As all good public relations tradesmen, Edelman President & CEO, Richard Edelman, and Edelman blogger extraordinaire, Steve Rubel, are known for their loquacious and piquant prose. Edelman’s public blog prose on the “Working Families for Wal-Mart” affair (see “Golden age of PR?”), however, is strikingly sparse and unfulfilling.
Richard Edelman’s “A Commitment”:
For the past several days, I have been listening to the blogging community discuss the cross-country tour that Edelman designed for Working Families for Wal-Mart.
I want to acknowledge our error in failing to be transparent about the identity of the two bloggers from the outset. This is 100% our responsibility and our error; not the client's.
Let me reiterate our support for the WOMMA guidelines on transparency, which we helped to write. Our commitment is to openness and engagement because trust is not negotiable and we are working to be sure that commitment is delivered in all our programs.
Edelman’s blog post committing to transparency is not 100% transparent and raises questions while attempting to provide answers:
What are the specific WOMMA guidelines on transparency that will be supported?
How is Edelman specifically “working” to be sure that “openness and engagement” is “delivered” in all their programs?
How does Edelman define “openness and engagement”?
Steve Rubel’s “On Edelman and Wal-Mart”:
As many of you know, over the past few days the blog community has been actively discussing the Working Families for Wal-Mart blog. As my CEO Richard Edelman explains on his blog, our firm failed to be completely transparent. I am sorry I could not speak about this sooner. I had no personal role in this project. There is a process in place that I had to let proceed through its course. This is why it took some time. Like Richard says, we are committed to the WOMMA guidelines on transparency.
Rubel apologizes for not speaking “about this” sooner, but does not speak “about this” in any meaningful way at present; Rubel simply cites Edelman’s non-transparent apology for non-transparency and disassociates himself from the matter.Did Edelman call on its own Crisis & Issues Management practice to assist in handling its own PR crisis? The practice touts:
Leading corporations around the United States and around the world look to Edelman’s Crisis & Issues Management practice for counsel and 24/7 support in times of crisis to effectively address critical business issues. Whether it’s an internal program affecting employees or an external effort to protect or defend a company’s reputation, Edelman brings a strong strategic perspective founded on international experience, understanding and insight.Has Edelman Global Crisis & Issues Management practice counseled its own parent?
Headquartered in London, Chicago and Hong Kong, Edelman’s Global Crisis & Issues Management practice helps organizations anticipate, assess, respond to and manage an array of complex situations ranging from litigation to product recalls to environmental. Edelman has counseled Fortune 500 corporations, mid-sized companies and not-for-profit organizations on how to respond to a range of communications and business challenges.