Wal-Mart's PR Firm Sent This Flack to Pose as a Reporter to Spy on a Pro-Labor Group [Updated]

Hamilton Nolan · 06/14/12 02:10PM

Wal-Mart is trying to open a new store in LA's Chinatown area. Local labor groups, among others, are challenging the store's permitting. It's a fight with big stakes for Wal-Mart, as it goes right to the heart of the company's strategy of expanding in large cities. And now, one labor group says that an employee of a PR firm working for Wal-Mart actually posed as a reporter in order to infiltrate one of their meetings.

PR Dummies: Some Inanimate Object Is Gay

Hamilton Nolan · 06/08/12 03:10PM

The public relations industry is like a bird on a high wire act and all the world's a stage of mixed metaphors. Though one might assume that a job writing and distributing press releases would require both sharp writing skills and a savvy sense of one's audience, one would be mistaken. And gay? This is PR Dummies. Gay, every week.


Hamilton Nolan · 05/31/12 11:15AM

The public relations industry provides a welcome refuge to craven scoundrels, scheming nihilists, and the clinically insane. All we do is peek inside once in a while. This is PR Dummies.

PR Dummies: 'Cat People Deserve to Die!'

Hamilton Nolan · 05/16/12 04:50PM

The public relations industry features a low bar for entry and an even lower bar for performance. Were the bars to get any lower, it would be an underground prison, rather than a hell on earth. This is PR Dummies. Hella dumb, every week.

PR Dummies: Dead Parents Are Good for a Chuckle

Hamilton Nolan · 05/11/12 10:36AM

The practice of public relations is to subtle, poetic language what a hammer is to a willow tree: not it. These are the PR Dummies. Defending the right to poor taste, every week.

PR Dummies: What Do Women Want?

Hamilton Nolan · 04/30/12 03:45PM

The public relations industry is essentially a grand sleight-of-hand trick in which money is extracted from clients in exchange for building a smokescreen of wordplay around a pile of excrement ("the product"). It's a living. This is PR Dummies. Poking the poo pile, once a week.

PR Dummies: Chins Up

Hamilton Nolan · 04/20/12 01:45PM

The public relations industry is at best comical, at worst evil, and, for the most part, a simpering crab pot of truth-twisting and careerist ego stroking. This is PR Dummies. Sticking our hand in the pot, once a week.

PR Dummies: Survey Says, 'Nobody Gives a Shit'

Hamilton Nolan · 04/13/12 11:57AM

The public relations industry is the birthplace of nutrition-free filler that grows up to become pseudonews. Sometimes, it can be a terrifying thing to behold in its rawest form. This is PR Dummies. The dumbth of PR, every week.

PR Dummies: When Bizarro Mistakes Happen

Hamilton Nolan · 04/06/12 12:30PM

The public relations industry is often called upon to smooth over the errors of others. This makes their own mistakes all the more delicious. This is PR Dummies. Dummies, in PR, every week.

PR Dummies: Michael Lohan Is Pretty Much the Worst

Hamilton Nolan · 03/30/12 04:43PM

Public Relations is a welcoming refuge for the world's worst scoundrels, an amoral haven in which the most antisocial of behaviors can be supported and celebrated, for a fee. This is PR Dummies. The worst of the worst, weekly.

PR Dummies: How the Big Deals Get Done

Hamilton Nolan · 03/23/12 05:01PM

Public relations encompasses a multitude of skills: audience analysis, persuasive communication, business savvy. There are those who do all of these things poorly. These are the PR Dummies. The dumbest of the dumb, every week.

PR Dummies: Over Davy Jones' Dead Body

Hamilton Nolan · 03/09/12 02:17PM

The public relations industry is a heartless machine that cares not about a human's life or death, unless it can be used to sell a product. Your soul is only worth a poorly written press release. This is PR Dummies. The worst of the worst, every week.

PR Dummies: 'Attack of the Man-Boobs'

Hamilton Nolan · 02/17/12 12:21PM

The public relations industry is the sports bra of professions: outwardly flattering, but sweaty, oppressive, and unsexy beneath the surface. This is PR Dummies. The worst of the worst, every week.

Reporters: There Is Nothing Wrong With PR Firms Doing Research on You

Hamilton Nolan · 02/07/12 04:01PM

We take a backseat to no one when it comes to spewing forth venom at the public relations industry. But we feel compelled to stand up and make this point: PR people doing research on what reporters have written and making a file on that topic is not a scandal. It is the same thing that reporters do, okay?