Posts Tagged ‘Wal-Mart’
Quinn & Co., a PR firm headquartered in New York City, is opening an office in Miami this month. The firm, ranked top 10 nationally for travel and real estate, as well as in the top 50 for food, wine + spirits, has tapped Jim Lee as senior vice president to lead the new office. Jim, a veteran PR executive and business-development expert, is scouting Miami office space and spearheading Q&C’s growth in this market. Q&C’s Miami office is targeting clients in travel, real estate, food and beverage. (Release)
Here Media Inc. has announced that Stephen Murray has been appointed to the newly created position of Senior Vice President, Marketing & Brand Strategy. Murray, most recently Senior Director, Brand Integration at iVillage/NBC Universal, will be based in the company’s New York office and report directly to Here Media’s Executive Vice President, Publishing, Joe Landry. (Release)
SendtoNews is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Sean Coutts as Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Coutts brings to SendtoNews more than a decade of senior executive experience in IT and digital media industries, most recently as Senior Director Service Delivery at CAI Canada, a global IT services firm with engagements with more than 100 Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies worldwide. Previously, Coutts also served as the General Manager, E-Commerce at Wal-Mart; Chief Operating Officer at KIT digital Inc. and Group Head, Business Operations at JumpTV. (Release)
The new company will be integrated with StrategyOne, Edelman’s existing market research firm, but the StrategyOne brand will live on with current CEO Steve Lombardo working under a yet-to-be-announced title.
In announcing the hire, company CEO Richard Edelman said, “I have known and admired Mike Berland’s work for close to a decade. When it comes to fully integrating research with PR programs and partnering with both account teams and clients, he is simply the best.”
Berland, an acclaimed author and veteran strategic adviser to political figureheads like Hillary Clinton and Michael Bloomberg, most recently served as president of Washington, D.C. based PSB, where he put his market research experience to use in serving clients in politics and other fields around the world.
Some unsurprising news to get the week started: Wal-Mart has ended its relationship with Mercury Public Relations, the firm that ran into trouble when one of its staffers was caught pretending to be a reporter to get into a closed presser.
Wal-Mart’s senior director of community affairs Steven Restivo told the L.A. Times, “We take this matter seriously and have taken the appropriate steps to ensure this type of activity is not repeated.”
Warehouse Workers United (WWU), a group representing the interests of warehouse employees, says a PR associate at Mercury Public Affairs, a firm that works with Walmart, posed as a student to infiltrate one of its press conferences. The WWU says it was a “closed press conference” and the associate, Stephanie Harnett, signed in on their media list as a “USC student” named “Zoe Mitchell.”
Harnett then showed up at a press conference yesterday and handed out business cards to reporters “telling people she works for Walmart.” Yesterday’s presser was held to announce what the WWU calls “the largest anti-Walmart rally in US history.”
Gawker, which first reported on the story, has a link to a document showing that Mercury is being paid $60,000 to help Walmart open up a new store in Los Angeles’ Chinatown area. And the WWU has posted pictures of Harnett and the business card she was handing out.
In the world of public perception, a scandal can knock a brand down for weeks. But Wal-Mart, which is currently facing a public relations problem with a bribery scandal in Mexico, has fared better than other brands like Taco Bell and Target, according to data from YouGov BrandIndex, which measures “buzz score” on a point index.
YouGov BrandIndex measurement scores range from 100 to -100 and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.
Wal-Mart may have gotten the class-action gender discrimination lawsuit filed against it dismissed by the Supreme Court, but it has decided to invest in a little insurance; billions of dollars worth of insurance.
The retailer has announced a women’s initiative that will include the purchase of $20 billion worth of product from women-owned companies over the next five years, training for female workers around the world, and millions in grants to nonprofits.
“The Wal-Mart public-relations machine is spinning overtime on this,” a Wall Street Strategies analyst told Bloomberg.
Today, the Supreme Court tossed out a class action gender discrimination lawsuit filed against Wal-Mart Stores.
“The court did not decide whether Wal-Mart had in fact discriminated against the women, only that they could not proceed as a class,” The New York Times writes. The decision puts an end to what the story calls “the largest employment discrimination case in the nation’s history.”
While the Supreme Court decided it couldn’t proceed, there are still repercussions in the court of public opinion.
Fleishman-Hillard has made the National Association for Female Executives‘ (NAFE) list of “Top 50 Companies for Executive Women.” Others on the list include Aetna, Johnson & Johnson, IBM, and Wal-Mart. Among those on the list for top non-profits for executive women are the March of Dimes Foundation and the Moffitt Cancer Center.
Wal-Mart and Justin Bieber have entered into an agreement that will give the retailer holiday season access to items that will surely be on the wish lists of many a shrieking teenage girl. While BrandChannel reports that the Wal-Mart partnership makes a lot of sense for the retailer, there are some odd items on the list of things to come.
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