As I wrote the other day in my post “Rob O’Regan and Fake Blogging Across America” Edelman PR has gotten themselves into a “spot of trouble” over fake blogs they’ve been using to promote Walmart. It turns out, there are more fake Walmart blogs that they’ve sponsored:
One blog appears on the home page of Working Families for Wal-Mart, the allegedly grassroots advocacy group formed by Edelman last December, which is “committed to fostering open and honest dialogue…that conveys the positive contributions of Wal-Mart to working families.” The second blog is on WFWM’s subsidiary site Paid Critics.
The Paid Critics blog is devoted to “exposing” links between unions and other vested interests that are “smearing Wal-Mart” through the media. Until yesterday, blog entries on both WFWM and Paid Critics were uncredited. Thursday, bylines were added to blog posts “in response to comments and emails.”
While blogging for business is a great tool to get traffic to your site, while building the brand, there’s a thin line. Once crossed, you can really hurt your self. In this case, they’ve managed to prove the “big brother” prognostications of the anti-Walmart mob, which is exactly the sort of thing they were trying to counter. Good work guys – you couldn’t have done better if you’d been found with a Nixonian enemies list and a smoking gun.