Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Wal-Mart and Paid Bloggers

According to an article in the New York Times Wal-Mart's public relations firm Edelman has been sending Wal-Mart friendly bloggers emails containing suggestions to help Wal-Mart improve it's battered image. It appears that the Wal-Mart PR firm, Edelman, has hired blogger Marshall Manson to email 'tips' to friendly bloggers.

Mr. Manson, identifying himself as a "blogger myself" who does "online public affairs for Wal-Mart," began with a bit of flattery: "Just wanted you to know that your post criticizing Maryland's Wal-Mart health care bill was noticed here and at the corporate headquarters in Bentonville," he wrote, referring to the city in Arkansas.

"If you're interested," he continued, "I'd like to drop you the occasional update with some newsworthy info about the company and an occasional nugget that you won't hear about in the M.S.M." — or mainstream media.

How much could Wal-Mart be paying the Edelman PR firm to help improve its battered image? Why is Wal-Mart's image battered? Shouldn't Wal-Mart just do things that would naturally result in an improved image?

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