With the recent hoopla over Wal-Mart wanting to expand into the five boroughs of New York City, the retail giant has launched an extensive PR and advertising campaign, complete with radio, print, direct mail and social media tactics to sway the local communities’ concerns of threatening resident small businesses. They’ve even created a microsite specifically addressing the issue that includes facts, polls, videos and celebrity endorsements supporting the move-in. The campaign was launched just a few days prior to a New York City council meeting that will discuss how Wal-Mart may affect local ingenuity.
Wal-Mart’s approach is a great example of how thousands of man-hours, a huge team of people working around the clock, and oh TONS OF MONEY, can fully (and to their hope, effectively) infiltrate a market to effort to persuade a negative opinion. At the core, Wal-Mart would like to enter the community with open arms and positive public opinion, but in a city like New York that is strongly supported by mom-and-pop shops, the major corporation has to pull out all the stops. Enter a flood of radio commercials, multiple statements from Wal-Mart’s Director of Community Relations, and endless endorsements from New York’s own Joe the Plumbers.
Classic David and Goliath story. We always root for the underdog, but in this case, will the small guy win in the end?
Only time will tell.