Photo credit | fineartamerica.com
As I sit at my desk writing this blog post with a to-do list of seven assignments and 100+ pages of reading, the only thing that comes to mind is “I don’t want to grow up, I wanna be a Toys R Us kid…” This song has been more relevant in my life right now.
I still remember visiting the legendary Toys R Us in Times Square at the age of five. The giant indoor Ferris wheel and never-ending shelves of Barbies demanded my attention. When I recently heard the news that Toys R Us was filing for bankruptcy, I was heartbroken. “How dare they try to take a piece of my childhood away?!?” But in all honesty, I completely understand what the company is facing: online retailers that offer cheaper prices and faster delivery. While brands like Amazon and Target may be threatening this toy corporation’s success, there is still hope that lies ahead.
According to this article on Bloomberg, Toys R Us was never set on declaring bankruptcy until someone spilled the beans. As a result, investors lost confidence and suppliers began withdrawing materials. Yes, Toys R Us had their issues with debt and online competitors, but filing for bankruptcy wasn’t set in stone. These moments are where public relations can make or break a company.
If I were serving as the PR agent for Toys R Us, I would take advantage of the media’s attention and turn it in a positive direction. This is exactly what we have been reading about in Ron Smith’s book, Public Relations: The Basics. At this point, reassuring the public that Toys R Us stores will not be closing is the top priority. As stated in the Bloomberg article, the company is simply “restructuring” and will be back and better than ever for the holiday season. Even though there is a 50/50 chance whether Toys R Us will survive or not, it’s still important to reassure buyers that they will be able to do all of their holiday shopping in stores.
Already, we have seen Toys R Us do a great job on social media. They released a positive statement on Facebook, encouraging customers not to worry. On Instagram, they have continued to post regular content and promote a more exciting “in-store experience,” and on Twitter, they have interacted with users and answered common questions about this new chapter.
Overall, the company is doing a great job handling the PR at this point, but they should continue to remind customers that they are working on a plan to keep stores open and make Toys R Us even better than before.