Friday, May 25, 2007

Wal-Mart word association

I'm using Wal-Mart as a case study for my PR Administration class again this Maymester, and today two student teams debated Wal-Mart's benefit/harm to communities. To marshall support for his side, Cain Harrelson conducted an informal, overnight Facebook survey of UGA students and asked them to choose as many of the words on this list as they associated with the store.

With just over 100 responding, here's what they had to say:
Generic (66%)
Innovative (11%)
Uncaring (38%)
Customer-Oriented (8%)
Cheap (88%)
Convenient (70%)
Dirty (29%)
Charitable (9%)
Gigantic (74%)
Ugly (31%)
Trendy (1%)
Greedy (26%)
Friendly (8%)
Locally-Oriented (11%)
Responsible (4%)
High Quality (1%)
Environmentally-Minded (2%)
Respectable (8%)
Beneficial (17%)
Hurtful (27%)
Family-Friendly (32%)

Not surprisingly, 80% said they shop there. More surprising to me -- some evidence Cain chose not to use -- 52% say that overall it's beneficial to communities. Yet 97% said they wouldn't work there. Like so many Americans, these students have mixed feelings about Wal-Mart.


Dr. Russell,

Glad you found this as interesting as I did. It's always interesting to see if UGA students' opinions mesh with the rest of the country. As with that last question, sometime the results are a little surprising. Have a happy Memorial Day, and I'll see you in class on Tuesday.

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"More important than the curriculum is the question of the methods of teaching and the spirit in which the teaching is given" --Bertrand Russell

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