Wal-Mart's Blog Outreach-Turned-Ghostwriting

Wal-Mart "began working with bloggers in late 2005 'as part of our overall effort to tell our story,' said Mona Williams, a company spokeswoman." Heading the blogger outreach is Marshall Manson, of the PR firm Edelman. Manson contacted bloggers who "wrote postings that either endorsed the retailer or challenged its critics." He emailed one, "I'd like to drop you the occasional update ... and an occasional nugget that you won't hear about in the M.S.M.," or mainstream media. But "some bloggers have posted information from Wal-Mart, at times word for word, without revealing where it came from," reports the New York Times. Manson warned bloggers they might be "ripped" if someone noticed "nearly identical posts" copied from his emails. Wal-Mart's also opposing state bills that require large companies to spend a minimum percentage of payroll costs on health insurance. Wal-Mart claims, "These bills ... do nothing to take people off America's uninsured list," reports PR Week.


I don't want to say what I heard about a Wal-Mart manager. I mean I actually want to say it, but it might be breaching a confidentiality if I did. Let's just say that they'd better sell that morning-after pill if they are going to do the things I heard one of them did to one of their very young teen-age employees.