Target & the Media:: Mutually Beneficial or Misrepresented?

The few months of public relations experience I’ve been able to gain as I’ve interned and worked in the field has quickly taught me both the positives and drawbacks to working with the media.  I always love receiving a response from a journalist saying that he/she will happily cover whatever story I’ve pitched. At the same time, I’ve also experienced a journalist who decided to spin a story in a way that harmed more than helped the message I was trying to convey.

Target isn’t exempt from experiencing the downsides of pitching the media. For example, the company recently announced that it will be hiring 80,000-90,000 seasonal employees over the next few months, taking into account keeping current employees. The press release also stated that 30 percent of last year’s seasonal employees remained apart of the Target team as year-round employees.

Meanwhile, the St. Cloud Times  took the angle that even though Target plans to hire 80,000-90,000 seasonal employees, that is 2,000-12,000 less than the number they hired last year due to the fact that 30 percent of seasonal workers were hired for permanent positions.

Whereas Target’s press release made this year’s seasonal hiring sound beneficial, the St. Cloud Times’ article may make readers view Target as the “bad guy” since it doesn’t plan to hire as many seasonal employees this year as last year.

What other companies’ messages have you seen twisted or misinterpreted by the media?

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