Delta found itself in hot water again this week after involving the carrier in a Georgia voting law. Delta’s good intentions have #BoycottDelta trending, but what else could they do?
Inaction Has Consequences
One thing brands have learned in the last few years is that they cannot simply remain agnostic on complicated topics even if they stray from the direct involvement of company goals. If the company does not actively support or protest the same concerns its customers and employees have it can be seen as sympathetic or ignorant, even if the intent of the company is solely to focus on the business they are in.
It’s no longer an option to stand on the sidelines on nearly any controversial topic, activism is required.
Good Intentions Doesn’t Always Lead to Good Results
Delta Air Lines worked with elected officials on Georgia voter laws that would lead to more accommodation and inclusion. Benefits of that law included expanded availability for weekend voting, no reason required for absentee ballots, and drop boxes.
However, some suggested the law didn’t go far enough:
“This makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle.” – President Joe Biden
Other provisions included the removal of signature verification and other modifications focused on removing the regulations that might exclude, not include voters who want to cast a ballot.
After backlash, the company acknowledged that the final bill was imperfect. For Delta, voting is an important issue to signify to its employees and customer base that they are not going to stand silently by on matters that affect their stakeholders.
As Leff points out in the aforementioned post, this is not the first time they have riled up a crowd by taking a political stance.
By involving the carrier in issues outside of the central purpose of generating profit by transporting passengers and cargo, the airline opened itself up to criticism and risk even when the company believes it is doing the right thing.
What would critics have Delta do? If they stand back and say nothing while the legislation makes its way through the chambers, they have in essence agreed with whatever the outcome may be, or suggested it wasn’t an important enough cause for which they should make a stand.
If they take a stand against the legislation because it doesn’t go far enough, they risk fighting some form of advancement for voting issues in their home state, potentially disenfranchising their own employees and customers.
Delta had good intentions in its support for legislation that expanded voting ability for its home state and largest employee base. Penalizing the carrier for its support of legislation that wasn’t perfect while ignoring the progress it makes is absurd.
What do you think? Should Delta have sat this one out? Would it be guilty of abdicating responsibility if it did so?