This post is by Jim Horton from Online Public Relations Thoughts
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Lowe's, the home improvement retailer, isn't doing well these days, but it is engaged in some smart PR. It is testing an exoskeleton with its employees. These devices support the back and legs while one is picking up and moving things. The type the retailer is testing comes from Virginia Tech, and it is not elaborate. It consists of carbon fiber rods that bend when one stoops to pick up something then snap back into place as the person straightens up. Lowe's is well aware that employees are paying attention to its test. Many combat sore backs and legs as they spend 90% of their time in the store bending, grabbing and lifting. Should the company decide to provide these exoskeletons to everyone, it will become a recruiting tool for the company. The message is "Why work for the competition when we watch out for you and your health."