PR bloggers should give Edelman a break

There has been lots and lots of chatter about the Wal-Marting Across America blog. You’d expect criticism from the hard core blogosphere, but I do think some of the PR blogs have been just a bit too critical.

Edelman goofed. They made a mistake. Get over it. Who hasn’t ever made a professional mistake? I have – quite a few of them. But I’ve had a whole lot more great successes and even more where something has just gone OK and worked. And if it wasn’t from the fact I’d learnt from my mistakes then I’d never have achieved my successes.

Edelman made a mistake. Knowing all the great social media people they’ve recruited in the last 12 months then I’m sure they have learnt from it. It’s harder for a big firm like Edelman to respond, but I’m sure it is something they are looking at.

Why can’t we praise Edelman for being at the forefront of how the PR profession is changing, and praise it for not being afraid to take risks and occasionally make mistakes?

 


About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.
  • http://www.leschapelles.com Mark

    Stuart, to lump all professional mistakes together as simply 'lessons to be learnt' is a bit ridiculous, isn't it? Did Ken Lay at Enron 'goof'? What about Patricia Dunn at HP? Should we all just 'get over it'?

    When Edelman – the noisiest proponent of PR in social media – is doing PR for Wal-Mart – one of the planet's most scrutinised corporations – it can't afford to make this sort of (absolutely fundamental) mistake, can it? Or maybe it just doesn't 'get' social media as much as it thinks it does?

    When a politician who's preached family values all his career gets caught with his trousers round his ankles and a rent boy nearby, nobody can really complain when he's kicked out of office, right?

  • http://www.human-law.org Justin Patten

    Stuart,

    What do you think about the fact that Edelman and its well known bloggers have stayed silent since this has all blown up?

    Do you think they should engage?

    Best wishes,

    Justin

  • http://strumpette.com Amanda Chapel

    "Why can't we praise Edelman for being at the forefront of how the PR profession is changing, and praise it for not being afraid to take risks and occasionally make mistakes?"

    How ‘bout because they’re shysters whose duplicitous foray into the blogosphere is giving the PR industry a bad name (if that’s even possible).

    - Amanda

  • http://www.nevillehobson.com/ Neville Hobson

    Good that you jump to Edelman's defence, Stuart. I mostly felt embarrassed for them becuase of the continuing silence amid the ever-increasing critical comments. Most that I've paid attention to have been critical about the ongoing silence more than the issue in point, ie, the faux blog and lack of disclosure.

    So now they're owning up to a mistake. Better late than never, but I expected a far more dynamic example of engagement leadership and much sooner.

  • http://www.greenbanana.wordpress.com Heather Yaxley

    Where once PR mistakes were the subject of industry gossip or maybe the back page of PR Week, now they are global and open to scrutiny by everyone. So yes, we do all make mistakes, but the bigger we are and the more we set ourselves up as vanguards of a new PR, the more our reputation will take a thrashing when we get it wrong. The damage to the reputation of PR and the potential lack of confidence of others to engage in online initiatives, must be overcome by seeing this as an opportunity to learn from Edelman's mistakes and ensure PR online is genuinely open and credible.

  • http://www.leschapelles.com/ Mark

    Stuart, to lump all professional mistakes together as simply 'lessons to be learnt' is a bit ridiculous, isn't it? Did Ken Lay at Enron 'goof'? What about Patricia Dunn at HP? Should we all just 'get over it'?

    When Edelman – the noisiest proponent of PR in social media – is doing PR for Wal-Mart – one of the planet's most scrutinised corporations – it can't afford to make this sort of (absolutely fundamental) mistake, can it? Or maybe it just doesn't 'get' social media as much as it thinks it does?

    When a politician who's preached family values all his career gets caught with his trousers round his ankles and a rent boy nearby, nobody can really complain when he's kicked out of office, right?