Richard Edelman, CEO of the PR firm and blogger, told a panel today how his company helped Wal-Mart generate good buzz during the Katrina catastrophe. Edelman learned early that Wal-Mart employees were using blogs to communicate logistics. They got the blog URLs to conservative blogs, which then made their way to mainstream media. This all fit nicely into the story line that was taking shape: Government doesn't work, Wal-Mart does. It was a PR coup for Wal-Mart, a company that's been taking a battering.
But Wal-Mart's blog story doesn't end there. In mid-September, Edelman hired the conservative blogger, Mike Krempasky, who was instrumental in getting the message out. Naturally, they put him on the Wal-Mart account. For more on Wal-Mart, see AlwaysLowPrices. They link today to a BusinessWeek story. It tells how Wal-Mart is sponsoring research that isn't very flattering to the company. Here the company seems to accepting at least some of the blogworld thinking: transparency trumps gloss.