PR Connect #2 – Walmart’s Fake Blog?

I heard about something really interesting that went down with Walmart recently.  Apparently a Washington Post photographer, James Thresher, was doing some sketchy blogging for the well known Wal-Mart.  Come to find out, Wal-mart was actually giving him some cash.  Now of course, the amount given to the photographer was disclosed information and was not shared to the public.

What makes this story really weird and adds the “sketchiness” to it is the fact that this man, along with a writer, would travel around from Wal-Mart to another.  He would go across the country and sleep in Wal-mart parking lots then blog about his travels and experiences.  Obviously, this caught the attention of a lot of people so Wal-Mart saw potential positive public relations in this.  It is strange how James’ blogs reflected ultra positive light on Wal-Mart.  He would rant on about how great the customer service and what not.

Apparently this is called, “flogging.”  When businesses creates a front for the business by means of a blog and the blog is illegitimate.  It seems like this is exactly what happened here.  This is a terrible for Wal-Mart.  They were trying to gain positive light from society.  They have an ugly image they have to try to overcome, people have a stereo type about Wal-Mart and its not necessarily a good one.


One Response to “PR Connect #2 – Walmart’s Fake Blog?”
  1. jessicapr says:

    Interesting post David. I am a bit confused as to how there is a such thing as fake blogging. Was the issue that Walmart was paying the man to talk positively about Walmart when he was writing that these were his own opinions. If that is the case, this is definitely unethical. Walmart does have a lot of unwanted and do need to clean up their public image and this isn’t helping. I think that people have a love/hate relationship with this store. They love it for the cheap prices and the convenience of it, but at the same time they hate it because it has basically monopolized the industry and on the retail side of it, it can be a pain to shop in. People crowd the store, it is so big that you can’t find anything, and it can easily be messy because there aren’t enough people working to make sure it is in tip top shape. Great post!

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