I assume if you care, you've read about Wal-Mart paying people to run around the the US and blog about it. Oppsie, didn't disclose, blog world goes insane and starts slicing and dicing Wal-Mart and the PR firm, Edelman.
I'd ignore this, leaving to the experts, but there is one point that I'd like to share with those of you who work for places who create disasters like this.
Mark Evans (Disclosure, he's working for a company that I invested in) has a post up about where is uber-PR blogger Steve Rubel who works for Edelman. In Mark's post:
"If you're Edelman, doesn't it make sense to quickly get your blogging evangelist into the conversation? Instead, Rubel has a post this morning about a new aggregator called FeedRaider."
Makes sense to me and since I'm behind in reading stuff, I click over to Steve's blog to see what I'm sure will be a nice, text book mea-culpa.
"I am sorry I could not speak about this sooner. I had no personal role in this project. There is a process in place that I had to let proceed through its course. This is why it took some time. Like Richard says, we are committed to the WOMMA guidelines on transparency."
To be clear to those playing at home: the post title is tongue-n-cheek.
The interesting part of the post, of course, is the comments section where some people want Steve's head for not being out there with his opinion and not following "process." As one commenter said, time in the blog world seems faster than real life.
I thought the best comment was from Steve himself:
"Simon, we could have put up a placeholder, but I think it's possible that would have made matters worse. We needed to wait until we had all the facts.
Tony, I wanted to speak out days ago. I read every post - believe me. However, the process had to work.
Dominic, my opinion is we made a big mistake.
Dave, your forgeting that Edelman is a global company with 2,500 employees. I have never even been to Bentonville, nor have I billed one hour on the account.
Ted, I work for a big company and my loyalties first and foremost are to Edelman. Sorry. I would give up this blog before I gave up working for them."
It's pretty straight up and you know where his loyalties are. Helps in the filtering system. No tapping dancing and he said enough, i.e., we made a mistake. Some would argue Robert Scoble's approach at Microsoft ("I'm embarrassed") is better. Reading through Robert's old posts where he pings his company when he thinks they are offsides vs. Steve's "heads up, I work here and like it" approach will give you two looks into employee blogs and the impact on companies as well as companies influences (or lack of) on the employees.
And memo to Steve: They didn't send you to Betonville so they must be loyal to you as well!