grey area between ethics and morality and marketing and reputation management?  Have you ever had that discussion? Now would be the time.

2 thoughts on “More on the Wine Train incident to consider

  1. The wine industry in general and Napa in particular chooses to live in a self made bubble of self imposed insularity. If you read the Napa Register there has been little if any coverage of Ferguson and related, let alone black lives matter. The majority of the comments about the “incident” indicate a clear lack of understanding of African American lives in the real world that tend toward “southern” at best. Any business in the US that would “perp walk” a group of highly educated African americans (let alone women) in public and call the police when no crime was committed deserves as much monetary punishment and public shaming as possible. Napa county is one of the poorest counties in California, has no Habitat for Humanity housing, virtually no low income housing, very high rents combined with low paying part time hospitality work (no $15/hr minimum wage here). Don’t expect any changes to an industry run by 99.9999 white wealthy men. They have no reason to change their behavior, believe they are entitled and wish this would all just go away.

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