Woe is Walmart

by Roger Pynn



It isn’t the first time … and unless someone does something to reign it in my guess is it won’t be the last.

Retailing giant Walmart has been let down again by a public relations firm … despite the firm’s finger pointing which blames “a junior member of our team who made an immature decision.”

Give me a break.  Who at Mercury Public Affairs is going to own up to it?  What does her supervisor have to say?  As someone who has operated a public relations consulting firm for more than a quarter of a century, I can’t fathom an entry-level employee conceiving of and pulling off something as absurd as posing as a reporter and infiltrating a labor union… much less showing up later on as a client employee.

What’s even more preposterous is that the agency would fire the kid and not her boss.

A Walmart spokesman called the actions “unacceptable, misleading and wrong” and said the company’s “culture of integrity is a constant.”

As someone who spent time in corporate life before starting this firm, I also know that the only way to ensure that your vendors represent your culture is to immerse them in it and hold them as accountable as you hold yourself.  We reinforce to our employees all the time that they are an extension of their clients and that everything we do reflects on our clients, as well as ourselves.

The Walmart spokesman went on to say “this individual’s behavior was contrary to our values and the way we do business.”  I’d say the same is true for the agency.

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