This is not a good couple weeks to be working at Edelman.Â Okay, first we have the whole Walmarting across America thing and subsequent apology now, Edelman is coming clean that two more of the Wal-Mart blogs are actually flogs written by Edelman employees.Â Yikes.Â It turns out (shocker … not) that Working Families for Wal-MartÂ and PaidCritics.org are Edelman PR fronts (yeah there’s irony for you).
Well Shel applauds them for at least admitting it now (instead of being outed), B.L. wants their head, or at least their butt out of WOMMA, Mathew ponders if PR folks can really be transparent and do their job (good question).
I think this whole fiasco, debacle (anybody have some more words for this?) calls into question, as Mathew and Shel suggest, can PR and blogs actually co-exist?Â I don’t think so.Â At least not like this.Â You just can’t have “corporate fronts” as blogs.Â You want to reach out to critics?Â You want to get feedback?Â Then just have a regular old blog.Â No, a “Wal-Mart employee blog” isn’t going to fly and we all know why.Â I think a Wal-Mart exec blog might work, if they could take the heat, and I don’t think they could.
I have a good number of friends in the PR biz.Â This can’t be a fun time for them.Â Everyone is now questioning PR and blogs.Â Every company blog or blog that seems to be arms-length is suspect.Â Is disclosure enough?Â Is authenticity and transparency enough?
Steve … man I’d love to do a podcast with you on this.Â Just get your thoughts.Â Are you game?