The Grunig & Hunt Approach to Target

James Grunig and Todd Hunt’s model of public relations is an important piece of PR history that defines the basic ways practitioners communicate on behalf of their clients.

After evaluating several of Target‘s press releases, advertisements, social media profiles and videos,  I’ve determined that its PR department uses the two-way symmetrical model. Many of the company’s press releases are largely informational, but they also contain quotes from executives  who express how they desire to use the new developments the announcements are about to better Target customers’ shopping experience. For example, when Target announced its newly-founded partnership with GLENTEL, Target Canada‘s Senior Vice President of Merchandising John Morioka said in a press release the following:

“Our goal is to bring the true Target brand shopping experience to Canada and this includes partnering with accomplished Canadian companies like GLENTEL to offer our guests the highest quality merchandise and exceptional service.”

Target’s use of the two-way symmetrical model is also seen on its social media pages. The company is consistent in its interaction with customers, regardless of whether they post complaints or compliments. The following image is an example of a few ways Target has handled both good comments and constructive criticism:

I give props to Target for being on top of the PR game and genuinely caring about its customers. What are some examples of other companies you’ve noticed using the two-way symmetrical model and how do they use it?


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