Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Wal-Mart Follow-Up: MSNBC republishes an article from the Portland (Ore.) Business Journal that provides a logical follow-up to the Edelman/Wal-Mart-blogger story, which puts the whole episode in context. The article is not uncritical of the bloggers involved: “Some of the bloggers did not disclose where they got their ‘facts,’ contrary to the cultural expectations around blogging, which include complete disclosure.” (I think that’s fair: there was no ethical breach, but there was a lack of sensitivity to the culture of the blogosphere.

But the article is much more critical of companies that ignore the blogosphere, or blog badly.

Among the former is Portland General Electric, which has apparently failed to engage with local bloggers, including a city commissioner, who have posted critically about the company. PGE is monitoring blogs, says its director of corporate communications, but does not respond to comments and has no plans to start a blog of its own.

Among the latter are Nike, whose blog “lacks social features” and a personality, and McDonald’s, which has not updated its social responsibility blog since March 6, which the author rightly observes is “a long lag in the blogosphere.” The company also fails to respond to visitor comments, which “makes it look like a conversation on their terms,” says one critic.

Nice article.

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