Blogging bad bahavior — WalMart strikes again

January 17, 2007

walmart_smiley_face.jpgSorry, but I’m a sucker for alliteration.

Besides, bad behavior begs to be blasted by boisterous bloggers. This case is right out of Public Relations 101.

My target today is Big Wally — aka WalMart — and this nugget from Springfield, Ohio.

Seems that Tashina Byrd and Brian O’Neill experienced a condom malfunction the other night. So the next logo_planb.gifmorning, Tashina went to the pharmacy at Big Wally to get a dose of Plan B, the over-the-counter morning-after pill. Plan B is stashed behind the counter, as women under age 18 need a prescription to buy it. So Byrd, 23, had to ask for it. Read the rest of this entry »


Disney’s social network will lure kids, but will it also cause PR headaches?

January 4, 2007

mickey_corporate.jpgDisney plans to use online social networking to build brand, according to Online Media Daily. But the program isn’t without risk, since it’s designed to attract kids to the new online world inhabited by, well, who knows?

According to the story, the site will “incorporate parental controls — a feature that might ultimately backfire on Disney” as it needs to balance the kids’ creative freedom with the parents’ need to contain that freedom. You can bet Disney has done careful “worst case” analysis on the concept, but it still carries risk. If you or anyone you know is involved in marketing to the pre-teen gang, watch this story closely.

As PR professionals, few of us ever experience Disney-like budgets. But I’d love to hear how your clients and employers are creating social networks — or tapping into existing ones — to meet strategic goals. Drop me a note or comment.


Yeah, I’m still on Facebook. Here’s why

January 2, 2007

facebooklogo.pngAbout six weeks back I announced plans to take down my Facebook page. Thanks to input from colleagues and readers, I’ve changed my mind.

I still bristle at the “careless” postings on Facebook, and I icon_friends.gifstill feel like a voyeur when embarrassing pictures of folks I know are posted to the world — a world that could include future employers — and maybe even your mom! But privacy settings are helping Facebook members set much-needed roadblocks, so maybe there’s hope. Read the rest of this entry »


Consumerism runs amok on YouTube! Nitwit customer battles math-impaired Verizon reps!

December 15, 2006

verizon.gifFILM AT ELEVEN!

OK, there’s no film, but there is an audio. More on that in a sec.

utube.gifThis post presents a lesson in public relations we all too often forget — or ignore. It’s a lesson about the customer interface. But first, the backstory: Read the rest of this entry »


Farewell to Facebook — It’s time for me to go

November 22, 2006

kayakkid.jpgI’ve decided to shut down my Facebook page sometime before the end of the year. I don’t feel comfortable there. Never did.

So, if you want to catch the photos of my summer trip to Lake Superior, do it before January 1st. And for posterity, here is my latest Facebook profile picture, taken at our home at Sandy Lake near good ole Kent, Ohio.

facebook1thumbnail.jpgMy students love Facebook. It’s a wonderful way for them to stay connected to friends and to expand their social network. And Facebook has the public relations and marketing types licking their chops with 10 million students as perfect targets for their viral campaigns. Read the rest of this entry »


Edelman fesses up in Walmart blog mess

October 16, 2006

By now, everyone in the blogosphere knows that Richard Edelman and Steve Rubel have responded to the “fake blog” known as “Wal-Marting Across America.” But I got to thinking — not everyone who reads ToughSledding is a bloghead. Since I wrote about the whole mess last Thursday, I should probably pass along the links.

The last post by “Jim and Laura” on the Wal-Mart blog is sort of pathetic, not unlike the whole campaign. No comments allowed. Imagine that!

It’ll be a while before the world forgives Edelman for this one. But they screwed up and they fessed up. Let’s move on.


‘Fake blog’ accusations focus on Edelman. Say it ain’t so, Richard!

October 12, 2006

International social media champion Edelman Public Relations finds itself the target of accusations it created “a phony blog” as a front for client and retail giant WalMart. I heard about it from a colleague who passed along this item from Online Media Daily. Arrived home a few minutes ago (8:45 EDT) and have been unable to find a response on the Edelman website, or any of Edelman’s numerous bloggers.

Is this a hoax, or am I the only one horrified by what the story presents?

Not only has Edelman been a huge blog booster. CEO Richard is leading the way in worldwide discussions of corporate social responsibilty and transparency. I talked up his Monday post on CSR to everybody I know telling them, “This guy really gets it.”

Top Edelman blogger Steve Rubel has been silent since 10:45 this morning. That would be about the time things hit the fan in New York. The world’s waiting to hear from you guys. And of all people, you know the blogosphere doesn’t sleep.

Remember the good old days when we had 24 hours to formulate our crisis plan?