Target PR Disaster and the Blind Still Want to Shop at Target?

Target Corporation (TGT) continues to get negative
press regarding their fight with the National Federation of the Blind.
In my opinion this looks like a case study in poor public relations and
bad corporate decisions making. The results are predictable. Read on…

Targetusatodayblindlawsuitcoverage

A quick recap. The Target site is pretty. But not accessible to a
screen reader. They are asked to make it accessible. Target says
effectively "no we don’t have blind shoppers online". Blind people, who
shop online, sue Target. The request is "fix it." Target fights the
lawsuit against blind people trying to use their web site. Their
argument is "the law doesn’t require we make it accessible." And now
the voice of target has been transferred to the lawyers.

Oh ya, that is going to work. And the USA Today is running negative stories about the company and the brand.

Given my interest in public relations I posted on Target Picking on the Little Guy in September. And then followed up with a technical explanation of Target’s lack of blind accessibility
a few days later. I have also included several slides on Target in my
last four talks with IABC and PRSA chapters. It will be the highlight
of my keynote with PRSA Tulsa in three hours.

The image above is from page A2 of the USA Today Newspaper from today (Oct 26, 2006). They were kinder than most bloggers.

What should target do from a crisis communications perspective?

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