Here’s a PR strategy that we don’t hear about too often. David Tovar, Walmart’s vice president for communications, has said that:
We have made a business decision not to participate in Huffington Post articles going forward due to the one-sided reporting and unfair and unbalanced editorial decisions made by Huffington Post reporters and editors.
Is that a crazy decision? And is it unprecedented?
Well, the answer is no, on both counts. It’s clever because the media coverage around the ban has acted as a loud rebuttal of the HuffPo’s criticisms. And the technique isn’t unprecedented. In 1984, Mobil Oil, fed up with coverage in a major US paper, boycotted the publication’s journalists. The head of public affairs Herb Schmertz said: “We concluded that the situation couldn’t get worse. We did it for our own self-respect.”