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Analysis of Factors that Lead to the PR Issue

Nike makes products that have to be hand-made to a great extent. This extends to their footballs, shoes, football shoes and other sportswear in specific. Apart from automization many of its operations, it still has to use a lot of labour as a resource to convert its raw materials into value added finished goods. This is the part where Nike has gone wrong also; not in using labour at its factories, rather by using child labour in particular at its sites, as the greatest proportion of labour resource.

This is the major factor that has contributed towards its Public Relations Issue and of Nike being in the news for being not corporate socially responsible in this arena. Other factors include open physical abuse of workers in Nike factories in sites of El Salvador and Vietnam; forcing low wages on Nike’s factory workers; when workers talked to the press, they were dismissed and mortified. Along with these, when workers at far off factories would join unions, at places like Thailand, they would get dismissed and lots of fire accidents have also take place at many Nike factory in China.

(GeoCities, n. d. ) Supporting Evidence: Periodical Articles According to Steve Boggan (2001), the

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multi-billion dollar sportswear company has admitted to its usage of child labour at its factories. Labour groups such as Oxfam’s NikeWatch and Clean Clothes Campaign have also raised issues and brought the topic as a Public Relations issue in the market. This is not a new thing for Nike; rather its child labour issue has been going on for quite some years now. There are reports of little children aging even ten years being made to work on sportswear goods like footballs and shirts, shoes etc.

in places like Cambodia and Pakistan. Philip Knight, the company’s chairman’s view has been such that this was all done ‘accidently’ by Nike, which portrays an even grimmer picture of the fact that Nike’s top leads do not agree that Nike was and is not being appreciative of corporate social responsibility. Nike often times has also claimed that it uses ‘age standards’, which are not met by countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh since their there are not even proper records of births and data relating to population consensus in low income and rural areas.

The level of wages being paid by Nike at rural areas in Pakistan also poses a huge problem for the multi-billion dollar sportswear company. A company that charges on an average $70 per shoe, when is paying a tiny fraction to the person making it at the factory, as low as $5 per shoe, is a horrifying fact. (Boggan, 2001) Supporting Evidence – News Articles and Press Release Herald Tribune and New York Times have brought this issue of child labour in the limelight quite a few times.

They have also often focused and paired Nike’s child labour issue with that of Coca-Cola’s similar human rights issue. (Porter, L. , 2007). A news article in ScienceDirect by Eyun-Jung Ki (2004), talks about how a public relations campaign by Nike has answered to these ‘allegations’ by firstly admitting to the issue as its fault and then also pledging guilty to assertions by the public and Non Governmental Organizations of Nike employing poor working conditions for employees at its afar off sites, that is in outside countries. (Jung Ki, 2007)

How did Nike handle these PR issues and its Image After? Nike answered back to the accusations relating to its low wage arguments, by saying that the conditions that exist at Nike pertaining to its factories because the senior officials at Asian land deny these things point blank because they want to enjoy high profits and low cost benefits. Nike further supported this by saying that these were outsourced contractors of Nike and forms a separate external group since they do not have any affiliations with Nike directly.

Nike, then also drafted a document stating regulations that it will follow, that encompassed standards and environmental regulations as well as compensation for its employees. (Samant, M. , 2007) Putting a code of conduct as mentioned above will help in making sure that Nike’s suppliers are on track where labour practices are concerned. This will also encoder and analyse around twenty one factories around the world to report and correct issues.

Also, Nike produced audit reports to outline a plan of action to set right and minimize the negative image that its labour practices have produced through the years. This report also includes Nike setting right its carbon emissions, and making sports goods accessible to all youngsters throughout the world. (Mallen Baker, n. d. ) Nike after doing these things to correct what it has done wrong to its Public Relations Management has experienced an only slight improvement in its image throughout the world.

Nike has become a target because it employees channels of interaction in a formal way now due to it being a multi-billion dollar sportswear company. The contemplative image of Nike has earned its more Promotionalism as criticisms pile up regarding its corporate social responsibility being nil or minimal in the labour arena. The debate now is how Nike balances between the critics arguments and Nike’s own issue management is more important to its image now. (Knight & Greenberg, 2002)

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