April 20, or “420” is a day most people associate with smoking cannabis. With the legalization of cannabis happening in some states in the United States, Ben & Jerry’s made a series of social media posts discussing cannabis justice and telling Congress to legalize cannabis for everyone in the country.
Ben & Jerry’s, an ice cream company that is very well known for sharing its positions on social justice issues, shares posts each year on April 20 to discuss cannabis justice as a part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. This year, it primarily focused on telling Congress to pass the MORE Act, which would make cannabis legal in all 50 states and revoke all prior convictions.
The company made a post on Twitter, educating people on what is happening right now with cannabis and the criminal justice system. The tweet reads as the following:
The post also includes a Ben & Jerry’s truck in front of the US Capitol Building, saying “Tell Congress: Legalization without justice is half baked. Pass the MORE Act NOW!”
These posts got people talking about this issue and were calling on Congress to legalize cannabis while also bringing justice to people of color who are wrongly put in jail.
Ben & Jerry’s is famous for its CSR efforts, and the company acknowledging the problem and sharing the statistics is a great way to gain awareness for this issue. With the Instagram post getting over 1.05 million likes and Twitter posts getting almost 40,000 views, it’s safe to say Ben & Jerry’s got many people’s attention, and a lot of people were talking about it. They brought a lot of awareness to this issue in hopes of Congress seeing it and doing something about this issue in the future.
For the next generation of PR pros, CSR will continue to be a key area of focus. PRSSA leaders should look to incorporate CSR into their Chapters as well as their Student-run Firm clients. Standing for social justice issues will aid in generating trust for brands that follow through with actions to back up their words.
Editor’s note: Later that day, the company released a thread in response to the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. Read the thread here.
Christina Billie is a junior public relations major at Temple University. She is the incoming Chapter president for Temple PRSSA and is also an account associate for PRowl Public Relations, Temple’s student-run public relations firm. She is currently interning at Breslow Partners, where she serves as a public relations intern.