Lots of stories today on bloggers posting public relations information from Wal-Mart, e.g. the New York Times has Wal-Mart Enlists Bloggers in P.R. Campaign and the Wall Street Journal has Wal-Mart Turns to Blogs to Fight Bad News.
Here's an email I received (1/4/06) after posting a piece from the Wall Street Journal on Wal-Mart's hopes to enter banking:
I hope you’re well. I just wanted to drop you a line and introduce myself (and I have a vague recollection that I may have written before, so I apologize if this is repetitive). I’m a blogger myself (I contribute to Confirm Them and Human Events’ Right Angle among others), but for my day job - I do online public affairs for Wal-Mart, working with Mike Krempasky who runs Redstate.org.
Just wanted you to know that your post echoing today's WSJ editorial is making the rounds here and at heaquarters in Bentonville.
It’s always a challenge when opponents organize to attack corporations. The companies always seems to have one arm tied behind their backs when they try to respond, so it’s nice to see folks like you defending them when it’s the right thing to do.
If you're interested, I'd like to drop you the occasional update with some newsworthy info about the company. Let me know.
And in the meantime, I thought you might be interested in another story that we're working on today:
Ever notice the difference between what union leaders do and what union members want? It's a story almost as old as labor unions themselves -- and nowhere is it more evident than the union leadership’s campaign against Wal-Mart.
Last summer, as millions of teachers saved money on their back-to-school supplies by shopping at Wal-Mart, the NEA called for a boycott.
Today, Working Families for Wal-Mart released a poll that shows that even as union leaders continue their anti-Wal-Mart campaign, 96% of union households shop at Wal-Mart and 63 percent of union households think Wal-Mart is good for consumers. (You can read WFFW’s full press release about the poll here: http://www.forwalmart.com/news.php. I hope to have the full poll memo for you soon)
Some more highlights:
A majority of union households (54 percent) say that unions should make protecting jobs at places like GM a higher priority than attacking Wal-Mart. And on the question of whether the campaign against Wal-Mart is a good use of union dues, the best union leaders can do is a split. 44 percent of union households say the campaign against Wal-Mart is not a good use of union dues. 45 percent think that it is.
Overall, 71 percent of Americans believe Wal-Mart is good for consumers and 60 percent of Americans say the campaign against Wal-Mart is not a good use of union dues.
We don't expect to change the minds of the union leadership -- but we'd like your help. Do you have any other examples of union activities that run directly counter to their members' wishes or interests?
Please let me know if you have any questions and if you'd like to be added to the list to receive future (occassional) updates.
All the best,
P.S. – Reuters has a story on the poll here. It notes the Washington Times report “question[ing] whether John Zogby had a conflict of interest since he had made money as an expert witness in cases where people were suing Wal-Mart.”
My post on Wal-mart that generated this email did not support Wal-Mart, it was neutral, and I did not ask to be put on their list. Now I wish I would have just to see what type of information they are sending out, but I assume it's more of the same.