NY Times Says Wal-Mart Needs Better Story, Not More Spin

Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott recently said, "We have not gotten our story out to the extent that we need to." The head of the global super store told a retailing conference that Wal-Mart's bad reputation came from newspapers and television. But a New York Times editorial responded that "if Wal-Mart wants to improve its image, it should focus less on shaping its message and more on changing the way it does business. ... These damaging news stories are not a product of bad spin, but bad facts. If Wal-Mart wants to do a better job in telling its story, it needs to work on having a better story to tell." PR Week reports that Wal-Mart is expanding its media relations team. "There's an acknowledgement throughout the company of the importance of using the media to tell our story," a company spokesperson said. "We're now putting more resources behind doing that." Trade publication O'Dwyer's PR Daily call Wal-Mart's media department, asking for comment on the Times editorial. But the company said it had not decided whether or not to respond. PR giant Fleishman-Hillard is helping Wal-Mart with its image makeover.