Politics and Business: How to Treat the Relationship on Social Media

Right before Christmas, on the day the partial government shutdown started, we posted something on our Facebook page asking WTF was going on in Washington, D.C.  Someone who liked our page (though I don’t think is a client), took umbrage at our post for not supporting the President and said she was through with Pet Camp.  In our post, we didn’t blame the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the President, or even Fox News. Sure, many of us at Pet Camp might have our personal views on who is to blame for what appears to an endless cycle of chaos from our nation’s capital and frankly, at the same time, there are probably counselors at Pet Camp who are oblivious to the entire situation.

This Facebook scolding initially made me rethink the post, almost to extent of deleting it.   But the more I thought about it, the more I returned to my original position that I think its ok that businesses wade into political issues, voice opinions and concerns.  Businesses have an obligation to stand for what they believe, and of course consumers have a right to support or reject these views with their wallets. I know plenty of folks who won’t go to Hobby Lobby, Dominoes or Chick-Fil-A because of the political views exposed or supported by those companies.  I’m sure there are plenty of companies on the left of the political spectrum (I guess in addition to Pet Camp) that others won’t support.  I support both the companies making statements and those who choose to not spend money at those same companies.

It is true that Pet Camp in many ways reflects my political beliefs. Pet Camp is a certified green business because protecting the environment is one of my personal beliefs.  The non-profits we support through Pet Camp Cares reflect my values.  Our involvement in civic and business groups also reflect my views (although I must admit I get out voted at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce every time.)  I know that in San Francisco I am viewed as moderate to conservative, which means everywhere else I’m far to the left of center. But no matter where you stand on the political spectrum, I think it is imperative to be part of the discussion – even if it means you lose a potential client.

Are there companies that you support or don’t support because of their political beliefs?