Dealing With PR Crisis

Acting as leaders of a major corporation, respond to a shocking revelation that a few of your factories have been found to employ child laborers.

Task Force: Dealing With PR Crisis

Oh no!

You have been in charge of a major corporation for nine years, but a recent article has exposed the use of child labor in a few of your factories in some areas of the world. Your goal is to imagine the accusations are true and figure out what your next steps are as a corporation. 

 Why Are We Doing This?

Large companies like Nestle, Hershey, and Mars have profited largely through child labor in their factories. Around 148 goods throughout 76 countries rely heavily on child labor according to a 2008 study published by the U.S. Department of Labor. Children are often underpaid, forced to work in unsafe conditions for long hours and deprived the right to a proper education. Here, we ask you to brainstorm steps that should be taken when a major corporation is found to be engaging in child labor in all or some of their factories.


  1. Before you begin, research information about the prevalence of child labor, which companies engage in it, and the impact it has on children.
  2. Then, try to come up with a plan for your corporation after it is exposed that certain factories are profiting off of child labor.
    1. Do you plan to stop child labor in your factories or try to cover it up?
    2. How will you stop child labor? Will your company temporarily shut down?
    3. How will you compensate the child who have been suffering under harsh conditions?
    4. What kinds of rules and regulations will you implement?
    5. Will you make a public announcement admitting that some of your factories were using child labor or simply try and end it?
  3. Think through the possible objections about your plan that someone might have.
  4. Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your plan best solves the PR crisis and restores the public’s faith in your company.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  •  You do not have to come up with an exhaustive list of steps for your plan. Choose a few that you are prepared to defend.
  • Try to research what companies that have been exposed to be committing child labor have done in the past and how it has worked out for them.