Paul Holmes 25 Apr 2012 // 10:40AM GMT
I won’t bore you with the details of the case being reported today by The New York Times, which features a six-year cover-up of corruption in Wal-Mart’s Mexican operations, but I will take a moment or two to make a point I’ve made before in situations such as this one, about the role of public relations. I’d be interested to know whether there was in any PR involvement in the decision not only to cover up the results of its own internal investigation but to chastise its own investigators for being “too aggressive,” which is apparently then-chief executive Lee Scott’s phrase for people who take their job seriously. The question that always intrigues me in such instances is what the role of the company’s PR advisors was in all of this. As always, I see three possibilities:
- No one from the PR department was consulted.
- The PR department was consulted, gave good advice, and was ignored.
- The PR department was consulted, and went along with the cover up.