Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Wal-Blogosphere

Thursday, April 23, 2009


"Firing whistleblowers. Discriminating against women (and, most recently, black truck drivers). Violating child labor laws. Locking workers into stores overnight. Mooching off taxpayers. Disregarding local zoning laws. Mistreating immigrant janitors. Abusing young Bangladeshi women. Paying poverty-level wages in the United States. Destroying small-town America....It's Wal-Mart, of course. "

This line from the New York Times article, "Wal-Mart's P.S. war", Lisa Featherstone gives a few very strong reasons as to why Wal-Mart has such a bad reputation. These few examples can make the average consumer feel as if Wal-Mart is not worthy of their dollars. It is for this reason that I understand why Wal-Mart goes through such great lengths to restore their tarnished image.

In a 2006 New York Times article, "Wal-Mart enlists bloggers in P.R. campaign", Michael Barbaro explains how Wal-Mart uses one of the most influencial technological advances, blogging, to better their image.

"Wal-Mart is increasingly looking beyond the mainstream media and working directly with bloggers, feeding them exclusive nuggets of news, suggesting topics for postings and even inviting them to visit its corporate headquarters."

Barbaro revealed how Wal-Mart uses bloggers as a means to get the message out that Wal-Mart isn't so bad. From reading Featherstone's article it made me realize why Wal-Mart would go to such great lengths to better their image, because the American public has many reasons as to why they shouldn't shop at Wal-Mart.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

Lisa Featherstone's article is from Salon not the New York Times. Featherstone made you realize that Wal-Mart had a serious PR problem. What is one specific example and how did Wal-Mart respond?

Second, you also raised the issue of blogging as a PR problem and a potential PR solution. You chose a good quotation from the Barbaro article. How has the use of the blogsphere helped corporate communicators to manage the corporate image? What are the pitfalls of this approach?

4/23/2009 11:38 AM  

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