Wal-Mart's PR Sprawl

"Roughly a year ago," the retail giant Wal-Mart began moving "corporate communications people" to "key cities and areas of the country," according to vice-president of communications Mona Williams. The company's former public relations director, Gus Whitcomb, is leaving the Arkansas home office to become the Dallas regional corporate affairs director. Wal-Mart's other regional PR heads are in San Francisco, Phoenix and Washington DC. In New York, the company hired a local PR firm, the Marino Organization. O'Dwyer's reports, "Marino has been touting a Wal-Mart-sponsored survey in New York," in which 62 percent of respondents said they would "welcome the retailer," 69 percent said "Wal-Mart stores create jobs," and 75 percent said Wal-Mart's "stated wage of $10.38 an hour in metropolitan areas is 'fair and decent.'" In February, Wal-Mart "was dropped from a development push in Queens."