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Walmart Turns Internal Promotions Into Holiday Publicity Stunt

shutterstock_139266389Who else but Walmart (or is it still “Wal-Mart”, because we lost track) could turn a string of standard promotions into a PR campaign?

Don’t get us wrong—it’s pretty cool that the ‘mart is giving 25,000 of its employees a big thumbs up in the fourth quarter. And dispatching top execs to various stores during the holiday season in order to announce “on-the-spot surprise promotions” is a smart move. But the idea that a job inside the world’s biggest, cheapest box “offers economic security and opportunity” is more than a little ridiculous no matter how many new titles and raises the organization hands out.

CEO Bill Simon said “It’s as good a time as any to tell our story”, which means “defend ourselves against the widespread assumption that most of our employees don’t earn living wages”. The company already announced plans to move 70,000 employees from part-time to full-time status by the end of the year, but that won’t stop advocacy groups from encouraging them to unionize or disputing the company’s own numbers.

Here’s the press release, which emphasizes that Walmart “expects to promote more than 160,000 associates to jobs with higher pay and more responsibility this year.”

At the very least, the company is doing a better job of aggressively protecting its reputation. What do we think?

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