How to Deal With the Media - 2
Tuesday’s edition of this e-zine dealt with the massive problems of China’s overheated economy being exacerbated by appallingly bad PR.
Instead of speaking with one soothing voice, many Chinese government agencies and individuals are insulting their customers and ripping the world’s media for allegedly unfair coverage.
The beat goes on.
Audra Ang reported yesterday that Li Changjiang, director of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, blames Mattel for bad toy design.
But … when you think about it, Mr. Li has got it right this time.
It also appears that Mattel may be competing with China for the world’s poorest PR practices.
Mattel’s Huge PR Coup: A Positive Story in The New York Times
On July 26, The New York Times ran a long article by Louise Story and David Barboza all about Mattel’s test lab in China where “lab workers are paid to break toys, pick apart their innards, and analyze the raw materials that go into them.”
Clearly it was Mattel’s intent to stick it hard to its competitor, RC2 Corp., whose 1.5 million wooden trains had been recalled the previous month because they were decorated with lead paint, which can cause brain damage and death to children. The fawning paragraphs in this suck-up story are so gung-ho pro-Mattel that the company’s entire PR department may well have suffered dislocated shoulders from patting themselves on the back:
Mattel was one of only two major toy makers that agreed to allow a reporter for The New York Times to visit one of its factories in China — or even to put an executive on the phone to discuss the issue of Chinese product safety.
In the 1990s, critics charged the company with running sweatshops in Asia. Now, independent analysts, and even watchdog groups, say Mattel may be the best role model for how to operate prudently in China.