Business Case Studies, Managing in Troubled Times Case Study, Dent in Wal-Mart's Public Image, The PR Strategy

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Managing in Troubled Times Case Study

Case Title:

A Dent in Wal-Mart's Public Image: The PR Strategy

Publication Year : 2005

Authors: D. Gayatri , T. Phani Madhav

Industry: Retailing


Case Code: TRT0020

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Wal-Mart Inc., the largest discount store in the world, has been facing a major PR (public relations) crisis. For years, it remained media-shy and was known for its poor relations with the media. But in recent years the company's public image has taken a beating with its business practices coming under severe criticism. A host of lawsuits alleging low wages, gender discrimination and usage of illegal immigrant labour has led to adverse publicity for the company. To repair the damage, the company has attempted to refurbish its image through a major PR campaign.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of a company’s public relations strategy in regaining customer loyalty, amidst uproar against the company’s business practices.

Keywords : Public relations (PR), Negative publicity, PR campaign, Public image, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Marketing Strategies Case Study, Gender discrimination, Labour practices, Labour lawsuits, Defensive public relations, Advertising, Offensive public relations, Testimonials, PR blunders, Media stonewalling


  • Introduction
  • Wal-Mart 'Lowest prices for all'- Always
  • 'No Comment', Shouts Wal-Mart!
  • On a PR Path: The Defensive Way!
  • The Bigger the Worse

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