A Blow To The “R” In CSR?

Well, here’s an unsettling thought… There is some concern that Edelman PR, one of the more public and persistent promoters of CSR may have been involved in a program for Wal-Mart in which the writers for a seemingly bogus blog were intentionally misrepresented along with the ‘back story’ of the blog itself. In essence, they are accused of creating a blog looking like it was being written by a couple of Wal-Mart fans traveling the country from store to store. The blog is now accused of being written on contract strictly as a PR promotion.

The story I found is here and I got to it via a brief but well stated commentary here at Tough Sledding, one of so many great PR-related blogs out there these days.

If this story turns out to be true, it is certainly a sad turn for Edelman since they have been so well identified as champions of transparency in business. Mind you, had this same tactic been devised by any number of other PR firms, it would have probably just been written off as a clever campaign that happened to backfire. Consequently, it may be a bit pompous in some quarters to bash the campaign itself. However, if the accusations are true, it certainly feels like a move in a very unfortunate direction for Edelman, given their vocal and persistent support for transparency everywhere else.

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