Okay, I’ve given Edelman enough grief over the past few months that I am glad to be able to post this. They’ve been running a campaign for Walmart which they’re calling internally “Candidate Walmart” – which is being run as a political campaign – right down to the win big or lose it all nature. From the Wall Street Journal:
If Mr. Scott, the chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., seems like he’s running for office, it’s no accident. For the last 15 months, the Edelman public-relations firm, led by seasoned political operatives, has been directing a campaign it calls “Candidate Wal-Mart.” The goal: Rescue the battered image of the world’s largest retailer.
The truth is we don’t always realize that business is always a win or lose proposition. I could get cute and start talking about how they’ve been hamstrung with a candidate that’s been rather disfunctional, but that’s just too easy.
The thing to look at is that the approach may just be correct for new marketing. This is all about engagement and relevance, but even better, it is about public opinion and swaying it to the positive side. The call to action is to simply “like” Walmart. Read more about the campaign on PotomacFlacks.com and on Force For Good.
Related post: Mary Schmidt (two links today…) writes on why Walmart is down this holiday season.
One thought on “Candidate Walmart”
The use of campaign tactics — a win-or-lose mentality, polling constituents to target messages, etc. — is a dangerous fit into the world of consumer public relations. In politics, you make a bunch of promises, and if you lose the election, oh well, move on to the next one. In the corporate world, consumers have long memories.