Black Friday is right around the corner. A day of capitalistic greed disguised under mountains of markdowns. A day of traffic jams and long wait times. A day that has overshadowed it’s neighboring holiday, Thanksgiving, so much that Black “Friday” starts on a Thursday.
As someone who has worked in retail for almost 3 years, with my 4th Black Friday coming up, I can personally tell you the hell that Black Friday can be for workers like myself. Each year I find myself having to show up for work earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving as retailers decide to push the Black Friday agenda to be sooner. There’s the obvious physical demand for the job: headaches and sore feet/hands. There’s also the emotional: wanting to spend Thanksgiving dinner with your family but instead are stuck being berated by a Karen for the register crashing or our sales not being good enough. We’re trying our best, people!
In an article by Transformation Marketing, the Bean Team writes about how Mall of America has actually stepped back from opening on Thanksgiving and let their workers rest with family. From a Public Relations standpoint, this was huge. The Bean Team mentions that
“fans of the closure have taken to Twitter to show their support for the mall, and many are hoping for other businesses to follow suit”.
Generation Z is really big on respecting workers. It’s a trend to have the mindset of “hey, don’t be a jerk to your minimum wage waiter at Applebees”. It’s interesting to see how big businesses are responding to this new wave of thinking. One might think that Mall of America was analyzing this trend to be receptive to the newer generation, which is an insanely good PR stunt if that was so. Although, they may have also closed because no one was shopping that early on the holiday so it wasn’t profitable, but hey! Who’s to say.
From a brand perspective, Black Friday is the time to get your PR out there! There are countless articles on how to effectively use PR and social media to boost your Black Friday sales, as it is a perfect opportunity to showcase your products. No one will use your awesome deal if you don’t tell them about it.
Black Friday and PR go hand in hand. Whether it be applause for not overworking your staff or promoting your own brand, public relations is quite evident in both.