Walmart is the world’s largest company, according to Fortune Magazine. It employs more than 1.4 million associates at 4,500 stores across the United States.
Despite its vastness, it has strong ties to communities across Pennsylvania. There are more than 160 retail outlets spread across the state, employing 54,000 men and women. Walmart is an integral part of those towns and cities, donating to charities and becoming involved in local efforts.
Ceisler Media and Issue Advocacy partners with Walmart to conduct a public relations campaign to spread the word on the good works and business innovations being done by the company.
One such opportunity arose in 2019, when Walmart announced a national open call for product pitches. The campaign attracted more than 450 small companies bidding for the chance to have their items featured in Walmart and Sam’s Club stores around the country.
Among those hopefuls was North Philadelphia entrepreneur Ed Hipp, owner of a company making 18 different meat products, including a turkey-based Canadian bacon.
When Ceisler Media learned that Mr. Hipp, 74, would be selected to present his product at Walmart’s Bentonville, AR headquarters in June 2019, we recognized the opportunity to garner positive publicity for our client with an uplifting story.
Ceisler Media organized an event at a Walmart in North Philadelphia located nearby to Hipp Food, Inc. Working with the store manager and associates, we were able get Mr. Hipp to that store and surprise him with the news that he would be headed to Arkansas to meet with Walmart executives.
Our goal was to make the story less about the retail business and more about humanizing a positive narrative. We were also able to attract local journalists to that event, and several stories followed, spreading authentic good news about our client.
Mr. Hipp’s pitch was so effective – and his products so tasty – that Walmart is taking the next step to work with him to carry his brand. This resulted in a new round of good-news stories in local media, most notably a front-page story in the Philadelphia Inquirer’s popular Sunday “Upside” section by Ellie Silverman, the paper’s new retail reporter.
We were proud to be able to both spread good news about our client and establish a relationship with an incoming media member.
This was just the latest effort between Ceisler Media and Walmart. In the past, we’ve helped Walmart show off business innovations that benefit Pennsylvania consumers, including Online Grocery Pickup that saves customers both time and money.
When Walmart increased maternity and paternity leave to make parenting easier for its employees, we connected local media with Walmart managers who would be affected. We did the same when Walmart created a program to help make adoption easier for its workers, and when it raised its minimum hourly rate from $11 to $14.
And we work to get cameras, microphones and reporters’ notebooks on hand when Walmart promotes its message through philanthropy. These include stories on the ABC-TV affiliate in Harrisburg when Walmart partnered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters; in the Philadelphia Tribune when Walmart associates raised more than $500,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network; and on multiple TV stations when members of Philadelphia’s City Council teamed up with Walmart workers to make sure needy local families had a warm Thanksgiving meal.
Ceisler Media’s long partnership with Walmart has produced hundreds of positive news stories and television features. The world’s largest company is rightly regarded as a caring, contributing civic leader throughout Pennsylvania.