So, I’m sure I’m not the first to let you know that Edelman has finally mentioned the whole Wal-Mart situation.
I struggle with the ultimate judgement of this situation. Yes, they were slow to join the conversation which is difficult to stomach from an organization like this with such strong ties to the concept of transparency.
But, on the other hand, they did join. They looked into the situation and commented when they felt they could. This does win them some points. And their response was not one of disdain or criticism, but of humble admittance and taking of responsibility. That does need to be worth something.
Obviously, they should have done it earlier, but we don’t know all the internal elements that led to the long “lead time” of a response.
I think a bigger issue is that this will become more prevalent. As corporations see the power of blogs and social media, they will realize that they can use these tools to influence public opinion…even if it isn’t completely ethical. It will get more and more tempting for organizations to try these tactics, and it will be more and more important for bloggers to continue to call them out.
It does illustrate the power of the blogosphere, yet again.
It’s been disappointing for this to come from Edelman, but I think it’s been a great case study and learning situation for many of the rest of us to understand the importance of transparency and honesty.
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