McDonald's takes on unemployment

It would take massive hires from a major corporation to put a dent in the US' unemployment numbers, but McDonald's might do just that after it announced its intention to hire 50,000 people in a single day.

It would take massive hires from a major corporation to put a dent in the US' unemployment numbers, but McDonald's might do just that after it announced its intention to hire 50,000 people in a single day.
  
That number doesn't stray too far from the company's normal yearly hiring figures, but the attempt to accomplish this goal in one 24-hour period is geared towards a larger messaging initiative.
  
According to Ashlee Yingling, supervisor of US communications at McDonald's, “Hiring day,” scheduled for April 19, was intended to help combat negative connotations of the term “McJob,” a derogatory word used to describe a dead-end career that even made it into Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary in 2003.
  
“Redefining the term ‘McJob' is something we'd like to classify as a ‘McOpportunity,'” said Yingling. “You can really take your career where you want it to go at McDonald's.”
  
The jobs range from crew to management, part time to full time, and will boost the company's staff to nearly 700,000. McDonald's also viewed the mass hiring as an opportunity to communicate that its employees usually make more than minimum wage.
  
McDonald's negotiated this track nicely. Some have criticized this as nothing more than a publicity stunt, an attempt to grab headlines about something it was planning to do anyway. Moreover, most outlets covering the story didn't neglect to mention McDonald's hourly wage of just over $8. Ouch.
  
But we'll defer to PRWeek's online poll question, where a clear majority of you said the hiring day was a solid PR move, garnering a blitz of media impressions from outlets such as The Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, and USA Today. Plus, McDonald's gets to sink its teeth into a little CSR currency by appearing to help out-of-work Americans.
  
Of course, the real test has yet to present itself: whether or not McDonald's can successfully reclaim the “McJob” term for the next generation of Americans. Until then, we might have to simply be satisfied that “flipping burgers” is better than standing on the bread line.

PR Play Rating:
1. Clueless
2. Ill-advised
3. On the right track
4. Savvy
5. Ingenious

Rating: 3 (On the right track)

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